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2.10: The Consonant Sound [ch]

  • Page ID
    7059
  • Overview of the Consonant Sound [ch]

    Three ways of spelling [ch] are <ch>, <t>, and <tch>.

    Examples

    You can hear the sound [ch] at the beginning and at the end of church.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell the sound [ch] in each of these words. Sometimes [ch] is spelled <ch>, sometimes <tch>, and sometimes <t>.
    2. \begin{align*} &\text{chair} && \text{children} && \text{much} && \text{century}\\ &\text{each} && \text{nature} && \text{kitchen} && \text{which}\\ &\text{picture} &&\text{catch} && \text{lunch} && \text{feature}\end{align*}
    3. In the twelve words above:
      Spelling #1: [ch] is spelled _______ six times;
      Spelling #2: [ch] is spelled _______ four times;
      Spelling #3: [ch] is spelled _______ twice.

    4. Sort the twelve words into these three groups.

      Words with ...
      Spelling #1 Spelling #2 Spelling #3
           
           
           
           
           
           
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*} & \underline{ch}air  &&  \underline{ch}ildren  &&  mu\underline{ch}  &&  cen\underline{t}ury \\ & ea\underline{ch}  &&  na\underline{t}ure  &&  kit\underline{ch}en  &&  whi\underline{ch} \\ & pic\underline{t}ure  && cat\underline{ch}  &&  lun\underline{ch}  &&  fea\underline{t}ure \end{align*}
    2. In the twelve words above:
      Spelling #1: [ch] is spelled <ch> six times;
      Spelling #2: [ch] is spelled <t> four times;
      Spelling #3: [ch] is spelled <tch> twice.

    3. Sort the twelve words into these three groups.

      Words with ...
      Spelling #1 Spelling #2 Spelling #3
      chair picture catch
      each nature kitchen
      children century  
      much feature  
      such    
      which    

    Explore More

    Sort the following words into the matrices below to review other consonant sounds.

    \begin{align*} &\text{fatter} && \text{hardest} && \text{kinder} && \text{numbers}\\ &\text{opening} && \text{water} && \text{system} && \text{spotter}\\ &\text{started} &&\text{simple} && \text{country} && \text{zipper}\\ &\text{stopping} &&\text{ribbon} && \text{bubble} && \text{suddenly}\\ &\text{middle} &&\text{beginner} && \text{around} && \text{children}\end{align*}
    Words with ...
    [p] spelled <p> [p] spelled <pp> [b] spelled... <b> [b] spelled <bb>
           
           
           
    [t] spelled <t> [t] spelled <tt> [d] spelled <d> [d] spelled <dd>
             
             
             
             
             
    Show Answer
    Words with ...
    [p] spelled <p> [p] spelled <pp> [b] spelled... <b> [b] spelled <bb>
    opening stopping beginner ribbon
    simple zipper bubble bubble
    spotter   numbers  
    [t] spelled <t> [t] spelled <tt> [d] spelled <d> [d] spelled <dd>
    started water fatter started middle
    stopping system spotter hardest suddenly
    hardest country   kinder  
          around  
          children  

    Spelling [ch]

    About two-thirds of the time [ch] is spelled either <ch> or <tch>, and <ch> is about five times as common as <tch>.

    Examples

    The sound [ch] is spelled <ch> in the following words: chalkresearch, and teacher.

    The sound [ch] is spelled <tch> in the following words: itchwatch, and patch.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [ch] in the following words:
    2. \begin{align*} &\text{chalk} && \text{enchanted} && \text{merchandise} && \text{spinach}\\ &\text{watch} && \text{chimney} && \text{butcher} && \text{dispatch}\\ &\text{charity} &&\text{sketches} && \text{mischief} && \text{purchase}\\ &\text{scratch} &&\text{research} && \text{wretched} && \text{chocolate}\\ &\text{teacher} &&\text{kitchen} && \text{chuckle} && \text{achieve}\end{align*}
    3. Sort the words into the following matrix:
      Words in which the [ch] is ...
        at the end of a free stem and following a stressed short vowel the only consonant in a VCC string with a stressed short head vowel located anywhere else in the word
      Words with [ch] spelled <tch>      
      Words with [ch] spelled <ch>      
    4. Among the words in Items 1 and 2, when [ch] comes (a) at the end of a free stem and following a stressed short vowel or (b) in a VCC string, it is spelled ___________; everyplace else it is spelled ___________.
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*} & \underline{ch}alk  &&  en\underline{ch}anted  &&  mer\underline{ch}andise  &&  spina\underline{ch} \\ & wat\underline{ch}  &&  \underline{ch}imney  &&  but\underline{ch}er  &&  dispat\underline{ch} \\ & \underline{ch}arity  && sket\underline{ch}es  &&  mis\underline{ch}ief  &&  pur\underline{ch}ase \\ & scrat\underline{ch}  && resear\underline{ch}  &&  wret\underline{ch}ed  &&  \underline{ch}ocolate \\ & tea\underline{ch}er  && kit\underline{ch}en  &&  \underline{ch}uckle  &&  a\underline{ch}ieve \end{align*}
    2. Words in which the [ch] is ...
        at the end of a free stem and following a stressed short vowel the only consonant in a VCC string with a stressed short head vowel located anywhere else in the word
      Words with [ch] spelled <tch>

      watch

      scratch

      sketches

      wretched

      dispatch

      butcher

      kitchen

       
      Words with [ch] spelled <ch>    

      chalk

      chuckle

      charity

      spinach

      teacher

      purchase

      enchanted

      chocolate

      chimney

      achieve

      reasearch

      merchandise

      mischief

    3. Among the words in Items 1 and 2, when [ch] comes (a) at the end of a free stem and following a stressed short vowel or (b) in a VCC string, it is spelled <tch> ; everyplace else it is spelled <ch>.

    Explore More

    On the basis of the analysis you've just done, be ready to discuss the following questions:

    (i) Why can we say that <tch> behaves like a double <ch>?

    (ii) What is unusual about the sounds in front of the <ch> in bachelor and treacherous? What rule did you recently learn that would explain the unusual sound in front of <ch> in these words?

    (iii) What is there about the following six words that makes them holdouts to the pattern you've just found and described?

    \begin{align*} &\text{attach} && \text{detach} && \text{rich}\\& \text{much} &&\text{such} && \text{which}\end{align*}There is little we can say about these six, except that they are clear holdouts to an otherwise useful and reliable rule and that there are fortunately very, very few of them. 

    [ch] Spelled <t>

    About two-thirds of the time [ch] is spelled either <ch> or <tch>, and we can practically always tell when to pick <ch> and when to pick <tch>.

    About one-third of the time [ch] is spelled <t>. This <t> spelling is very much like the <t> spelling of [sh] and the <d> spelling of [j]. It, too, is due to palatalization.

    Examples

    The following words are examples of [ch] spelled <t>.

    \begin{align*} &\text{culture} && \text{suggestion} && \text{actual} && \text{virtue}\\ &\text{intellectual} && \text{spiritual} && \text{literature} && \text{congestion}\\ &\text{questions} &&\text{situation} && \text{indigestion} && \text{perpetual}\\ &\text{unfortunately} &&\text{mortuary} && \text{ritual} && \text{statue}\\ &\text{naturally} &&\text{eventual} && \text{adventurous} && \text{celestial}\end{align*}You can see that very nearly all the time when [ch] is spelled <t>, the <t> is either followed by an unstressed <u> or it is followed by the suffix -ion and has an <s> right in front of it.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [ch] in the following words.
      \begin{align*} &\text{culture} && \text{suggestion} && \text{actual} && \text{virtue}\\ &\text{intellectual} && \text{spiritual} && \text{literature} && \text{congestion}\\ &\text{questions} &&\text{situation} && \text{indigestion} && \text{perpetual}\\ &\text{unfortunately} &&\text{mortuary} && \text{ritual} && \text{statue}\\ &\text{naturally} &&\text{eventual} && \text{adventurous} && \text{celestial}\end{align*}
    2. Now sort the words into these two groups.
      Words in which [ch] is followed by ...
      <u> <i>
             
             
             
             
             
    3. In these words, which vowel is stressed: the one in front of the [ch] or the one after it? _______. What letter usually follows the <t> that spells [ch]? _______.

      Below you are given prefixes, bases, and suffixes to combine. In each case you should produce a word that contains [ch] spelled <t> due to palatalization. Show any changes.

      Prefixes, Bases, and Suffixes Words with [ch] Spelled <t>
      4. dis + gest + ion  
      5. spirit + ual  
      6. quest + ion + er  
      7. act + ual + ly  
      8. ad + vent + ure + ous  
      9. script + ure + al  
      10. liter + ate + ure  
      11. virtue + ous  
      12. com + gest +ion  
      13. celest + ial  
      14. per + pete + ual  
      15. sub + gest + ion + s  
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*} & cul\underline{t}ure  &&  sugges\underline{t}ion  &&  ac\underline{t}ual  &&  vir\underline{t}ue \\ & intellec\underline{t}ual  &&  spiri\underline{t}ual  &&  litera\underline{t}ure  &&  conges\underline{t}ion \\ & ques\underline{t}ions  && si\underline{t}uation  &&  indiges\underline{t}ion  &&  perpe\underline{t}ual \\ & unfor\underline{t}unately  && mor\underline{t}uary  &&  ri\underline{t}ual  &&  sta\underline{t}ue \\ & na\underline{t}urally  && even\underline{t}ual  &&  adven\underline{t}urous  &&  celes\underline{t}ial \end{align*}
    2. Words in which [ch] is followed by ...
      <u> <i>
      culture situation ritual questions
      intellectual mortuary adventurous suggestion
      unfortunately eventful virtue indigestion
      naurally actual perpetual congestion
      spiritual literature statue celestial

      3. In these words, which vowel is stressed: the one in front of the [ch] or the one after it? The one in front of it. What letter usually follows the <t> that spells [ch]? <u>.

      Prefixes, Bases, and Suffixes Words with [ch] Spelled <t>
      4. di e + gest + ion digestion
      5. spirit + ual spiritual
      6. quest + ion + er questioner
      7. act + ual + ly actually
      8. ad + vent + ur e + ous adventurous
      9. script + ur e + al scriptural
      10. liter + at e + ure literature
      11. virtu e + ous virtuous
      12. co e + n + gest + ion congestion
      13. celest + ial celestial
      14. per + pet e + ual perpetual
      15. su e + g + gest + ion + s suggestions

    [ch] Spelled <c>, <cc>, and <tsch>

    There are three rare spellings of [ch] that are found only in a few Italian and German words that still have their Italian and German spellings. In Italian [ch] is regularly spelled <c> or <cc>, and in German it is regularly spelled <tsch>.

    Examples

    [ch] = <c>: In the Italian words celloconcertovermicelli, and the greeting ciao [ch] is spelled <c>.

    [ch] = <cc>: In the Italian words capriccio and cappuccino, [ch] is spelled <cc>.

    [ch] = <tsch>: In the German words kitsch and putsch, [ch] is spelled <tsch>.

    According to some dictionaries the <c>s and <s>s in words like financial and mansion spell [ch]. Most dictionaries show them as spelling [sh], but Merriam-Webster's big unabridged dictionary is one that has it [ch]. It is a case of the experts disagreeing about what they hear. You might listen to your own pronunciation of these words and those of your friends. What happens is that some people tend to put a [t] sound in between the [n] and [sh], and the [tsh] actually equals [ch]. Either pronunciation is correct.

    Review

    1. Sort the words into the groups, depending on whether you think you pronounce them with [sh] or [ch]. There is room here for honest differences of opinion, so we've given you extra blanks:
    2. \begin{align*} &\text{financial} && \text{expansion} && \text{concerto} && \text{comprehension}\\ &\text{apprehension} && \text{dimension} && \text{kitsch} && \text{dissension}\\ &\text{transient} &&\text{cello} && \text{vermicelli} && \text{cappuccino}\\ &\text{condescension} &&\text{capriccio} && \text{ancient} && \text{suspension}\end{align*}  
      [ch] [sh]
             
             
             
             
             
    3. Now sort the words again, this time on the basis of how the [ch] (or [sh]) is spelled. Write them into the proper groups below and in the columns marked ‘[ ]’ write in the pronunciation of the <c>, <cc>, or <s>.
      <c> [ ] <cc> [ ] <s> [ ]
          cappuccino [ch]    
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
    4. The three most common ways to spell [ch] are _____, _____, and _____.
    Show Answer
    1. Words pronounced with ...
      [ch] [sh]
      financial vermicelli apprehension ancient
      cello cappuccino transient comprehension
      capriccio   condescension dissension
      concerto   expansion suspension
      kitsch   dimension  
    2. <c> [ ] <cc> [ ] <s> [ ]
      financial [ch] cappuccino [ch] apprehension [sh]
      cello [ch] capriccio [ch] transient [sh]
      concerto [ch]     condescension [sh]
      vermicelli [ch]     expansion [sh]
              dimension [sh]
              ancient [sh]
              comprehension [sh]
              dissension [sh]
              suspension [sh]
    3. The three most common ways to spell [ch] are <ch><tch>, and <t>.
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