—ance, —ence create a noun describing a state or condition, or an action.
conscience, dependence, emergence
Do you know the meaning of each word? If you can’t figure it out, go to the dictionary.
Can you think of additional words with the same prefixes and suffixes?
Special reading assignment
Crazy kings and queens can’t corral coral-coloured cows quickly.
The trouble with cats is that they’ve got no tact. — P. G. Wodehouse
Note: If you like cats and history, you may like to read the e-book, Edwardian Annotated Pets and How to Keep Them. This book discusses the origin of cats as pets, European wild cats, and also recommends how to keep a cat in 1907, Edwardian England.
A hard sound, like K, when c comes before a, o, u, and consonants.
coffee, cupcake, school
A soft sound, like S, when c comes before i, e, y.
circle, celery, cyanide, recipe, fascinate
A hiss sound, like sh, when —ci— (or sometimes —ce—) comes before a vowel, inside a word. [Infrequent.]
These words do not have the sh hiss:
Some words that derive from Middle English are pronounced the same as they always were, but the spelling was changed to add a c, similar to French or Latin, which were fashionable languages at the time.
indict, indictment, indictable offence
Other words were imported into English from another language.
yacht [Dutch], Tucson [Papago Indian]
See also, Letter combinations (digraphs), below, for words containing sc.
English words with double consonants are inconsistent, so there is no reliable rule.
Usually, a double C serves to signal that the preceding vowel is short rather than long.
accord, accuse, occupy
Rather than a double C or a double K, a CK is commonly used. The hard C sound is preserved or emphasized, even when, with the following vowel (I, E,or Y), you would expect a soft C sound.
chicken, hockey, sticky wicket
Sometimes a QU is used to preserve the hard C sound.
liquor, chequers (also, checkers [US])
Sometimes a double C is used in a word to express both a hard C and a soft C sound.
Sometimes a single C acts like a double C.
crocodile, decade, second
Letter combinations (digraphs)
c and h together create a distinct sound, a digraph.
cherry, cheque, chi, chutney, church
chemistry, crochet, chenille, Christ, chronology
c and k together create a digraph.
brackets, crickets, flock, quick, rocket
—ct is an uncommon letter combination
s and c together are a digraph that emphasizes the s sound.