Spelling Rules



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Spelling Rules :



English is not an easy language to spell. There are twenty-six letters in English alphabet as against about forty-five basic sounds and the letters often don’t match the sounds. That is why the spelling is troublesome not only to students of English as a foreign language but also to those whose mother tongue is English.

Below are some spelling rules. You will be able to avoid many spelling mistakes if you observe these rules.

Final E

When something (-ED, -ING, -ER, -EST) is added to a word ending in silent E, the E is normally dropped before a vowel.

1. hope + ed = hoped
2. like + ing = liking
3. wise + er = wiser
4. brave + est = bravest
5. move + able = movable

Final E is not normally dropped before a consonant.

1. hope + fill = hopeful
2. like + ness = likeness
3. sure + ly = surely
4. move + ment = movement

Exceptions :

1. true + ly = truly
2. due + ly = duly
3. whole + ly = wholly
4. awe + fill = awful
5. nine + th = ninth
6. wise + dom = wisdom
7. argue + ment = argument

In the following words the final E is retained to keep C or G soft before A or O.

1. notice + able = noticeable
2. change + able = changeable
3. peace + able = peaceable
4. courage + ous = courageous

Final Y

In words ending in a consonant Y, the Y changes to IE before S and to I before -ED, -ER, -EST and -LY.

1. lady + s = ladies
2. marry + s = marries
3. worry + ed = worried
4. try + cd = tried
5. funny + er = funnier
6. easy + est = easiest
7. happy + ly = happily

The Y does not change if it comes after a vowel letter.

1. play + s = plays
2. play + ed – played
3. play + ing = playing
4. play + er = player

Exceptions :

1. pay + ed = paid
2. say + ed = said
3. lay + cd = laid
4. day + ly – daily
5. gay + ly = gaily

The Y does not change before –ING.

1. try + ing = trying
2. marry + ing = marrying

Final IE changes to Y before –ING.

1. lie + ing = lying
2. die + ing = dying



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