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2.12: The Consonant Sounds [f] and [v]

  • Page ID
    7061
  • Overview of the Consonant Sounds [f] and [v]

    Usually [f] is spelled <f>, but sometimes it is spelled <ff>, sometimes <ph>, sometimes <gh>. 

    The sound [v] is spelled <v> — except in one word, where it is spelled <f>.

    Examples

    You can hear the sound [f] at the end of leaf.

    You can hear the sound [v] at the end of leave.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [f] and [v]:
    2. \begin{align*} &\text{even} && \text{after} && \text{enough} && \text{every}\\ &\text{safely} && \text{phone} && \text{five} && \text{laugh}\\ &\text{visitor} &&\text{coffee} && \text{further} && \text{follow}\\ &\text{gave} &&\text{elephant} && \text{handcuffs} && \text{life}\\ &\text{fifth} &&\text{of} && \text{stiff} && \text{father}\end{align*}
    3. Now sort the words into these groups. One word goes into two groups:
      Words With [f] Spelled <f> Words with [f] spelled <ff> Words with [f] spelled <gh> Words with [f] spelled <ph>
               
               
               
               
      Words with [v] spelled <v> Word with [v] spelled <f>
           
           
           
    4. Four ways of spelling [f] are ______, ______, ______, and ______.
    5. How do you spell [v]? Except in the word ______, [v] is spelled ______.
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*}& e\underline{v}en && a\underline{f}ter && enou\underline{gh} && e\underline{v}ery\\& sa\underline{f}ely && \underline{ph}one && fi\underline{v}e && lau\underline{gh}\\& \underline{v}isitor && co\underline{ff}ee && \underline{f}urther && li\underline{f}e\\&  ga\underline{v}e && ele\underline{ph}ant && handcu\underline{ff}s && li\underline{f}e\\& \underline{f}i\underline{f}th && o\underline{f} && sti\underline{ff} && \underline{f}ather\end{align*}
    2. Words With [f] Spelled <f> Words with [f] spelled <ff> Words with [f] spelled <gh> Words with [f] spelled <ph>
      safely further coffee enough phone
      fifth follow stiff laugh elephant
      after life handcuffs    
      five father      
      Words with [v] spelled <v> Word with [v] spelled <f>
      even five of
      visitor every  
      gave    
    3. Four ways of spelling [f] are <f><ff><gh> and <ph>
    4. How do you spell [v]? Except in the word of, [v] is Spelled <v>

    Explore More

    Find the twelve words that contain the sound [n]:

    elephant know dinner never
    century brown cannot children
    phone planning running sound

    Write the twelve words in alphabetical order:

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

    Write the twelve words in alphabetical order:

    1. brown
    2. cannot
    3. century
    4. children
    5. dinner
    6. elephant
    7. know
    8. never
    9. phone
    10. planning
    11. running
    12. sound

    Spelling [f]

    Most of the time [f] is spelled <f> or <ff>.

    It is usually easy to know when to use <f> versus <ff>. The <ff> is always there for good reasons. Most often it is due to assimilation or the VCC pattern, or it is between a short vowel and <le>. Less often it is due to twinning or simple addition.

    Examples

    You can hear the sound [f] at the beginning and end of the word fluff.

    With <ff> the VCC pattern rather than the VC# is usual at the end of words, as in stiff and staff rather than *stif or *staf. The only words that end with a single <f> following a short vowel and making the [f] sound are the French chef and clef and the English word if. So the only cases of [f] spelled <ff> due to twinning are in iffyiffier, and iffiest.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [f] in the following words.
    2. \begin{align*} &\text{florescent} && \text{fastener} && \text{heifer} && \text{foreign}\\ &\text{efficient} && \text{indifferent} && \text{certify} && \text{friendly}\\ &\text{fascinate} &&\text{notify} && \text{golf} && \text{shelf}\\ &\text{buffalo} &&\text{counterfeit} && \text{coffee} && \text{definite}\\ &\text{feisty} &&\text{profanity} && \text{waffles} && \text{iffy}\\ &\text{scientific} &&\text{defrauded} && \text{fezzes} && \text{financier}\end{align*}
    3. Sort the words into the following two groups.
      Words with [f] spelled <f>:
             
             
             
             
             
      Words with [f] spelled <ff>:
           
           
    4. About 90% of the time [f] is spelled one of these two ways.
      In the following words, if the <ff> spelling is due to assimilation, twinning, or simple addition, analyze the word into prefix, base, and suffix to show where the <ff> spelling comes from. If the <ff> is due to the VCC pattern or is between a short vowel and <le>, just write ‘VCC’ or ‘<ffle>’ in the Analysis column. Remember that VCC rather than VC# is normal for [f] at the end of the word.
      Word Analysis
      3. affection  
      4. iffy  
      5. offering  
      6. sheriff  
      7. effective  
      8. shelfful  
      9. gruff  
      10. buffalo  
      11. indifferent  
      12. efficient  
      13. waffles  
      14. daffodil  
      15. suffered  
      16. iffiest  
      17. coffee  
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*}& \underline{f}luorescent && \underline{f}astener && hei\underline{f}er && \underline{f}oreign \\& e\underline{ff}icient && noti\underline{f}y && gol\underline{f} && shel\underline{f}\\& bu\underline{ff}alo && counter\underline{f}eit && co\underline{ff}ee && de\underline{f}inite\\& \underline{f}eisty && pro\underline{f}anity && wa\underline{ff}les && i\underline{ff}y\\& scienti\underline{f}ic && de\underline{f}rauded && \underline{f}ezzes && \underline{f}inancier\end{align*}
    2. Words with [f] spelled <f>:
      fluorescent notify certify shelf
      fascinate counterfeit golf definite
      feisty profanity fezzes financier
      scientific defrauded foreign  
      fastener heifer friendly  
      Words with [f] spelled <ff>:
      efficient indifferent waffles
      buffalo coffee iffy
      Word Analysis
      3. affection d+ f + fect + ion
      4. iffy if + f + y
      5. offering b + f + fer + ing
      6. sheriff VCC
      7. effective x + f + fect + ive
      8. shelfful shelf + ful
      9. gruff VCC
      10. buffalo VCC
      11. indifferent in + di s + f + fer + ent
      12. efficient x+ f + fic + i + ent
      13. waffles <ffle>
      14. daffodil VCC
      15. suffered su b+ f + fer + ed
      16. iffiest if + f + y+ i + est
      17. coffee VCC

    [f] Spelled <ph>, <pph>, <gh>, <lf>, and <ft>

    Usually the sound [f] is spelled <f> or <ff>. Sometimes [f] is spelled <ff> because of twinning, assimilation, simple addition, VCC, or VCCle#. Words with <ff> due to twinning are iffyiffier, and iffiest. Five other spellings of [f] are <ph>, <pph>, <gh>, <lf>, and <ft>.

    Examples

    In the words calfbehalf, and half, [f] is spelled <lf>. The <l> used to be pronounced [l] — as it still is in words like golf and shelf— but in time people changed the pronunciation of calfbehalf, and half without changing their spellings.


    In the words often and soften, [f] is spelled <ft>. The <t> used to be pronounced. You still hear some people who pronounce the <t> in often. In fact, some dictionaries show two pronunciations for often, one with and one without the [t]. But usually the <ft> just spells [f].


    The <ph> spelling of [f] usually comes from the Greek letter phi, which was translated into Latin and English as <ph>. In sapphire [f] is spelled <pph>. Sapphire comes from the Greek word σα´πϕεlρoς, sappheiros, in which the first <p> was the Greek letter pi, π, and the <ph> was phi, ϕ.

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [f] in the following words.
      \begin{align*} &\text{physics} && \text{prophet} && \text{phenomenon} && \text{xerography}\\ &\text{elephant} && \text{asphalt} && \text{xenophobia} && \text{paragraph}\\ &\text{sphere} &&\text{philosophy} && \text{telephone} && \text{photograph}\\ &\text{phase} &&\text{phantom} && \text{phrase} && \text{nephew}\\ &\text{xylophone} &&\text{emphasis} && \text{symphony} && \text{triumph}\end{align*}
      physics prophet phenomenon xerography
      elephant asphalt xenophobia paragraph
      sphere philosophy telephone photograph
      phase phantom phrase nephew
      xylophone emphasis symphony triumph
    2. Sort the words into these three groups.
      at the front in the middle at the end
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
      In a very few words [f] is spelled <gh>:
      \begin{align*} &\text{rough} && \text{laugh} && \text{trough} && \text{enough} && \text{cough} && \text{tough}\end{align*}
    3. Where is the <gh> in all of these words — at the front, in the middle, at the end? _______.
    4. Is the vowel in front of the <gh> long or is it short? _______.
    5. The vowel in front of the <gh> is spelled with two letters. What is the second of these letters in each word? _______.
      Hundreds of years ago this <gh> spelled a sound like the one that you hear at the end of the Scottish pronunciation of loch or the German pronunciation of Bach. In time that sound dropped out of English, but the <gh> usually stayed in the written words. After long vowels the <gh> came to be no longer pronounced, as in sigh and right. And after short vowels spelled with a digraph ending in <u> it came to be pronounced [f], as in the six words above.
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*}  &  \underline{ph}ysics  &&  pro \underline{ph}et  &&   \underline{ph}enomenon  &&  xerogra \underline{ph}y \\ & ele \underline{ph}ant  &&  as \underline{ph}alt  &&  xeno \underline{ph}obia  &&  paragra \underline{ph} \\ & s \underline{ph}ere  &&  \underline{ph}iloso \underline{ph}y  &&  tele \underline{ph}one  &&   \underline{ph}otogra \underline{ph} \\ &  \underline{ph}ase  &&  \underline{ph}antom  &&   \underline{ph}rase  &&  ne \underline{ph}ew \\ & xylo \underline{ph}one  && em \underline{ph}asis  &&  sym \underline{ph}ony  &&  trium \underline{ph} \end{align*}
    2. Words in which [f] is spelled <ph>...
      at the front in the middle at the end
      physics elephant xenophobia paragraph
      phase sphere telephone photograph
      philosophy xylophone symphony triumph
      phantom prophet xerography  
      phenomenon asphalt nephew  
      phrase emphasis    
      photograph      
    3. Where is the <gh> in all of these words — at the front, in the middle, at the end? at the end.
    4. Is the vowel sound in front of the <gh> long or is it short? short.
    5. The vowel in front of the <gh> is spelled with two letters. What is the second of these letters in each word? <u>.
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