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Old 04-04-2024, 08:23 AM
 
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That whole "i before e, except after c" thing...well...science proved that one wrong.

Meantime - for folks learning English as a second language - keep this in mind:

Very few native English speakers speak correctly, spell well, or know all the rules. If you're wondering how we learn to write correctly - it's simple: We mainly do not.
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Old 04-04-2024, 08:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
When I was in school, we were taught that the vowels made "long sounds" and "short sounds."

The "long sounds" were when the letter says its name: A as in "same," E as in "he," I as in "dive," O as in "go," and U as in "tune." We were also taught that most of the time, a silent E on the end of the word makes the letter say its name.

The "short sounds" are A as in "cat," E as in "get," I as in "it," O as in "not," and U as in "but."

That rule doesn't cover all the English vowel sounds, but it's a start.

I taught all three of my own children to read, and learning to read English is partly what is called phonics (M says mmmm, E says eeee... now sound out the word. Child says, MMM--EEEE, "me"!)

It's also partly sight reading. "This word is 'one.' It's a funny word." Children just have to memorize those words, they can't be sounded out. Fortunately, most of the strangest ones are very common: one, the, there, some, what, etc.

I made flash cards for my kids with the most common "funny words," and also worked with them on sounding out words that can be easily sounded out. Then we started very easy beginner books together, me helping when they got stuck.

It sounds harder than it is. Actually, all words in any language become sight words after a short time. No fluent reader spends time sounding anything out, you just recognize the word.

English spelling, now that's a bit harder. It's easier to recognize a word than to recall how to spell it. Some people are naturally good spellers in English (they easily recall what a word looks like) and other people are terrible spellers and need a lot of practice.
That sounds like how I learned to read in 1st grade. We were taught that U had 2 long vowel sounds, the one in "tune" like you said, but also the one where it says its name, like "unit".

In addition to the silent E at the end of a word making the previous vowel long, we also learned that if a word ends with a vowel, it's a long vowel, and if there are 2 vowels next to each other, the first is long, the second is silent. I'm not sure how true that is. The word ending with a vowel rule I think only applies to E or O. Definitely not A, and I can't think of too many words ending in I or U. The combination of 2 vowels, first being long, second being silent, I think only applies to AI, EA, EE, or OA. I can't think of any others. And we'd separately learn combinations such as AU or OO that never follow that rule.

Also, we were at first taught that words ending in a hard C or K sound always ended CK. When students asked why the cartons of milk in the cafeteria spelled it "milk" rather than "milck", we then learned the rule that CK is used after short vowels, and K is used after long vowels or consonants. And we were told that no word ends in C. That of course is wrong, plenty of words ended in C. When I would ask about words ending in C, I was just told that the type of word I asked about is allowed to, and no further explanation was ever given. We were also told that no words can end in V (that I think is correct) and in a word ending with VE, the silent E does not necessarily make the previous vowel long, it's just to keep the word from ending in V.

One other thing that was ignored was the difference between the A in "Can", as in something things are stored in, vs "Can" as in "able", but I think that may be a question of local accents rather than an official difference. I also remember a series of books we had in the classroom that claimed that the short O in "log" is pronounced as "lawg" is some accents, but that was never mentioned in class, and I don't think I ever heard it pronounced that way.
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Old 04-04-2024, 08:50 AM
 
14,299 posts, read 11,677,294 times
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Originally Posted by roodd279 View Post
That whole "i before e, except after c" thing...well...science proved that one wrong.
It's not wrong in that case. "Science" is not pronounced with long EE.

I before E, except after C, when it sounds like EE

I'm not saying there are no exceptions, but "science" is not one of them.
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Old 04-04-2024, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Argentina
268 posts, read 56,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roodd279 View Post

Meantime - for folks learning English as a second language - keep this in mind:

Very few native English speakers speak correctly, spell well, or know all the rules. If you're wondering how we learn to write correctly - it's simple: We mainly do not.
Haha... Don't worry. That's not exclusive to native English speakers. Native Spanish speakers are generally just as careless about correct language as yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
That sounds like how I learned to read in 1st grade. We were taught that U had 2 long vowel sounds, the one in "tune" like you said, but also the one where it says its name, like "unit".
While native English speakers learn to write by the time they reach elementary school, we English learners, make the journey backwards. Most of us learn to read and write in English first and then learn to speak.
You have to learn to think with an English mind, because it is totally different from the Latin languages in essence. We Hispanics are used to the fact that every sound has a letter that represents it. Not so in English. It's so different that even our five vowels all have different sounds and names (listen to the OP video). You have to change your mind to understand English.

Last edited by Luis Antonio; 04-04-2024 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 04-05-2024, 07:18 AM
 
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but "science" is not one of them.

It was kind of a joke...but...

The entire thing I remember is: "I before E, except after C, or when sounded like A, as in neighbor and weigh." I never learned any more of it...nothing about EEEE, anyway.
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Old 04-05-2024, 08:13 AM
 
14,299 posts, read 11,677,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roodd279 View Post
but "science" is not one of them.

It was kind of a joke...but...

The entire thing I remember is: "I before E, except after C, or when sounded like A, as in neighbor and weigh." I never learned any more of it...nothing about EEEE, anyway.
I've heard that version, too, but it doesn't work as well. It doesn't cover words like "science," for example.
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Old 04-05-2024, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Argentina
268 posts, read 56,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roodd279 View Post
[i]

The entire thing I remember is: "I before E, except after C, or when sounded like A, as in neighbor and weigh." I never learned any more of it...nothing about EEEE, anyway.
You gave me good advice that I didn't know about. Also, now I have at least an idea of how is teaching in USA's schools. Thank you all very much for that.
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Old 04-05-2024, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Sydney Australia
2,290 posts, read 1,511,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
Saibot explained how long and short vowels are taught in English, as well as the silent e at the end of the word. Romance languages have accent marks to change the vowel sounds. Semitic languages also have long and short vowels like English.

There are general rules but also lots of exceptions to those rules.
There are things that just have to be learnt. The name of our Australian Prime Minister is Anthony Albanese, the surname being Italian, and people have learnt to pronounce the e at the end. But sometimes people will have a Spanish or Italian surname and Anglicise the pronunciation and you just have to remember that.
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