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Unit 19: The soft g sound: ge gi gy words

Page 7 of 11

Unit 19: Soft g: ge, gi and gy words

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Spelling ge, gi and gy words - the soft g sound

Think back - help with spelling rules To recap:

1. No English word ends in j - we always use ge.

2. Before the vowels a, o and u, the sound /j/ is usually spelled with the letter j:

January job jump

3. Before the vowels e, i and y, the sound /j/ is usually spelled with the letter g:

Germany giraffe gymnastics

Rule Breakers - these words break spelling rules  

1. Some words that originated in different languages are now common in our dictionaries. For example:

raj - meaning the British rule in India. It is a Hindi word meaning reign.

hajj or hadj - the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It is an Arab word meaning pilgrimage.

2. A few words use ge or gi before o:

George pigeon legion region

Several words begin with the prefix geo (meaning 'earth') which should be said as two syllables: ge - o, so these words do follow the ge rule :

geography geology geometry geosphere

3. Some words do use the letter j, even before e and i (usually when the j is at the beginning of words).
These are the most common:

jealous jeans jeep jeer jelly Jennifer
jeopardy jerk jersey jet jetty Jew jewel
Learn the Words:
jiffy jig jigsaw jilt jingle jinx jittery
Learn the Words:

4. The suffix -ject (meaning 'throw') is always je:

eject inject object project reject subject
Learn the Words:

homophones - learn to spell similar sounding words Only one homophone from this unit:

Jim - short for James

gym - short for gymnasium

My brother does not like being called Jim.

Get fit by working out at the gym.

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suffix rules for -ge words.

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