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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 single vowel, it's usually written -tch. For example: fetch, catch, pitch, watch, dispatch. As so often with English, there are some exceptions to the rule. In this case, two such examples are attach and detach. Here's a list of the other exceptions:

enrich

ostrich

spinach

lech

rich

such

much

sandwich

which

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

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Grammar and usage