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Split digraph - mini lesson pls

(13 Posts)
Kardashianw Thu 06-Oct-11 17:55:31

hi all
Can anyone quickly just tell me what a split digraph is as mu son seems to have got a mis conception. English is not my strength so I have read up but want to be sure that I teach him properly before I give him the information.

He this a split digraph is words that begin with "ph" so the example they used on school was 'phone' but I believe it to be the letter 'e' at the end of the word.

Please correct me if I am incorrect.

Thanks x

HauntedLittleLunatic Thu 06-Oct-11 17:58:31

Looks like you are correct

cmgjh Thu 06-Oct-11 18:01:45

Not an expert, but I think you're right. Eg, "quite" has the split digraph i_e at the end. The "e" doesn't get pronounced, but it does modify the pronunciation of the "i" so that "quite" sounds different to "quit".

Someone that knows more than me will be along shortly, I have no doubt!

mrz Thu 06-Oct-11 18:01:59

split digraphs are what used to be called "magic e "words

Kardashianw Thu 06-Oct-11 18:02:14

So do u think I can give him examples of words such as:
Have, hate, gate, able, table?

He is also doing rhyming words too. I was very impressed when he told me what a split digraph is but then I looked it up. Shows how much I know!


Iamnotminterested Thu 06-Oct-11 18:03:27

It's the o_e or a_e, or whatever, at the end of a word that makes a short vowel sound into a long one.

Iamnotminterested Thu 06-Oct-11 18:04:13

hate and gate yes.

Kardashianw Thu 06-Oct-11 18:05:12

Ok thank you. I will iron out his little mis conception and hopefully he should be ok.
I can't remember doing this at school!!!

RunAwayHome Thu 06-Oct-11 18:09:01

'ph' is a digraph (two letters to make one sound), but it's not split.

'a with a magic-e' is a digraph as it's two letters to make one sound, but it's split over usually one consonant. It makes the vowel make its long sound.

'have' is not a great example, as the 'e' at the end, whilst silent, is there for other reasons (the fact that English words don't end in 'v').

'able' and 'table' aren't examples either, because the 'le' ending is different to a split digraph (it's called a consonantal-le syllable; it has similarities to the magic-e rule in some ways, because it also tends to make the vowel long if there is only one other consonant before it - compare 'bugle' and 'bubble'; but it's not the same thing).

'gate' and 'hate' are good examples. Try also: made, make, fade, crate, shape, snake, cane, same, etc. for the long-a sound. You can also find lots of example for split digraphs with long-i, and long-o, and some with long-u. Long-e is occasionally spelled with a split digraph in short (one-syllable) words, but it's not very common; it's more common at the end of long words, so examples there tend to be longer (athlete, compete, etc).

CecilyP Thu 06-Oct-11 18:09:47

It is quite likely that you covered the concept at school, but it was more likely to have been called 'magic e', or not really called anything at all. It is unlikely that you would have been given the technical term.

talkingnonsense Thu 06-Oct-11 18:10:09

Not have though as that keeps the short a sound! Think of the magic e changing the vowel sound-
Cap- cape
Hat- hate
Kit- kite
Cop- cope

mrz Thu 06-Oct-11 18:14:17

Kardashianw Thu 06-Oct-11 18:17:12

Right ok I think I am on it.
Gosh I hated these technical terms of English!! I was just a good speller and reader!!!


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