Phonics: ck, ed, or, wh, oa, oe, kn, gn

Hello everyone,

As you can see today’s post is a bunch of mostly unrelated, but still used often, diphthongs (i.e. two letter combinations).

CK has two sound (and two “knock-offs”):

  • Harsh “k” as in: block, duck, nickel (usually used at the end of a word right after a vowel says its first sound. Go back a review the posting on vowels)
  • Silent “k” as in: blackguard (exception)
  • Harsh “k” sans c as in: trek (knock-off 1: foreign word that has no “c” before the “k”)
  • Harsh “k” sans k as in: shellac, chic, bloc (knock-off 2: foreign words that have no “k” after the “c”)

ED has three sounds: (used only at the end of a verb to show past action)

  • “ed” as in: landed, decided
  • Straight “d” as in: pulled, named (i.e. no “e” sound)
  • “t” as in: picked, baked (i.e. no “e” sound)

OR has two sounds:

  • “or” as in: for, horse, actor (either at the end of a word or followed by some consonant other than “r”)
  • “er” as in: attorney (only when used as a suffix)

WH has two sounds:

  • Breathy “hw” as in: white, where (this sound is created only by your breath and not by using your voice)
  • Breathy “h” as in: who, whose, whom, whole, whoever, whoop (exceptions)

OA has three sounds:

  • “o” as in: oat, boat, toaster (used inside words and must always be followed by a consonant. Some Latin based words break up the letters, example: coagulate which is pronounced as co*a*gu*late)
  • Final “o” as in: cocoa, whoa (exceptions)
  • “aw” as in: broad (exception)

OE has three sounds:

  • “o” as in: toe, goes, hoe (used at the end of a root word. Only 15 words use this combination of letters to make the sound “o”)
  • Short “u” as in: does (hence the reason it does not rhyme with “goes” despite being similar in spelling) (exception)
  • Long “oo” as in: shoe, canoe (exceptions)

KN has one sound:

  • “n” as in: knee, knowledge, know (also known as the Silent “k,” used only at the beginning of a root word)

GN has one sound:

  • “n” as in: gnaw, sign, sovereign (silent “g” at the beginning or end of root words. If a Latin suffix is added after “gn,” the two letter will break up and the “g” will no longer be silent)

I will have to say, you all will be very lucky when I come back and add in the spelling rules to these diphthongs. Namely, they are very straight forward with very little tricksiness to them.


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