Another video with love from spell.co.uk and in this video we're looking at the "f" sound.
Read these words out loud: fame, infant, stuff, scoff, photo, elephant, rough, tough
All have the "f" sound at the beginning, middle or end but all spelt 4 different ways.
We're going to look at the rules and history behind this "f" sound.
WE have the standard 'f" at the beginning, middle end of words.
find, famous, friend,
infant, lift, affair,
half, reef, proof
f is quite a strong sound compared with v.
but be careful with off and of (of is a softer v sound check out my off and of video for more info)
The double f endings in words like off, staff, stuff, sniff, Jeff, cuff, buff, huff, cliff, fluff, scoff, snuff, puff, scuff, gruff, muff...
Do you know why there's a double f at the end of these words. The clue is in the vowel sound. Read them again.
All end in double f because they have a short vowel sound before the f.
Do you know why we have the ph letter pattern for the 'f' sound?
Most words spelt with ph are from Ancient Greek. We leave this strange spelling because we can see the history of the word.
We can have ph at the beginning, middle ends of words:
photo, phone, pharmacy, physical, Philip, alphabet, elephant,dolphin, headphones, graph, triumph
But sulphur with a ph is standard in British English and sulfur with a f is used in American English.
Let's look at words with the -ugh- patterns that are pronounced "f" such as rough, cough, enough, trough, tough, laugh.
Do you know why we have such a strange letter pattern and why some of these gh words are pronounced with an f and some are silent.
Again it all comes down to the history of spelling . -gh- came about because of French influence after they invaded us in 1066. The scribes messed around with our spelling because they couldn't spell the original hard 'h' sound as in loch, night, bright so added a g to the h. But then the gh became silent or became an "f" sound. But -ugh- words with the "f" sound were originally pronounced with an f in some northern dialects of that time.
Knowing why spelling is the way it is a great way of learning and improving spelling and stops you getting all frustrated with it. If you're interested in knowing more about The Reasons Why English Spelling is so Weird and Wonderful then check out my ebook The Reasons Why English Spelling is so Weird and Wonderful on my website - it's fascinating.
Also, if you're interested in learning more about letter patterns and their sounds then visit my website howtospell.co.uk.and check out my Spelling Patterns and Pronunciation Masterclass
Thanks for listening and see you in the next video.