Words ending in -ch and -tch

The spelling of these words often causes problems. A common mistake is to spell attach and detach with the ending -tch (attatch, detatch). Here are some simple tips to help you get it right:

  • If the final ‘ch’ sound comes after a consonant, the ending is -ch. For example: search, church, branch, finch.
  • When the final ‘ch’ sound follows a one-letter vowel, it's usually written -tch. For example: fetch, catch, pitch, watch, dispatch. As so often with English, there are a few exceptions to the rule, including the words attach and detachthemselves! Here's a list of these exceptions:

    attach

    much

    sandwich

    which

    detach

    ostrich

    spinach

    enrich

    rich

    such

  • If the final ‘ch’ sound comes after a two-letter vowel, the ending should be spelled -ch. For example: beach, teach, crouch, touch, speech.

 


Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Grammar and usage