This video lesson is designed for 6-12-years old children to guide them on how the use of magic ‘e’ or silent ‘e’ changes the pronunciation of the word.
What is Magic ‘e’?
The magic ‘e’, is also known as the unspoken ‘e’ or the silent ‘e’, or the bossy ‘e’. When the letter ‘e’ is placed at the end of a word, it becomes silent and changes how the word is spoken or pronounced. It happens when the letter ‘e’ appears in the second letter of a split digraph with another vowel sound, such as in the word ‘like’, cake, puke, and hive.
Why do We Call Magic “e” Rule by its Name?
The magic e is called by its names because it helps to make learning about it more fun and engaging for children. Split digraphs such as ‘magic’ or ‘bossy’ allow facilitators to come up with a fun story or made-up anecdote to explain how it got its name helping children easier to understand more. It helps them understand how by silent magic the letter ‘e’ comes at the end of a word and turns a short ‘o’ into a long ‘o’ sound or a short ‘i’ into a long ‘i’ sound.
What are the Rules for Using the Silent ‘e’ and How Does the Pronunciation of the Word Change?
In Language vocabulary, many words or morphemes end with magic ‘e’ or silent ‘e’. It means the letter ‘e’ is never pronounced, but it changes the meaning of the word while being silent.
Consider some words: bridge, cute, date, delicate, hive, large, gate, and time. All the words have something in common; each of them ends with a silent ‘e.’
Let us refresh the ‘/a/’ sound and all other vowel sounds produced, along with the silent e.
Magic e or Silent e Rules:
There are a few rules to remember when using the silent ‘e,’ so let’s review them.
Rule 1: Vowel Sound Rule
There are two types of vowel sounds: short vowel sounds and long vowel sounds. A silent e in association with the other vowels converts a short vowel sound to a long vowel sound /eɪ, ei, aɪ, au/.
Note: There is usually only one consonant between the silent e and the preceding vowel to produce a long vowel sound. In some cases, two consonants may also have the same effect, such as a table, paste, and bathe.
Thus, the magic e or silent e lets other vowels say their name.
For example, in the word ‘make’ the silent ‘e’ forces the preceding vowel to say its name – ‘a’.
Similarly, in the word ‘bike’, the silent ‘e’ forces the preceding vowel to say its name – ‘i’.
Rule 2: Consonant Sounds
The “silent e” tells consonant sounds
- C or G to make a soft sound such as ice, age, etc.
- TH to make a vocal sound such as breathe, etc.
- S to make the /s/ sound instead of /az/ sound such as moos-moose, teas-tease, tens-tense, etc.
Rule 3: Stop Words from Ending in U and V
The rule of English spelling states that words cannot end with u or v. Adding “silent e” in the end prevents words from violating the spelling rule. For example: argue, blue, drive, and wave.
Rule 4: Distinguish Homophones
It also helps in distinguishing homophones. such as aw-awe, brows-browse, by-bye, and cops-corpse.
What are Some Examples of Silent ‘e’ Words?
To help us understand the magic ‘e’ or silent ‘e’ rule, let’s look at some common examples of how it applies to different words:
In all of these examples, the silent ‘e’ at the end of each word informs how we pronounce the vowels that come before it. If we took the words ‘Hope’ and ‘Mute’ and removed the silent ‘e’, we would end up with the words ‘Hop’ and ‘Mut.’
The Montessori method of learning helps a child to read, write, and relate to English words and language more easily and quickly.
Watch the video to learn how to pronounce the words containing magic ‘e’ or silent ‘e’.
For more language lessons, visit: https://theglobalmontessorinetwork.org/language-lessons/
Video created by: Justine McNeilly (Metro East Montessori, Granite City, Illinois).
- Is Magic e or silent e same?
Yes, ‘magic e’ or ‘split digraph’ is known as a ‘silent e
- What is magic e syllable?
An E can jump over (or under) a consonant at the end of a one-syllable word, giving its power to the other vowel. In this way, the E remains silent and the other vowel pronounces its name or makes a long sound instead