Spelling the long vowel sound /ū/: u-e, ue, ew

homophones - learn to spell similar sounding words

Homophones from this section:

If you confuse these words the computer spellchecker will not spot your mistake -
so it is especially important to learn them.


new - not old

knew - past tense of 'know'
Do you like my new coat?

I knew him from school.
Learning tip to help your spelling If you know about knowledge, you'll know about knew.
See Unit 24 for more on silent letters like k.

due - owing

dew - damp
I have some holiday pay due to me.

There is dew on the grass in the morning.

ewe - sheep

you - not me
A female sheep is a ewe.

If you want to see more on the /oo/ words, go to Unit 13.

cue -
1) hint
2) snooker rod

queue -line

1) The actor got his cue to go on stage.
2) Use a cue when playing snooker or pool.

There was a long queue of cars at the lights.

duel - fight between two

dual - shared between two
The swordsmen fought a duel.

The instructor's car has dual controls.
Learning tip to help your spelling Fight a duel with steel swords.
Drive a car with dual controls.

Rule breakers break spelling rules These words are not really homophones as they do not sound the same. They are included here because many people make mistakes with 'minute' meaning time.
minute - very small


minute - a short time
minute with a long /ī/ sound:
Some bugs are too minute to spot with the naked eye.

minute with the short /ī/ sound in both syllables:
I'll be ready in just a minute.

revue - musical

review - report, survey
There were some new songs in the revue.

The critic gave the show a good review.

This completes the work on spelling the long /ū/ sound.

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Unit 7, Part 2: Spelling the long vowel sounds

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One of the students has put in a huge amount of effort in completing Spellzone at least 3 times a week since his arrival with us in January. Looking at his scores after the latest GL testing, his standardised score has risen from 99 to 131. This is a truly phenomenal result. I just wanted to share the best result I have ever seen.

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