Spelling Rules

Spelling Rules

There are few Spelling Rules which should be followed in the formation of words.

1. For the one-syllable words ending in single vowel + single consonant, double the consonant before a suffix beginning with vowel.
(*Syllable meaning : a unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word; for example, there are two syllables in water and three in inferno.)

Examples:

• beg + ed = begged
• run + ed =running
• rob + er = robber
• sad + est =saddest

but…

• wish + ed = wished (two consonants)
• fear + ing = fearing ( two vowels)

2. For the words of two or three syllables ending in single vowel + single consonant, double the final consonant if the last syllable is stressed.

Examples:

• Begin + ing =beginning
• Permit +ed =permitted
• Occur +ed =occurred
• Control + er =controller

There are more Spelling Rules that follow.

3. The consonant is not doubled if the last syllable is not stressed.

Examples:

• Benefit +ed = benefited
• Suffer + ing =suffering

Exceptions:

• Worship +ed =worshipped
• Handicap +ed =handicapped
• Kidnap +er =kidnapper

4. The consonant ‘l’ is doubled, even if the stress does not fall on the last syllable.

Examples:

• Quarrel + ed =quarreled
• Signal + ing = signalling
• Travel + er =traveller
• Distil + er =distiller

5. If the word to which suffix ‘ful’ is added ends in‘ll’, the second ‘l’ is dropped.

Examples:

• Skill + ful =skilful
• Will + full =willful

There are more Spelling Rules that follow.

6. For words ending in silent ‘e’, drop the ‘e’ before a suffix beginning with a vowel.

Examples:

• Live + ing =living
• Move + ing =moving
• Drive + ing =driving
• Hope + ing =hoping

NOTE:

The ‘e’ remains before a suffix beginning with a consonant.

Examples:

• Hope + ful =hopeful
• Engage +ment =engagement

Exceptions:

• True + ly +truly
• Whole +ly =wholly
• Due + ly = duly
• Nine + th =ninth
• Awe + ful =awful
• Argue +ment =argument

7. Notice the special case of words ending in ‘ce’ and ‘ge’ which keep the ‘e’ when adding ‘able’ and ‘ous’.

Examples:

• Notice +able =noticeable
• Peace +able =peaceful
• Change +able =changeable
• Courage + ous =courageous

8. Words ending in ‘ee’ do not drop an ‘e’ before a suffix.

Examples:

• See + ing =seeing
• Agree + ment =agreement

9. Words ending in ‘ie’ change the ‘ie’ to ‘y’ when ‘ing’ is added.

Examples:

• Die + ing =dying
• Tie + ing =tying
• Lie + ing =lying

There are more Spelling Rules that follow.

10. A final ‘y’ following a consonant changes to ‘i’ before a suffix except ‘ing’.

Examples:

• Happy + ly = happily
• Beauty + ful =beautiful
• Carry + ed = carried
• Marry + ed =married
• Marry +age =marriage
• Carry +ing =carrying
• Marry +ing =marrying

NOTE:

But, ‘y’ following a vowel does not change.

• Pray + ed =prayed
• Play +er =player

Exceptions:

• Pay +ed =paid
• Say +ed =said
• Lay + ed =laid
• Day + ly =daily
• Gay +ly =gaily

11. When ‘ie’ or ‘ei’ is pronounced like ‘ee’ in jeep, ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.

Examples:

• Believe
• Relieve
• Achieve
• Grieve
• Yield
• Field

• Receive
• Receipt
• Deceive
• Deceit
• Conceive
• Conceit

Exceptions:

• Seize
• Weird
• Protein
• Surfeit
• Counterfeit
• Plebeian

These are the Spelling Rules which determine the formation of words of different kinds.

SOURCEEnglish For Students
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