Kuno
Why does the alphabet Q always have the word u followed when it comes to a word like quater, quit, quick ?
Jun 25, 2010 2:34 PM
Answers · 2
French influence! No language stands alone. ;) The letter K only exists in French within loanwords. To get the "K" sound, French uses either C (which becomes "S" before E / I ), or Q(+U). When French words and spellings drifted into English, we adopted the QU, but gave a "W" sound to the U. So QU="KW". Roughly. In both English and French, a solo Q is less common. Still, the French words that have Q alone always place it at the end of words: cinq, coq. So why the U? I suggest our Q is slightly further back down the throat than our K, so you need a deep chesty vowel (U) to hang onto it, and connect it to the following vowel. Relax your throat and say "king - queen, king-queen" and you'll feel how the Q drops down a bit. I remember a similar question asked long ago, you might like to read it as well: http://www.italki.com/answers/question/58094.htm
June 25, 2010
Why does the alphabet Q always have the word u followed when it comes to a word like quater, quit, quick. Why is the letter Q always followed by the letter U? Why does the letter U always follow the letter Q? The letter 'q' is not always followed by the letter 'u'. There are a few English words, borrowed from other languages that have q with no following u. One is "inqilab", which means a riot or disturbance. Also names of countries and cities often have a q with no following u. For example, Iraq, Iqaluit, etc. The 'qu" combination almost always sounds like 'kw', so why don't we write: quick as kwick quiet as kwiet quite as kwite... I have one more kwestion ... who's in charge of my language... in other words, who's rsponsible for this 'qu' mess? I must speak with that person...:)
June 25, 2010
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Kuno
Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language
English