|When you add a suffix to a root word, you sometimes need to double the last letter of the root word. In Unit 9 you learnt the rules for words of one syllable:|
If you add a vowel suffix to a root word with one short vowel followed by only one consonant, you must double that consonant. This stops the short vowel from being changed to a long sound.
To help you remember this rule, think of the second vowel as an invader. He is trying to attack the first vowel and make it change its ways. If he can get near enough, he will make it say its long sound.
|Here, there is a strong
wall of two consonants. This will protect the short vowel from attack.
The invader can't get close, so the first vowel can carry on as before.
Some more examples:
|grab + ed = grabbed||hot + est = hottest|
|dig + er = digger||mud + y = muddy|
|THE DOUBLING RULE FOR LONGER WORDS:
This is slightly different from the words above. With longer words, you only need to double the consonant if the syllable just before the suffix is the stressed syllable.
To understand this rule, you must be able to work out which is the stressed syllable in a word. Think back to this work from Unit 24:
|Stressed and unstressed syllables|
|Old science-fiction films sometimes featured 'robot' speech, in which each syllable was pronounced with exactly the same strength, or stress.|
|Hear examples of 'robot' speech.|
In normal speech, longer words have one syllable which sounds stronger
than the rest. This is called the stressed syllable. Read these
words aloud in your normal voice:
In each word the stressed syllable is in orange. In that syllable you can hear the vowel sound very clearly.
Test yourself in spotting the stressed syllable. Each word has been split into two syllables. Decide which is the stressed syllable and type it in the box.
Skip this exercise and go to the next part of this unit: Adding suffixes to longer words. *
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