Two, Twelve, and Twenty – Maintaining Meaning in Words

Did you know that sometimes English words maintain parts to hold meaning for the word? The words Two, Twelve, and Twenty are the perfect example of that. Keep reading and we will tell you why and why you should talk about it with your students.

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Did you ever think about a word and think why is it spelled that? Well, there are lots of reasons why words are spelled the way they are and as educators it’s important for us to understand why so we can set our students up to be able to successfully read.

So let’s talk about the number two.

  • Do your students sometimes confuse when to spell two, to, or even too?
  • Do you ever tell your students to just remember that the word with TW is for the number word?

Well, there’s a better explanation. Did you know that sometimes English words are brought over from other languages? Did you know that sometimes words maintain parts of other words to help maintain the meaning? As your students become word decoding detectives they may find this useful.

Check this out…

  • two
  • twelve
  • twenty

Do you see a trend? These words all start with the TW blend. Two meaning two (obviously), twelve meaning one ten and two ones, and twenty meaning two tens.

But let’s keep looking…

  • twice
  • twin

These words also have some sort of meaning for the word two. How cool is that?

Now, you can keep digging and digging into words to really find the history and meanings of the words, but this is a great start to understanding the English language when it comes to the word two.

Key here is that students need to know more about words to comprehend them. Have those conversations with them so they know and don’t just have to figure this out!

So let’s think about this for your class. When you are talking about the word two, you can easily point out that the blend TW is there to help maintain the meaning of TWO. This will help students be able to know when to use the the word two or two in their reading and writing.

This same concept can be applied to many other words like three, thirty, thirteen, thrice. Can you think of any other words that maintain word parts to maintain meaning?

This article is written by Jennifer who has a huge love of all kindergarten and Science of Reading.

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