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2.21: The Consonant Sound [r]

  • Page ID
    7070
  • Overview of the Consonant Sound [r]

    There are four different spellings of [r]. The sound [r] is usually spelled <r> or <rr> and sometimes <wr> or <rh>.

    Examples

    [r] spelled <r>: other, car, after

    [r] spelled <rr>: corrected, surrender, burrito

    [r] spelled <wr>: write, wrong, wrap

    [r] spelled <rh>: rhyme, rhythm, rhetoric

    Review

    1. Underline the letters that spell [r]. 
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{across} && \text{write} && \text{parrot} && \text{another}\\
          & \text{earth} && \text{sorry} && \text{other} && \text{wrong}\\
          & \text{right} && \text{written} && \text{arrive} && \text{airport}\\
          & \text{worry} && \text{together} && \text{over} && \text{square}
      \end{align*}
    2. In nine words, [r] is spelled __________.
    3. In four words, [r] is spelled __________.
    4. In three words, [r] is spelled __________.
    5. Now sort the words with [r] into these groups.
      Words with [r] spelled ...
      <r> <rr> <wr>
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
    6. Underline the letters that spell [r] in the following words. Note that you should find all four spellings.
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{breathing} && \text{recognize} && \text{reflection} && \text{surplus}\\
          & \text{acquire} && \text{remarried} && \text{terrify} && \text{surrender}\\
          & \text{rewrote} && \text{corrected} && \text{interest} && \text{winter}\\
          & \text{wrong} && \text{alternate} && \text{interference} && \text{referred}\\
          & \text{resignation} && \text{rhyme} && \text{area} && \text{arrived}\\
          & \text{written} && \text{interpret} && \text{pioneer} && \text{surround}\\
          & \text{rhinoceros} && \text{freedom} && \text{children} && \text{interrupt}\\
          & \text{reliance} && \text{wrappings} && \text{intermediate} && \text{liar}
      \end{align*}
    7. Sort the words into these four groups. Some words will go into more than one group.
      Words in which [r] is spelled ...
      <rh> <wr> <rr>
             
             
             
             
       
      Words in which [r] is spelled <r>:
             
             
             
             
             
             
    8. Now sort the twenty-three words in which [r] is spelled <r> into these three groups. Again, some words will go into more than one group.
      Words with an <r> that spells an [r] that is ...
      at the beginning of the word in the middle of the word at the end of the word
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
    9. Based on the sample of words in this lesson, [r] is most often spelled ________ or ________.
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*}
          &  ac\underline{r}oss  &&  \underline{wr}ite  &&  pa\underline{r}\underline{r}ot  &&  anothe\underline{r} \\
          &  ea\underline{r}th  &&  so\underline{r}\underline{r}y  &&  othe\underline{r}  &&  \underline{wr}ong \\
          &  \underline{r}ight  &&  \underline{wr}itten  &&  a\underline{r}\underline{r}ive  &&  ai\underline{r}po\underline{r}t \\
          &  wo\underline{r}\underline{r}y  &&  togethe\underline{r}  &&  ove\underline{r}  &&  squa\underline{r}e 
      \end{align*}
    2. In nine words, [r] is spelled <r>.
    3. In four words, [r] is spelled <rr>.
    4. In three words, [r] is spelled <wr>.
    5. Words with [r] spelled ...
      <r> <rr> <wr>
      across worry write
      earth sorry written
      right parrot wrong
      together arrive  
      other    
      over    
      another    
      airport    
      square    
    6. \begin{align*}
          &  b\underline{r}eathing  &&  \underline{r}ecognize  &&  \underline{r}eflection  &&  su\underline{r}plus \\
          &  acqui\underline{r}e  &&  \underline{r}ema\underline{r}\underline{r}ied  &&  te\underline{r}\underline{r}ify  &&  su\underline{r}\underline{r}ende\underline{r} \\
          &  \underline{r}e\underline{wr}ote  &&  co\underline{r}\underline{r}ected  &&  inte\underline{r}est  &&  winte\underline{r} \\
          &  \underline{wr}ong  &&  alte\underline{r}nate  &&  inte\underline{r}fe\underline{r}ence  &&  \underline{r}efe\underline{r}\underline{r}ed \\
          &  \underline{r}esignation  &&  \underline{r}hyme  &&  a\underline{r}ea  &&  a\underline{r}\underline{r}ived \\
          &  \underline{wr}itten  &&  inte\underline{r}p\underline{r}et  &&  pionee\underline{r}  &&  su\underline{r}\underline{r}ound \\
          &  \underline{r}hinoce\underline{r}os  &&  f\underline{r}eedom  &&  child\underline{r}en  &&  inte\underline{r}\underline{r}upt \\
          &  \underline{r}eliance  &&  \underline{wr}appings  &&  inte\underline{r}mediate  &&  lia\underline{r} 
      \end{align*}
    7. Words in which [r] is spelled ...
      <rh> <wr> <rr>
      rhinoceros rewrite remarried referred
      rhyme wrong corrected arrived
        written terrify surround
        wrapping surrender interrupt
      Words in which [r] is spelled <r>:
      breathing recognize interest surplus
      acquire remarried interfere surrender
      rewrote alternate area winter
      resignation interpret pioneer referred
      rhinoceros freedom children liar
      reliance reflection intermediate  
    8. Words with an <r> that spells an [r] that is ...
      at the beginning of the word in the middle of the word at the end of the word
      rewrote breathing acquire
      resignation alternate interfere
      reliance interpret pioneer
      recognize freedom surrender
      remarried interest winter
      reflection interfere liar
      referred area  
        children  
        intermediate  
        surplus  
    9. Based on the sample of words in this lesson, [r] is most often spelled  <r>  or  <rr> .

    Explore More

    Word Squares: Fill in the words from below.

    Note: All but three of the words in this Squares contain the sound [r].

    3-letters: ate

    4-letters: over, girl, goes

    5-letters: earth, right, worry, other, wrong, round, often, three

    6-letters: across, writer, parrot, arrive

    7-letters: sorrier, written, another, airport

    8-letters: together

    The words that do not contain [r] are __________, ________, and _________.

    Show Answer

    The words that do not contain [r] are oftengoes ,and ate.

    [r] Spelled <rr>

    Most of the time [r] is spelled <r> - but not always. Sometimes [r] is spelled <rr>.

    You twin 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. You twin the final consonant of a free stem that has two vowel sounds whenever you add a suffix that starts with a vowel and the stem ends CVC and has strong stress on its final vowel both before and after you add the suffix.

    Examples

    The following words have [r] spelled <rr> due to simple addition:

    \begin{align*}
        & \text{overripe} && \text{underrated} && \text{surroundings}
    \end{align*}

    The following words have [r] spelled <rr> due to twinning:

    \begin{align*}
        & \text{referred} && \text{scarred} && \text{transferring}
    \end{align*}

    Review

    1. Here are twenty words in which [r] is spelled <rr>. Underline the <rr> spellings in each word: 
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{irrigation} && \text{interrupt} && \text{irritate} && \text{underrated}\\
          & \text{overripe} && \text{conferring} && \text{preferred} && \text{transferring}\\
          & \text{referred} && \text{scarred} && \text{arrange} && \text{irresponsible}\\
          & \text{arrest} && \text{correctly} && \text{irregular} && \text{surrendered}\\
          & \text{arrival} && \text{corruption} && \text{correspond} && \text{surroundings}
      \end{align*}
    2. We often get double consonants because of simple addition: If a word contains two elements, and the first element ends in a consonant and the second element starts with the same consonant, we get a double consonant. Five of the twenty words have <rr> because of simple addition. Find these five words, write them in the left column below, and then analyze them to show where the <rr> comes from:

      Word Analysis
      overripe over + ripe
         
          
         
         
    3. In five of the twenty words above, [r] is spelled <rr> because of twinning. List them below and analyze each one to show how twinning produces the <rr> spellings:

      Word Analysis
      referred refer + r + ed
         
         
         
         
    Show Answer
    1. \begin{align*}
          &  i\underline{rr}igation  &&  inte\underline{rr}upt  &&  i\underline{rr}itate  &&  unde\underline{rr}ated \\
          &  ove\underline{rr}ipe  &&  confe\underline{rr}ing  &&  prefe\underline{rr}ed  &&  transfe\underline{rr}ing \\
          &  refe\underline{rr}ed  &&  sca\underline{rr}ed  &&  a\underline{rr}ange  &&  i\underline{rr}esponsible \\
          &  a\underline{rr}est  &&  co\underline{rr}ectly  &&  i\underline{rr}egular  &&  su\underline{rr}endered \\
          &  a\underline{rr}ival  &&  co\underline{rr}uption  &&  co\underline{rr}espond  &&  su\underline{rr}oundings 
      \end{align*}
    2. Word Analysis
      overripe over + ripe
      interrupt inter + rupt
      underrated under + rated
      surrendered sur + rendered
      surroundings sur + roundings
    3. Word Analysis
      referred refer + r + ed
      conferring confer + r + ing
      scarred scar + r + ed
      preferred prefer + r + ed
      transferring transfer + r + ing

    Spelling <rr> and Assimilation

    Most of the time [r] is spelled <r>, but not always. Sometimes [r] is spelled <rr> due to simple addition, twinning, or even assimilation.

    Examples

    When the prefixes ad-com-, and in- are added to stems that start with an <r>, they assimilate to ar-cor-, and ir-.

    For example, the following words show assimilation.

    Word Analysis: Prefix + Stem
    irrigation n + r + rigation
    arrest d+ r + rest
    correctly co m + r + rectly

    Review

    Here are twenty words that all contain <rr>.

    \begin{align*}
        & \text{irrigation} && \text{interrupt} && \text{irritate} && \text{underrated}\\
        & \text{overripe} && \text{conferring} && \text{preferred} && \text{transferring}\\
        & \text{referred} && \text{scarred} && \text{arrange} && \text{irresponsible}\\
        & \text{arrest} && \text{correctly} && \text{irregular} && \text{surrendered}\\
        & \text{arrival} && \text{corruption} && \text{correspond} && \text{surroundings}
    \end{align*}

    Five of these twenty words have <rr> because of simple addition and five of them have <rr> because of twinning. Find these ten in the list above and cross them off.

    Ten of the twenty words above with [r] spelled <rr> start with an assimilated form of ad-, com-, or in-. Find them, write them in the left column below, and analyze them to show the assimilation that leads to the <rr>.

    Word Analysis: Prefix + Stem
    2. irrigation n + r + rigation
    3.   
    4.    
    5.    
    6.    
    7.    
    8.    
    9.    
    10.    
    11.    

    The following words each contain two prefixes and a stem with at least one instance of [r]. See if you can analyze them to show where the <rr> comes from in those where it occurs.

    Word Prefix1 Prefix2 Stem
    12. incorrect = + +
    13. unirritable = + +
    14. overirrigated = + +
    15. uncorrupted = + +
    16. rearresting = + +
    17. nonsupportive = + +
    18. disarranged = + +
    19. irresponsibly = + +
    20. unsurprising = + +
    21. reinterpret = + +
    22. noninterrupted = + +
    23. disinterested = + +
    Show Answer

    1. \begin{align*}& \text{irrigation} && \text{interrupt}\surd && \text{irritate} && \text{underrated}\surd \\ & \text{overripe}\surd && \text{conferring}\surd && \text{preferred}\surd && \text{transferring}\surd \\ & \text{referred}\surd && \text{scarred}\surd && \text{arrange} && \text{irresponsible} \\ & \text{arrest} && \text{correctly} && \text{irregular} && \text{surrendered}\surd \\ & \text{arrival} && \text{corruption} && \text{correspond} && \text{surroundings}\surd\end{align*}

    Word Analysis: Prefix + Stem
    2. irrigation n + r + rigation
    3. arrest d+ r + rest
    4. arrival d + r + rival
    5. correctly co m + r + rectly
    6. corruption co m+ r + ruption
    7. irritate n + r + ritate
    8. arrange d + r + range
    9. irregular n + r + regular
    10. correspond co m + r + respond
    11. irresponsible n + r + responsible
    Word Prefix1 Prefix1 Stem
    12. incorrect in co m + r rect
    13. unirritable un n + r ritable
    14. overirrigated over n+ r rigated
    15. uncorrupted un co m+ r rupted
    16. rearresting re d+ r resting
    17. nonsupportive non su b+ p portive
    18. disarranged dis d+ r rested
    19. irresponsibly n+ r re sponsibly
    20. unsurprising un sur prising
    21. reninterpret re inter pret
    22. noninterrupted non inter rupted
    23. disinterested dis inter ested

    The Sound [r] and the VCC Pattern

    In the VCV pattern, the first vowel will usually be long; but in the VCC pattern, the vowel will usually be short.

    Vowels before [r] are often pronounced differently from the way they are pronounced before other consonant sounds. This difference is most noticeable in VCV words in which the consonant is [r] spelled <r>. For instance, the <a> in dare spells a sound quite different from that spelled by the <a> in words like date, dame, and dale. In dare the <a> spells a sound close to [e].

    There is variation, too, in VCC strings in which the CC is <rr>. For instance, in some people's pronunciation the words merry and marry sound exactly alike, but in other people's pronunciation they sound different from one another.

    Examples

    Here are some words with <rr> in VCC patterns. Read them and pronounce them. Listen carefully to see if you can hear which short vowel is right in front of the [r]. Sometimes it can be a bit hard to decide, so don't be too discouraged if you have a little trouble with it. The spelling is a major clue.

    Review

    1. \begin{align*}
          & \text{narrow} && \text{marriage} && \text{merry} && \text{mirror}\\
          & \text{sorrow} && \text{error} && \text{carriage} && \text{terrible}\\
          & \text{sorry} && \text{borrow} && \text{carry} && \text{territory}\\
          & \text{marry} && \text{terrify} && \text{raspberry} && \text{arrow}\\
          & \text{terrace} && \text{narrative} && \text{horrible} && \text{cherry}\\
          & \text{tomorrow} && \text{sparrow} && \text{barrel} && \text{errand}
      \end{align*}
      Words with <rr> following a ...
      short <a>, [a] short <e>, [e]
             
             
             
             
             
      Words with <rr> following a ...
      short <i>, [i] short <o>, [o]
             
             
    2. Most of the time (99%), [r] is spelled either ________ or _________.
    3. You have worked with four different things that sometimes lead to <rr> in a word. The first one is simple addition. What are the other three?
    Show Answer
    1.  
      Words with <rr> following a ...
      short <a>, [a] short <e>, [e]
      narrow carriage terrace terrible
      marry carry error territory
      marriage barrel terrify cherry
      narrative arrow merry errand
      sparrow   raspberry  
      Words with <rr> following a ...
      short <i>, [i] short <o>, [o]
      mirror sorrow tomorrow horrible
        sorry borrow  
    2. Most of the time (99%), [r] is spelled either <r> or <rr> .
    3. You have worked with four different things that sometimes lead to <rr> in a word. The first one is simple addition. What are the other three?
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{assimilation} && \text{twinning} && \text{VCC}
      \end{align*}

    [r] Spelled <wr> or <rh>

    There are four ways of spelling [r]. They are <r>, <rr>, <wr>, and <rh>.

    The spellings <wr> and <rh> occur in very few words.

    In the spelling <rw>, several hundred years ago both the <r> and the <w> were pronounced, but in time people simplified things and quit pronouncing the <w>. Words in which [r] is spelled <wr> all come from the German side of our language's family.

    In some words that come from Greek, [r] is spelled <rh>. The Greek alphabet contained a letter called rho, pronounced [rō]. When Greek words were written in our alphabet, the rho was represented by <rh>.

    Examples

    Here are the most common words in which <wr> occurs.

    \begin{align*}
        & \text{write} && \text{wrong} && \text{wrote} && \text{written}\\
        & \text{wrap} && \text{wreck} && \text{wreath} && \text{wrath}\\
        & \text{wrench} && \text{wrestle} && \text{wrinkle} && \text{wrist}\\
        & \text{wretch} && \text{wring} && \text{wren} && \text{wriggle}
    \end{align*}

    The most common words with <rh> are these.

    \begin{align*}
        & \text{rhyme} && \text{rhinestone} && \text{rhinoceros}\\
        & \text{rheostat} && \text{rheumatism} && \text{rhetoric}\\
        & \text{rhythm} && \text{rhapsody} && \text{rhubarb}
    \end{align*}

    Review

    Use the following words to answer the questions below.

    \begin{align*}
        & \text{write} && \text{wrong} && \text{wrote} && \text{written}\\
        & \text{wrap} && \text{wreck} && \text{wreath} && \text{wrath}\\
        & \text{wrench} && \text{wrestle} && \text{wrinkle} && \text{wrist}\\
        & \text{wrench} && \text{wring} && \text{wren} && \text{wriggle}
    \end{align*}

    1. In what part of the word do you find the <wr>? _________.
    2. Three of the words have to do with putting words down on paper. The three are ________, ________, and _________.
    3. You can use a _________ to loosen a nut and bolt.
    4. When two cars run into one another, it is called a ___________.
    5. Your hand is connected to your arm at the _________.
    6. At Christmas some people put a __________ on their door.
    7. You use an iron to remove __________ from your clothes.
    8. If an answer is not right, it is ___________.
    9. Rewrite the sixteen <wr> words in alphabetical order.
    10. Arrange these nine words in alphabetical order.
      \begin{align*}
          & \text{rhyme} && \text{rhinestone} && \text{rhinoceros}\\
          & \text{rheostat} && \text{rheumatism} && \text{rhetoric}\\
          & \text{rhythm} && \text{rhapsody} && \text{rhubarb}
      \end{align*}
    11. In the word rhinoceros the first element, rhino, in Greek meant “nose,” and the second element, ceros, meant “horn.” So rhinoceros meant what? __________________________.
    12. In the word rhapsody the first element, rhaps, meant “stitch, sew,” and the second element, ody meant “song.” So rhapsody meant what? __________________________.
    13. You have worked with four ways of spelling [r]. They are ______, _______, _______, and ________.
    14. Of these four spellings which is the most common? _______.
    15. Which is the second most common? ________.
    16. Which are the two least common? ________ and _________.
    Show Answer
    1. In what part of the word do you find the <wr>? at the front.
    2. Three of the words have to do with putting words down on paper. The three are writewrote, and written.
    3. You can use a wrench to loosen a nut and bolt.
    4. When two cars run into one another, it is called a wreck .
    5. Your hand is connected to your arm at the wrist .
    6. At Christmas some people put a wreath on their door.
    7. You use an iron to remove wrinkles from your clothes.
    8. If an answer is not right, it is wrong.
    9. Rewrite the sixteen <wr> words in alphabetical order.
      1. wrap
      2. wrath
      3. wreath
      4. wreck
      5. wren
      6. wrench
      7. wrestle
      8. wretch
      9. wriggle
      10. wring
      11. wrinkle
      12. wrist
      13. write
      14. written
      15. wrong
      16. wrote
    10. Arrange these nine words in alphabetical order.
      1. rhapsody
      2. rheostat
      3. rhetoric
      4. rheumatism
      5. rhinestone
      6. rhinoceros
      7. rhubarb
      8. rhyme
      9. rhythm
    11. In the word rhinoceros the first element, rhino, in Greek meant “nose,” and the second element, ceros, meant “horn.” So rhinoceros meant what? (the animal with) a horn on its nose.
    12. In the word rhapsody the first element, rhaps, meant “stitch, sew,” and the second element, ody, meant “song.” So rhapsody meant what? a sewing together of songs.
    13. You have worked with four ways of spelling [r]. They are <r> , <rr><wr> , and <rh>.
    14. Of these four spellings which is the most common? <r>.
    15. Which is the second most common? <rr>.
    16. Which are the two least common? <wr> and <rh>.
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