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Spelling tips for French based words:
The following spelling tips come from Merriam-Webster's Spell It!
spelling bee preparation list for English words from French. These spelling tips apply specifically to
the Spelling Bee Practice: Words From French spelling list
"Tip from the Top: French has many different vowel sounds and diphthongs that are
distinctly French, but it has only the same 26 letters to spell them with that English has. Therefore,
French relies on certain combinations of vowels and consonants in spelling to show what vowel sound is
meant. When pronounced in English, many of these sounds are simplified. The result is that many
different English spellings stand for the same sound in French words."
Click here to download the Spelling Bee Practice:
Words From French spelling list for SpellQuizzer.
"All Around the Mediterranean: If you're getting an odd sense of déjà vu
looking at some of these French words, you're not mistaken! Some of them are purely French—that is,
they have no obvious roots in another language. A large number, however, have roots in Latin
(such as ambulance, and renaissance) and Greek (such as diplomat,
neologism and stethoscope). Long before France was an independent country it was part
of the Roman Empire, and its language was close to Latin. The Roman Empire was, in turn, influenced by
the civilization of classical Greece that preceded it. With so rich a heritage, the French did not have
to travel very far to find a word for just about everything! Diorama is a special case. If you
see elements in it that remind you of Greek words, you are correct; but the French actually modeled
this word on a word they saw in English—panorama—which was, in turn, made from Greek roots!"
"French nearly always spells the \sh\ sound with ch, and this spelling of the sound is very common in
words from French. Chagrin, chauvinism, and crochet are examples."
"A word from French ending with a stressed \et\ is usually spelled with ette as in
croquette and layette."
"A long a sound (\ā\) at the end of a word from French can be spelled a number of ways. One of
the more common ways is with et as in cachet, crochet, and croquet."
"One way to spell long a at the end of a word from French is with er
as in dossier and in foyer. Most Americans, however, do not pronounce
the ending of foyer with a long a."
"A long e sound (\ē\) at the end of a word from French can be spelled with ie
as in prairie and sortie."
"Words ending with an \äzh \ sound are common in French. This sound is spelled age
as in collage, mirage, dressage, garage, barrage, camouflage, entourage, and fuselage."
"A \k\ sound at the end of a word from French is often spelled que as in
mystique, boutique, and physique."
"The \ü\ sound (as in rouge and many other words on the list) in words from
French is usually spelled with ou. Sometimes, however, it is spelled with u
as in tutu and ecru."
"When the \sh\ sound occurs at the end of a word from French, there is nearly always a silent
e that follows it, as in quiche and gauche."
"Words ending with an \äd \ sound are common in French. This sound is spelled ade as in
"French speakers have a number of vowels that English speakers modify in pronunciation. Our way of
pronouncing the French aise (pronounced \ez\ in French) is usually \āz\."
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