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English Spelling Rules

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English Spelling Rules Empty English Spelling Rules

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:49 pm

English Spelling Rules


Writing (and therefore spelling) is a representation of the spoken word. The spoken word is not a representation of writing. Because accents and pronunciation can change easily and quite quickly, whereas what is written in books and dictionaries remains "fixed" for years, as well as for various historical reasons, there is often little correspondence between spoken English (pronunciation) and written English (spelling). English spelling therefore often appears to be totally illogical. The following rules can help you to decode the mysteries of English spelling. But remember, even the best rules have their exceptions.

  • Adding -er/-est
    quick, quicker, quickest, happy, happier, happiest, hot, hotter, hottest...
  • Adding -ing/-ed
    work, working, worked, stop, stopping, stopped...
  • Adding -ly
    loud, loudly, happy, happily, terrible, terribly...
  • Adding -s
    dog, dogs, church, churches, wife, wives...
  • -ible or -able
    accessible, visible, dependable, networkable...
  • -ie- or -ei-
    friend, fiend, feint, freight...


    English and American English
    colour, color, practise, practice, tyre, tire...


Adding -er/est


We make the comparative or superlative forms of short adjectives by adding -er or -est.
Spelling Rule
Just add -er or -est to the end of the adjective, for example:

  • quick > quicker > quickest
  • great > greater > greatest
  • full > fuller > fullest

Exceptions
If the adjective ends in:do this:and add:For example:
consonant -ychange the -y to an -i-er
-est
happy > happier > happiest
consonant -eremove the -elate > later > latest
consonant vowel consonantdouble the last letterhot > hotter > hottest
Note: adjectives ending in -l are regular, except:
cruel > crueller > cruellest

Adding -ing/-ed


Often we need to add -ing or -ed to a verb to make other forms of the verb, for example:
I was talking when John arrived.
Spelling Rule
Just add -ing or -ed to the end of the base verb:

  • work > working > worked
  • play > playing > played
  • open > opening > opened

Exceptions
If the base verb ends in:do this:and add:For example:
consonant vowel consonant
and a stressed syllable
double the final consonant-ing
-ed
stop > stopping > stopped
begin > beginning
tap > tapping > tapped
But, for example:
open > opening > opened
(because no stress on last syllable of open)
consonant -eremove the -e-ing
-ed
phone > phoning > phoned
dance > dancing > danced
make > making
rake > raking > raked
dye > dying > dyed
-iechange the -ie to -y-inglie > lying
die > dying
nothing-dlie > lied
die > died

Adding -ly


We often make an adverb by adding -ly to an adjective, for example: quick > quickly.
Spelling Rule
Just add -ly to the end of the adjective:

  • coy > coyly
  • loud > loudly
  • beautiful > beautifully
  • senseless > senselessly
  • intelligent > intelligently

Exceptions
If the adjective ends in:do this:and add:For example:
-llnothing-yfull > fully
consonant -leremove the final -e-yterrible > terribly
-y (except 1-syllable adjectives)remove the -y-ilyhappy > happily
Note: 1-syllable adjectives ending in -y are regular, except:
day > daily
gay > gaily

Adding -s


We add -s to words for two reasons:

  1. to make plural nouns (boy > boys)
  2. to form the 3rd person singular of the present simple tense (I work > you work > he works)

Spelling Rule
Just add -s to the end of the word, for example:

  • dog > dogs
  • play > plays
  • demand > demands

Exceptions
If the word ends in:do this:and add:For example:
-ch
-s
-sh
-x
-z
nothing-eschurch > churches
mass > masses
brush > brushes
fax > faxes
box > boxes
chintz > chintzes
-f
-fe
remove the -f or -fe -veswife > wives
calf > calves
except:
beliefs, chiefs, dwarfs, griefs, gulfs, proofs, roofs
consonant -yremove the -y-iesspy > spies
baby > babies
Note: words that end in -o normally just add s, except:
buffalo > buffaloes
cargoes (or cargos)
domino > dominoes
echo > echoes
go > goes
grotto > grottoes
halo > haloes
hero > heroes
mango > mangoes
mosquito > mosquitoes
motto > mottoes (or mottos)
potato > potatoes
tomato > tomatoes
tornado > tornadoes
torpedo > torpedoes
veto > vetoes
volcano > volcanoes

-ible or -able


Many words end in -ible and -able. Sometimes it is difficult to remember which spelling to use.
The -ible ending is for words of Latin origin. There are about 180 words ending in -ible. No new words are being created with -ible endings. Here are the most common examples:
accessible
admissible
audible
collapsible
combustible
compatible
comprehensible
contemptible
credible
defensible
destructible
digestible
divisible
edible
fallible
flexible
gullible
horrible
illegible
implausible
inaccessible
incontrovertible
incredible
indefensible
indelible
inedible
insensible
intelligible
invincible
invisible
illegible
irresistible
irreversible
ostensible
permissible
plausible
possible
responsible
reversible
sensible
susceptible
suggestible
tangible
terrible
visible
The -able ending is for:

  • non-Latin words, for example: affordable, dependable, washable
  • new words, for example: networkable, windsurfable

Rule
This rule can help you decide the correct spelling. It works most of the time. But remember, if you are not sure about a word, it is probably best to use a dictionary. Here is the rule:

  • If you remove -able from a word, you are left with a complete word.
  • If you remove -ible from a word, you are not left with a complete word.


-ie- or -ei-


Sometimes it is difficult to remember whether a word is spelled with -ie- or -ei-. There is a very simple rule about this:

  • I before E
    Except after C

RuleExamples
I before Eachieve, believe, brief, chief, friend, grief, hygiene, patience, pierce, priest, thief
Except after Cceiling, conceit, conceive, deceit, deceive, perceive, receipt, receive
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule.
1. When the sound rhymes with "may", the spelling is -ei-:

  • beige, feint, freight, inveigle, neighbour, sleigh, vein, weigh, weight

2. Here are a few more common exceptions:

  • either, neither, caffeine, codeine, counterfeit, foreign, forfeit, height, leisure, protein, their, weird, seize, seizure


English and American English Spelling


Here are the principal differences in spelling between English and American English.
EnglishAmerican English
Final -l is always doubled after one vowel in stressed and unstressed syllables in English but usually only in stressed syllables in American English, for example:rebel > rebelled
travel > travelled
rebel > rebelled
travel > traveled
Some words end in -tre in English and -ter in American English, for example:centre
theatre
center
theater
Some words end in -ogue in English and -og in American English, for example:analogue
catalogue
analog
catalog
Some words end in -our in English and -or in American English, for example:colour
labour
color
labor
Some verbs end in -ize or -ise in English but only in -ize in American English, for example:realise, realize
harmonise, harmonize
realize
harmonize
Common Differences


EnglishAmerican English
all right all right, alright (disputed)
analyse analyze
centre center
cheque check
colour color
counsellor counselor
criticise, criticizecriticize
defence defense
doughnut donut
favour favor
fibre fiber
flavour flavor
fulfil fulfill
greygray
honour honor
humourhumor
jewellery jewellery, jewelry
judgement, judgmentjudgment
kerb curb
labourlabor
license, licence (verb)
licence (noun)
license (verb)
license (noun)
litre liter
metre meter
mould mold
neighbourneighbor
offence offense
practise (verb)
practice (noun)
practice (verb)
practice (noun)
pretence pretense
programme program
pyjamas pajamas
realise, realizerealize
savour savor
speciality specialty
theatretheater
travelled
travelling
travelled, traveled
travelling, traveling
tyre tire
valourvalor

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English Spelling Rules Graduation

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Localisation : Jordan - Zarqa
Registration date : 2007-07-09

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