One of the hard parts of learning to write in English is the spelling. English spelling is CRAZY! One of the problems is what I call that sneaky, silent ‘e’. You never quite know when it’s going to show up, hiding, at the end of a word.
Today and in the next post, I’ll give you 5 rules and reasons for that silent ‘e’. Maybe I can help you understand when that final silent ‘e’ is going to show up.
Rule #1. Vowel-Consonant-Silent e
e.g. time, same, fine
When a word contains a vowel, then a consonant, then a final silent ‘e’, the silent ‘e’ allows the vowel to say its alphabetical name.
In ‘time’, the ‘e’ lets the ‘i’ say /ay/ instead of /I /. If there was no silent e, the word would be the boy’s name ‘Tim’.
This is the most common reason for using a silent e.
Rule #2. Words ending in U or V
e.g. blue, have
In English, we cannot end a word with a ‘u’ or ‘v’, so we place a silent e at the end of the word.
There aren’t many exceptions to this rule.
Rule #3 Changing the sound of C or G
e.g. mice, change
The silent ‘e’ follows the letters ‘c’ and ‘g’ so these letters can say /s/and /j/. Without the final ‘e’, the ‘c’ would say /k/ and the /g/ would say ‘g’.
* The sounds of ‘c’ and ‘g’ also change when these letters are followed by ‘i’ or ‘y’.
I hope this clears up some mystery about that final silent ‘e’. Watch for two more reasons for that troublesome ‘e’ in next week’s blog.