Skip to main content
K12 LibreTexts

2.1: The Consonant Sound [p]

  • Page ID
    3561
  • Overview

    Two ways of spelling the sound [p] are <p> and <pp>. 

    Examples

    In perfect and pop the sound [p] is spelled <p>.

    In stopped and tripped [p] is spelled <pp>.

    Review

    1. Underline the letter that spells [p] in the word perfect.
    2. Underline the letters that spell [p] in the following words.
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{open} && \text{appear} && \text{spaghetti} && \text{purple}\\
          & \text{puppies} && \text{picture} && \text{perfect} && \text{apple}\\
          & \text{helicopter} && \text{people} && \text{stopped} && \text{important}\\
          & \text{prevent} && \text{places} && \text{upon} && \text{zipper}
      \end{align*}
    3. Now sort the words into these two groups. Be careful! One word goes into both groups.
      Words with [p] spelled ...

       

      <pp>
      ">    
      ">    
      ">    
      ">    
      ">    
      ">    
    4. Two ways of spelling [p] are _______ and _______.
    Show Answer
    1. Underline the letter that spells [p] in the word perfect.
    2. Underline the letters that spell [p] in the following words.
      \begin{align*}
          &  o\underline{p}en  &&  a\underline{p}\underline{p}ear  &&  s\underline{p}aghetti  &&  \underline{p}ur\underline{p}le \\
          &  \underline{p}u\underline{p}\underline{p}ies  &&  \underline{p}icture  &&  \underline{p}erfect  &&  a\underline{p}\underline{p}le \\
          &  helico\underline{p}ter  &&  \underline{p}eo\underline{p}le  &&  sto\underline{p}\underline{p}ed  &&  im\underline{p}ortant \\
          &  \underline{p}revent  &&  \underline{p}laces  &&  u\underline{p}on  &&  zi\underline{p}\underline{p}er 
      \end{align*}
    3. Now sort the words into these two groups. Be careful! One word goes into both groups.
      Words with [p] spelled ...

       

      <pp>
      ">open places puppies
      ">puppies spaghetti appear
      ">helicopter perfect stopped
      ">prevent upon apple
      ">picture purple zipper
      ">people important  
    4. Two ways of spelling [p] are <p> and <pp>.

    Explore More

    See if you can find the letters that spell these other consonant sounds.

    1. Underline the letter that spells [b] in the word behind.
    2. Underline the letter that spells [t] in itself.
    3. Underline the letter that spells [d] in wonderful.
    4. Underline the letter that spells [k] in quiet.
    5. Underline the letter that spells [g] in government.
    Show Answer

    See if you can find the letters that spell these other consonant sounds.

    1. Underline the letter that spells [b] in the word behind.
    2. Underline the letter that spells [t] in itself.
    3. Underline the letter that spells [d] in wonderful.
    4. Underline the letter that spells [k] in quiet.
    5. Underline the letter that spells [g] in government.

    Spelling [p]

    More than nine times out of ten [p] is spelled <p>. Very nearly all of the other times it is spelled <pp>. So, the sound [p] is spelled <p> or <pp> nearly 100% of the time. 

    Examples

    You can hear the sound [p] at the beginning and end of the word pop.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [p] in the following words:
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{accompany} && \text{poison} && \text{equipment} && \text{syrup}\\
          & \text{supply} && \text{approved} && \text{support} && \text{preferred}\\
          & \text{purple} && \text{sleep} && \text{independent} && \text{wrapper}\\
          & \text{improve} && \text{attempted} && \text{worship} && \text{stepparent}\\
          & \text{pattern} && \text{occupy} && \text{accomplish} && \text{opposite}
      \end{align*}
    2. Sort the twenty words above into these three groups:
      Words with [p] ...
      at the front: in the middle: at the end:
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
    3. You should have found two ways to spell [p]: _____ and _____.
    4. Does the spelling <pp> come at the front of any of these words? _____
    5. How is [p] spelled at the front of words? _____
    6. Does the <pp> spelling come at the end of any of these words? _____
    7. How is [p] spelled at the end of words? _____
    Show Answer
    1. Underline the letters that spell [p] in the following words:\begin{align*} 
          &  accom\underline{p}any  &&  \underline{p}oison  &&  equi\underline{p}ment  &&  syru\underline{p} \\
          &  su\underline{p}\underline{p}ly  &&  a\underline{p}\underline{p}roved  &&  su\underline{p}\underline{p}ort  &&  \underline{p}referred \\
          &  \underline{p}ur\underline{p}le  &&  slee\underline{p}  &&  inde\underline{p}endent  &&  wra\underline{p}\underline{p}er \\
          &  im\underline{p}rove  &&  attem\underline{p}ted  &&  worshi\underline{p}  &&  ste\underline{p}\underline{p}arent \\
          &  \underline{p}attern  &&  occu\underline{p}y  &&  accom\underline{p}lish  &&  o\underline{p}\underline{p}osite 
      \end{align*}
    2. Sort the twenty words above into these three groups:
      Words with [p] ...
      at the front: in the middle: at the end:
      purple accompany equipment sleep
      pattern supply support worship
      poison purple independent syrup
      preferred improve accomplish  
        approved wrapper  
        attempted stepparent  
        occupy opposite  
    3. You should have found two ways to spell [p]:

       

      and <pp>.
    4. Does the spelling <pp> come at the front of any of these words? No
    5. How is [p] spelled at the front of words?

       

    6. Does the <pp> spelling come at the end of any of these words? No
    7. How is [p] spelled at the end of words?

       

    Explore More

    Word Find. This Word Find contains fifteen words with the spelling <pp>:

    \begin{align*}
        & \text{supply} && \text{support} && \text{lamppost} && \text{snapped} && \text{kidnapper}\\
        & \text{wrapper} && \text{approach} && \text{tipping} && \text{approach} && \text{stepparent}\\
        & \text{opposite} && \text{appeal} && \text{oppose} && \text{opportunity} && \text{oppress}
    \end{align*}

    Show Answer

    When [p] Is Spelled <pp>

    A double consonant, like <pp>, can be caused by one of these reasons: simple addition, twinning, or assimilation.

    A <pp> is caused by simple addition when an element that ends with a <p> joins another element that starts with <p>: lamp + post = lamppost

    Sometimes <pp> is caused by twinning: tip + p + ing = tipping

    Some cases of <pp> are caused by the assimilation of the prefixes ad-, sub, or ob- in front of stems that start with a <p>: ad + p + peal = appeal

    Examples

    Each of the following words contains a <pp> because of one of the three reasons just given.

    Word = Analysis Reason for <pp>
    lamppost = lamp + post simple addition
    appears = ad + p + pears assimilation
    tipping = tip + p + ing twinning

    Review

    Analyze each word enough to show whether the <pp> was caused by simple addition, twinning, or assimilation. Write the cause in the right column.

    Word = Analysis Reason for <pp>
    1. wrapper =  
    2. suppose =  
    3. oppose =  
    4. snapped =  
    5. approaches =  
    6. opportunity =  
    7. supply =  
    8. apply =  
    9. slipper =  
    10. oppress =  
    11. suppress =  
    12. stepparent =  
    13. unwrapped =  
    14. opposite =  
    15. support =  
    16. kidnapping =  

    Think of another word that contains the spelling <pp> for each of the following reasons. Then analyze each word.

    Reason Word Analysis
    17. Simple Addition    
    18. Twinning    
    19. Assimilation    

    20. Three reasons for spelling [p] <pp> are . . .

    Show Answer
    Word = Analysis Reason for <pp>
    1. wrapper = wrap + p + er twinning
    2. suppose = sub + p + pose assimilation
    3. oppose = ob + p + pose assimilation
    4. snapped = snap + p + ed twinning
    5. approaches = ad + p + proaches assimilation
    6. opportunity = ob + p + portunity assimilation
    7. supply = sub + p + ply assimilation
    8. apply = ad + p + ply assimilation
    9. slipper = slip + p + er twinning
    10. oppress = ob + p + press assimilation
    11. suppress = sub + p + press assimilation
    12. stepparent = step + parent simple addition
    13. unwrapped = unwrap + p + ed twinning
    14. opposite = ob + p + posite assimilation
    15. support = sub + p + port assimilation
    16. kidnapping = kidnap + p + ing twinning
    Reason Word Analysis
    17. Simple Addition Answers will vary. Answers will vary.
    18. Twinning Answers will vary. Answers will vary.
    19. Assimilation Answers will vary. Answers will vary.

    20. Three reasons for spelling [p] <pp> are assimilation, twinning, and simple addition.
     

    Spelling [p] after Short and Long Vowels

    The sound [p] shows up in multiple patterns and vowels.

    In the VCC pattern, the vowel will usually be short if it is stressed.

    In the VCV pattern, the vowel will usually be long if it is stressed.

    In the VC# pattern (where the # indicates the end of the word), the vowel will usually be short if it is stressed.

    Examples

    Determine the pattern where [p] is found and whether the vowel before it makes a short or long sound.

    1. cape - the <a> makes a long <a> sound
      VCV
    2. strap - the <a> makes a short <a> sound
      VC#
    3. suppose - the <u> makes a short <u> sound
      VCC

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [p] in each of the following words. Next, find the closest vowel letter before the [p] in each word. Starting with that vowel, mark the pattern--either VCC, VCV, or VC#. In some of the words, there is a consonant between the <p> and the vowel. 
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{accept} && \text{escape} && \text{worship} && \text{occupy}\\
          & \text{asprin} && \text{whisper} && \text{type} && \text{unwrap}\\
          & \text{pepper} && \text{chapter} && \text{glimpse} && \text{baptize}\\
          & \text{symptom} && \text{vapor} && \text{friendship} && \text{happiness}
      \end{align*}
    2. There are __________ words with the pattern VCV.
    3. There are __________ words with the pattern VC#.
    4. There are __________ words with the pattern VCC.
    5. Sort the sixteen words into the following matrix.
      Words with the pattern ...
        VCC VCV VC#
      Words with a short vowel before the

       

           
      Words with a long vowel before the

       

           
    6. After a long vowel in the VCV pattern, [p] is always spelled ______. After a short vowel in the VC# pattern, [p] is always spelled ______. After a short vowel in the VCC pattern, [p] is sometimes spelled ______ and sometimes it is spelled ______.

    7. Sort the words with the VCC pattern into the following two groups.
      Words with [p] spelled ...
      <pp>

       

             
             
             
    Show Answer
    1. Underline the letters that spell [p] in each of the following words. Next, find the closest vowel letter before the [p] in each word. Starting with that vowel, mark the pattern--either VCC, VCV, or VC#. In some of the words, there is a consonant between the <p> and the vowel.
      clipboard_ec3ee575916582c837deef9a06e9d1edb.png
    2. There are __________ words with the pattern VCV.

    3. There are __________ words with the pattern VC#.
    4. There are __________ words with the pattern VCC.
    5. Sort the sixteen words into the following matrix.
      Words with the pattern ...
        VCC VCV VC#
      Words with a short vowel before the

       

      accept

      aspirin

      pepper

      symptom

      whisper

      chaper

      glimpse

      baptize

      happiness

       

      worship

      friendship

      unwrap

      Words with a long vowel before the

       

       

      escape

      vapor

      type

      occupy

       
    6. After a long vowel in the VCV pattern, [p] is always spelled ______. After a short vowel in the VC# pattern, [p] is always spelled ______. After a short vowel in the VCC pattern, [p] is sometimes spelled ______ and sometimes it is spelled ______.

    7. Sort the words with the VCC pattern into the following two groups.
      Words with [p] spelled ...
      <pp>

       

      pepper accept whisper baptize
      happiness aspirin chapter  
        symptom glimpse  

    Words with <ple> and <pple>

    In words that have a [p] sound with <le> right after it, the [p] is spelled

    if it comes right after a consonant or long vowel. But if the [p] comes right after a short vowel sound, it is spelled <pp>.

    If there is a consonant between the short vowel and the [p], we only need a single

    because the other consonant will fill out the VCCle pattern. But if there is no other consonant, we need both

    s.

    Examples

    In the word people, the second [p] is spelled

    because it comes right after a consonant.

    In the word ripple, [p] is spelled <pp> to fill the VCCle pattern.

    Review

    1. Underline the letter(s) that spell [p] in each word.
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{pineapple} && \text{cripple} && \text{sample} && \text{staple} && \text{ample}\\
          & \text{simple} && \text{ripple} && \text{temple} && \text{quadruple} && \text{maple}\\
          & \text{discipline} && \text{steeple} && \text{example} && \text{supple} && \text{people}
      \end{align*}
    2. Sort the fifteen words above into this matrix.
      Words in which the [p] comes right after a ...
        consonant sound long vowel sound short vowel sound
      Words with [p] spelled

       

           
      Words with [p] spelled <pp>      
    3. Sort the words with short vowels before the [p] into these two groups. (Note that a consonant sound before the [p] will also give you a short vowel.)
      Words with [p] spelled ...

       

      <pp>
      ">  
      ">  
      ">  
      ">  
      ">  
    4. In the VCle pattern the vowel is __________, but in the VCCle pattern the vowel is _____.
    5. Two ways of spelling [p] are _____ and _____.
    Show Answer
    1. Underline the letter(s) that spell [p] in each word.
      \begin{align*}
          &  \underline{p}inea\underline{p}\underline{p}le  &&  cri\underline{p}\underline{p}le  &&  sam\underline{p}le  &&  sta\underline{p}le  &&  am\underline{p}le \\
          &  sim\underline{p}le  &&  ri\underline{p}\underline{p}le  &&  tem\underline{p}le  &&  quadru\underline{p}le  &&  ma\underline{p}le \\
          &  disci\underline{p}line  &&  stee\underline{p}le  &&  exam\underline{p}le  &&  su\underline{p}\underline{p}le  &&  \underline{p}eo\underline{p}le 
      \end{align*}
    2. Sort the fifteen words above into this matrix.
      Words in which the [p] comes right after a ...
        consonant sound long vowel sound short vowel sound
      Words with [p] spelled

       

      simple
      sample
      temple
      example
      ample
      disciple
      steeple
      staple
      quadruple
      maple
      people
       
      Words with [p] spelled <pp>     pineapple
      cripple
      ripple
      supple
    3. Sort the words with short vowels before the [p] into these two groups. (Note that a consonant sound before the [p] will also give you a short vowel.)
      Words with [p] spelled ...

       

      <pp>
      ">simple pineapple
      ">sample cripple
      ">temple ripple
      ">example supple
      ">ample  
    4. In the VCle pattern the vowel is long, but in the VCCle pattern the vowel is short.
    5. Two ways of spelling [p] are <p> and <pp>.
    • Was this article helpful?