Everybody’s done it: agonizing over classwork or slacking off with modern word games, we’ve all stared at our fair share of word jumbles. These puzzles ask you to combine various symbols to create a coherent sentence.
Some words are easy to solve, while others are quite difficult. Knowing how to do well at anagrams quickly can come in handy in many situations. It could help with a crossword, sudoku, or even next year’s Scrabble or Words with Friends tournament! Here are some tips for helping you solve any word jumble.
Look For Frequent Letter Pairs
When solving an English word jumble, it’s important to look for the letters that are friends and like to go with one another and the ones that don’t.
For example, a “u” usually follows a “q” if there is one.
A lot of words begin or end with a combination like “ch,” “sh,” or “th.”
Probably not two vs together, but perhaps two ls.
A common vowel combination is “ie” and “ou,” but pairings such as “iu” and “ui” aren’t common. These two vowels probably belong to different parts of the word.
Separate Affixes And Find Smaller Words
Spotting prefixes and suffixes, collectively known as affixes, could also help you unscramble your letters quickly.
One of the techniques you can use to get better at unscrambling words is to learn to recognize smaller words that may go in with the ones you can’t.
This from a statistical standpoint means that we remove any characters associated with the prefix or suffix from the stack, thereby reducing the number of possible combinations of sorts for the remaining characters to be sorted by. This is what the field of mathematics refers to as permutations or all possible arrangements.
The number of possible solutions can grow exponentially with the number of letters in a word. You might find that using prefixes or suffixes (and leaving a few out entirely) makes words easier to decode and reduces the number of possible solutions. It can be interesting to guess at possible combinations of the remaining letters. Once you find the best choice, it should unscramble the word.
Here is a list of some common affixes.
Isolate the Consonants and Vowels
One of the best ways to come up with the root of a word is to use the vowels in it as the template for all the other letters. So how can vowels be helpful? This is because syllables have to have at least one consonant in them, often placed in the middle, and the rest of the letters follow a predictable pattern. In order to better see letter pairings, group the consonants together based on their sounds, then group the vowels based on their sounds.
For example, by placing “b,” “l,” and “t” next to each other, you will see that “b” and “l” could appear in a word, but “b” and “t” are less likely Letters A, E, I, O, and U will be the most common you encounter. For this reason, if there are more consonants than vowels in an English word or a syllable, there are few to no ways to put the syllables together to form a word. Write some letters in the template, place vowels in the middle, and see how the letters can rearrange. Common patterns will start to reveal themselves too. For example, consonant-vowel – consonant-vowel is the dominant pattern in four-letter words.
Practice Or Reach Out for Help
Practice unscrambling often. The more you practice, the easier it will get. Practice makes perfect; with enough practice, your brain will learn how to quickly recognize the words you’re looking for. It is better to walk at a slower, more deliberate pace in order to give your brain time to ponder and consider what it sees.
Walking quickly does not allow for as much brain processing and the viewer will likely only be focused on the sequential order in which information is provided. So, instead of struggling on your own, you are encouraged to turn to your friends and family. Sure, while figuring out a word from a scrambled word set can sometimes be difficult, the feeling you get when you’re finally able to do it is more than worth it.
As a last resort, one can find help online or use an unscrambling tool like Unscrambled Words. It can also be a great way to expand your vocabulary.
These tips and tricks all use your English language knowledge to simplify the problem by reducing the number of ways you can solve it.
This is achieved by:
- Observing a particular pattern of letter
- You can find patterns in fewer letters by removing characters that match common sequences – use roots, suffixes, and prefixes, and see what letters remain
Hopefully this short guide has been useful to you and that you are now more ready for your next Scramble game. Check out Scrabble or Word with Friends to put your newly honed skills to the test. Have fun and good luck!