How to spell the "sh" sound. 

In this lesson we're looking at the letter patterns that have the "sh" sound in them.

Letter patterns are also called spelling patterns and letter strings. 

Good spellers know common letter patterns and can write them automatically. Good spellers also know the different sounds that go with these letter patterns.

How many ways can you spell the sound "sh"? Think of the endings of words as well. For example - sheep, nation, obsession. 

We have the common -sh- pattern - sheep, wish, fashion
-sion mission, permission, session
-sure  pressure, sure, assure, reassure (but treasure, measure, leisure have a slightly different sound - "zhu" sound)
-cial social, special, official 
-ient / -cient, -tient ancient, sufficient, patient
-sue tissue, issue
-tial essential, substantial, partial
-tion lotion, portion, condition 
-sia / -sian Asia/Asian, Russia/Russian, Persia/Persian
-cious gracious, delicious, ambitious 
su- sugar, sure, insurance 
French influence: chef, machine, champagne, brochure, moustache 

spelling tests

3. Do a spelling test. Write out the sentences, listen to the spelling test and fill in the gaps.

1. The _______   _______ off his _______  _______ with _______  _______ strokes. 

2. She was still _______ from the _______ of being _______ in the _______. 

3. My _______ runs out soon so I better make _______ that I renew it. 

4. The _______ was that the _______ was due to faulty _______.

My ______ _____ is ______ and I ____ I had the money to buy another. 

6. They're ______     _______. 

7. He's a _______ and his ______  is cooking _______. 

8. On ______  ______ I always hire a ______ and have  ______.


1. The Russian shaved off his bushy moustache with short sharp strokes.

2. She was still shaking from the shock of being crushed in the rush

3. My insurance runs out soon so I better make sure that I renew it. 

4. The decision was that the collision was due to faulty vision

5. My washing machine is ancient and I wish I had the money to buy another. 

6. They're professional musicians

7. He's a chef and his speciality is cooking fish.

8. On special occasions I always hire a chauffeur and have champagne.

If word search doesn't load, click here Words with the "sh" sound Word Search
Words With The sh Sound - Word Search Game

If you want a more intense spelling course then check out my Spelling Rules, Patterns and Strategies Masterclass - click here