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2.2: The Consonant Sound [b]

  • Page ID
    3559
  • Overview

    Two ways of spelling the sound [b] are <b> and <bb>.

    Examples

    The following words contain the sound [b]:
    \begin{align*}
        & bandit && bubble && balance && stable
    \end{align*}

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell the sound [b] in the following words:
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{blue} && \text{below} && \text{bridge} && \text{about}\\
          & \text{above} && \text{because} && \text{rabbit} && \text{number}\\
          & \text{between} && \text{bubble} && \text{before} && \text{brother}\\
          & \text{better} && \text{cabbage} && \text{robber} && \text{behind}\\
          & \text{hobby} && \text{books} && \text{bottom} && \text{crabby}
      \end{align*}
    2. Now sort the words into these two groups. Be careful! One word goes into both groups:
      Words with [b] spelled ...
      <b> <bb>
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
    3. Two ways of spelling the sound [b] are _______ and _______.
    Show Answer
    1. Underline the letters that spell the sound [b] in the following words:
      blue below bridge about
      above because rabbit number
      between bubble before brother
      better cabbage robber behind
      hobby books bottom crabby
    2. Now sort the words into these two groups. Be careful! One word goes into both groups:
      Words with [b] spelled ...
      <b> <bb>
      blue bridge hobby
      above before bubble
      between bottom cabbage
      better about rabbit
      below number robber
      because brother crabby
      bubble behind  
      books    
    3. Two ways of spelling the sound [b] are <b> and <bb>.

    Explore More

    Word Squares. All of the seventeen words below contain the sounds [p] or [b]. Fit the words into the squares. Count letters carefully and try to think ahead about your choices. Start with those words about which you can be absolutely sure:

    Two-letter word: be

    Three-letter words: pop, apt, lap, pit

    Four-letter words: upon, stop, herb, rubs, nobs

    Five-letter words: below, happy

    Six-letter words: before, crabby, people

    Seven-letter word: bubbles

    Ten-letter word: helicopter

    Show Answer

    Spelling [b]

    Most of the time [b] is spelled <b>. Occasionally, [b] is spelled <bb>.

    Examples

    You can hear the consonant sound [b] at the beginning and end of the word bib.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [b] in the following words:
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{bulb} && \text{object} && \text{blossom} && \text{buy}\\
          & \text{obtain} && \text{suitable} && \text{subject} && \text{combine}\\
          & \text{sob} && \text{inhibit} && \text{bottle} && \text{republic}\\
          & \text{absolute} && \text{exhibit} && \text{building} && \text{umbrella}\\
          & \text{balanced} && \text{bewildered} && \text{bright} && \text{suburb}
      \end{align*}
    2. Now sort the twenty words into these three groups:
      Words in which the [b] is ...
      in front in the middle at the end
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
    3. What letter spells [b] in these twenty words? _______. The sound [b] is spelled that way about ninety-five times out of a hundred!
    Show Answer
    1. Underline the letters that spell [b] in the following words:
      \begin{align*}
          &  \underline{b}ul\underline{b}  &&  o\underline{b}ject  &&  \underline{b}lossom  &&  \underline{b}uy \\
          &  o\underline{b}tain  &&  suita\underline{b}le  &&  su\underline{b}ject  &&  com\underline{b}ine \\
          &  so\underline{b}  &&  inhi\underline{b}it  &&  \underline{b}ottle  &&  repu\underline{b}lic \\
          &  a\underline{b}solute  &&  exhi\underline{b}it  &&  \underline{b}uilding  &&  um\underline{b}rella \\
          &  \underline{b}alanced  &&  \underline{b}ewildered  &&  \underline{b}right  &&  su\underline{b}ur\underline{b} 
      \end{align*} 
    2. Now sort the twenty words into these three groups:
      Words in which the [b] is ...
      in front in the middle at the end
      bulb obtain subject bulb
      balanced absolute combine sob
      bewildered object republic suburb
      blossom suitable umbrella  
      bottle inhibit suburb  
      building exhibit    
      bright      
      buy      
    3. What letter spells [b] in these twenty words? <b> The sound [b] is spelled that way about ninety-five times out of a hundred!

    Explore More

    Word Squares. Into this Squares you can fit twelve of the words listed in part 1 of this lesson. Fit them in and then write the twelve in alphabetical order in the blanks at the bottom of the Squares.

    1. 4. 7. 10.
    2. 5. 8. 11.
    3. 6. 9. 12.
    Show Answer

    1. bottle
    2. bright
    3. building
    4. bulb
    5. buy
    6. inhibit
    7. obtain
    8. republic
    9. subject
    10. suburb
    11. suitable
    12. umbrella

    When [b] Is Spelled <bb>

    Two ways to spell [b] are <b> and <bb>. Almost 100% of the time, [b] is spelled one of these two ways.

    Reasons for <bb> include the following:

    You twin or double the final consonant of a free stem that has one vowel sound and ends CVC when you add a suffix that starts with a vowel. And you twin the final consonant of a free stem that has two vowel sounds whenever you add a suffix that starts with a vowel if the stem ends CVC and has strong stress on the final vowel before and after you add the suffix.

    Sometimes double consonants are caused by simple addition, when one element in a word ends with the same consonant with which the next element starts.

    In the VCC pattern the vowel will usually be short. Some words have <bb> in them in order to fill out the VCC pattern so as to mark a short vowel.

    Examples

    Word with <bb> from twinning: grabbed = grab + b + ed

    Word with <bb> from simple addition: dumbbell = dumb + bell

    Word with <bb> to fill out the VCC pattern: rabbit

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [b] in the following words.
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{bright} && \text{crabby} && \text{rabbit} && \text{scrubboard}\\
          & \text{grabbed} && \text{crumble} && \text{stubborn} && \text{exhibit}\\
          & \text{dumbbell} && \text{ribbon} && \text{robber} && \text{hobby}\\
          & \text{scrubbing} && \text{cabbage} && \text{rubber} && \text{sobbed}
      \end{align*}
    2. Now sort the sixteen words into these groups.
      Words with [b] spelled ...
      <bb> <b>
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
    3. In six of the sixteen words [b] is spelled <bb> because of twinning. Find the six words, write them below and then analyze them to show where the <bb> comes from.
      Word with <bb> from twinning = Analysis
        =
        =
        =
        =
        =
        =
    4. Two of the sixteen words you just worked with have <bb> in them because of simple addition. Write them below and analyze them into their two parts to show where the two <b>s come from.
      Word with <bb> by simple addition = Analysis
        =
        =
    5. The remaining five of the sixteen words all have <bb> because of the VCC pattern. Find them and write them below.
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*}
          &  \underline{b}right  &&  cra\underline{bb}y  &&  ra\underline{bb}it  &&  scru\underline{bb}oard \\
          &  gra\underline{bb}ed  &&  crum\underline{b}le  &&  stu\underline{bb}orn  &&  exhi\underline{b}it \\
          &  dum\underline{bb}ell  &&  ri\underline{bb}on  &&  ro\underline{bb}er  &&  ho\underline{bb}y \\
          &  scru\underline{bb}ing  &&  ca\underline{bb}age  &&  ru\underline{bb}er  &&  so\underline{bb}ed 
      \end{align*}
    2. Words with [b] spelled ...
      <bb> <b>
      grabbed stubborn bright
      dumbbell robber crumble
      scrubbing rubber exhibit
      crabby scrubboard  
      ribbon hobby  
      cabbage sobbed  
      rabbit    
    3. Word with <bb> from twinning = Analysis
      grabbed = grab + b + ed
      scrubbing = scrub + b + ing
      crabby = crab + b + y
      robber = rob + b +er
      rubber = rub + b + er
      sobbed = sob + b + ed
    4. Word with <bb> from twinning = Analysis
      dumbbell = dumb + bell
      scrubboard = scrub + board
    5. \begin{align*}
          & ribbon && cabbage && rabbit && stubborn && hobby
      \end{align*}

    Words with <ble> and <bble>

    In the VCCle pattern the vowel is short, but in the VCle pattern the vowel is long.

    Examples

    When there is <le> right after a [b] with a consonant or a long vowel right in front of it, the [b] is spelled <b>. For example: feeble, table, and gamble.

    When there is <le> right after a [b] with a short vowel sound right in front of it, the [b] is spelled <bb>. For example: pebble, rubble, and gobble.

    Review

    1. Underline the letter(s) that spell [b] in each of the following words:
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{able} && \text{pebble} && \text{scramble} && \text{feeble}\\
          & \text{scribble} && \text{tremble} && \text{bible} && \text{gobbler}\\
          & \text{resemble} && \text{noble} && \text{rubble} && \text{humble}\\
          & \text{gamble} && \text{bubble} && \text{nibble} && \text{table}
      \end{align*}
    2. Sort the sixteen words into this matrix:
        after a consonant after a long vowel after a short vowel
      Words with [p] spelled <b>      
      Words with [b] spelled <bb>      
    Show Answer
    1. Underline the letter(s) that spell [b] in each of the following words:
      \begin{align*}
          &  a\underline{b}le  &&  pe\underline{bb}le  &&  scram\underline{b}le  &&  fee\underline{b}le \\
          &  scri\underline{b}le  &&  trem\underline{b}le  &&  \underline{bb}le  &&  go\underline{bb}ler \\
          &  resem\underline{b}le  &&  no\underline{b}le  &&  ru\underline{bb}le  &&  hum\underline{b}le \\
          &  gam\underline{b}le  &&  \underline{b}u\underline{bb}le  &&  ni\underline{bb}le  &&  ta\underline{b}le 
      \end{align*}
    2. Sort the sixteen words into this matrix:
        after a consonant after a long vowel after a short vowel
      Words with [p] spelled <b>

      resemble

      gamble

      tremble

      scramble

      humble

      able

      noble

      bible

      feeble

      table

       
      Words with [b] spelled <bb>    

      scribble

      pebble

      bubble

      rubble

      nibble

      gobble

    Explore More

    So far you have worked with two different spellings of [b]: <b> and <bb>.

    As we've said, one or the other of these two spellings is used almost 100% of the time. The only other spelling of [b] occurs in just two words: cupboard and raspberry. Both are compound words. Analyze each into its two stems:

    Compound Word = Stem #1 + Stem #2
    cupboard =
    raspberry =

    Notice that [pb] is hard to say. To make the words easier to say, we leave out the [p]. So in these two words [b] is spelled <pb>.

    But every other time [b] is spelled either <b> or <bb>. And the <bb> is always due to twinning, simple addition, or to the VCC pattern - though we must remember the little sub-pattern with <ble> and <bble>.

    Show Answer
    Compound Word = Stem#1 + Stem#2
    cupboard = cup + board
    raspberry = rasp + berry
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