Spelling 09 - Fun with Q
We thought we'd end the spelling section of our Upper Primary English quizzes with a couple of easy ones just for fun! In this quiz, and the one that follows, you have to find the words which contain the letter Q.
There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, out of which 21 are consonants and 5 are vowels. We know that all words must contain at least one vowel. However, as always in English, there are exceptions! Words such as RHYTHM, FRY or SPY do not have a vowel in them but for all practical purposes Y (in these cases) is treated as a vowel. It takes on the role of a vowel not only in spelling but also in pronunciation as it adopts the sounds of other vowels depending upon the word within which it is found.
There are a few consonants which are not used as often as some of the more common letters. The letters J, Z, X and Q are consonants that are seldom used. Of these the letter Q holds a special place.
The letter Q is fairly unique, not only because it is one of the rarest letters in the English language - J, Z and X are just as rare. What is special about the letter Q is that is hardly ever used on its own.
We hardly see any words with a standalone Q. Some proper nouns do have a standalone Q (some names that come readily to mind are Iraq, Compaq and Qantas) but if you add the letter U to Q you start to see a lot more words.
We have already used one of the words formed by Q and U in this introduction. UNIQUE is the word that was used earlier. The meaning of the word 'unique' exemplifies perfectly what the letter Q is all about. It is a rare consonant which is almost always used along with the letter U.
Remember that U is a vowel and it lends a lot of weight to Q, The QU combination is always QU and not UQ. The English vocabulary is embellished with a fabulous array of words which use QU in their spelling, and you will learn some of them when you play the quiz that follows.