Name _______________________________________

Lesson 15   Indistinct vowels and related forms

popular popularity ordinary ordinarily
regular regularity library librarian
solar solarium temporary temporarily
familiar familiarity secretary secretarial
similar similarity voluntary voluntarily
    imaginary imagination
editor editorial necessary necessarily
author authority    
superior superiority history historical
major majority victory victorious
minor minority memory memorial

1. Read the first five words in column one. What are the last two letters of these five base words? _____
2. What are the last two letters of the next five base words? _____
3. Can you clearly distinguish the vowel before the final r in these two groups of words? _____
4. Now look at the words in columns one and two. Say both forms of each word aloud. Are the vowels easier to identify before or after the suffixes are added? __________
5. What three letters come at the end of the first seven base words in column three? _____ What unstressed vowel becomes stressed when suffixes are added to these words? _____
6. Say the last three base words aloud. How many syllables does each word have ? _____ If the unstressed vowel were not pronounced, how many syllables would these words seem to have? _____

Lesson Generalization

Unstressed vowels before the letter r are difficult to identify. First, think of related forms in which the mystery vowel may be stressed. Then use other clues to help you distinguish ar/or and ary/ory:

The ending ar often follows the letter l.

The ordinary ary is more common than ory and ery.

The ending or often refers to a person or occupation. Both or and ory frequently follow the letter t.

An unstressed vowel sound in the middle of a three-syllable word is often dropped when the word is pronounced: his-to-ry becomes his-try. Do not forget the unstressed syllable when you spell these words.

© McDougal Littell Inc. Grade 8 Spelling SkillBuilders