Learning the building blocks of words - sounds, their spellings, and word parts


f as in fun

ff as in off

ph as in phone

gh as in rough

v as in Chekhov

ffe as in gaffe

wh as in Whakapapa

fe as in carafe

ft as in often

pph as in sapphire

lieutenant (UK)

3 thoughts on “f

    1. alison Post author

      I try to slice words up in a way that ends up with as few graphemes as possible (Occam’s Razor and all that), so I put AU as in laugh, aunt and draught under /ar/ and GH as in cough, trough, rough, tough, enough and laugh in another group, and that way I don’t need a separate UGH as in laugh. Of course you might argue UGH better reflects the underlying morphology but my organising system for these particular lists is phonology (which doesn’t mean I don’t teach kids about morphology).

    2. alison Post author

      I prefer to take an Occam’s Razor approach, minimising the total number of graphemes, so slice “laugh” into l+au+gh:
      au as in aunt, draught and laugh,
      gh as in cough, rough, laugh.


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