Name _______________________________________

Lesson 31 Pronunciation problems

general postpone
several quantity
interest et cetera
probably environment
gardener government
decimal recognize
privilege handsome
chocolate budget
sophomore kitchen
favorite whistle

1. Do the words in the first column have two or three syllables? ___________________________________________________
Is the underlined vowel in each word stressed or unstressed? ___________________________________________________
If the unstressed vowel is dropped when the words are pronounced, do the words sound as though they have two syllables or three syllables? ___________________________________________________
2. Are the underlined letters in the second column vowels or consonants? _______________
When the first six words are pronounced carefully, can the underlined letters be heard? __________
3. The last four words in the second column each have a silent letter.
What two words have a silent d? __________ __________
What two words have a silent t? __________ __________

Lesson Generalization

An unstressed middle vowel is sometimes dropped when the word is pronounced. The three-syllable word seems to shrink to a two-syllable word:

gen-er-al sounds liked gen-ral       fav-or-ite sounds like fav-rite
Certain consonant combinations do not blend together smoothly: tp mn gn. One of the consonants may accidentally be dropped when the word is pronounced.
gover-ment instead of government
reco-nize instead of recognize
pos-pone instead of postpone

In some other words, the difficult consonant is retained in the spelling, but is never pronounced: kit chen whistle

Remember these often unspoken letters when you spell any of these words.

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