From November, 2015

Top Tips for Spelling with The English Language Room

Learn English: Top Ten Tips for Spelling

Learn English: Let’s look at the top ten spelling rules when learning English.

  1. the “i before e except after c” rule
    believe – receive
    As a basic rule this is great
    but what about ancient, leisure, neighbour

We have a longer version of the rule:
” i before e except after a long c but not when c is a “sh” sound and not when sounded like ‘a’ as in neighbour/ weigh / eight /beige

  1. Changing “y” to “ies”

When the word ends in a vowel + y just add ‘s’
key → keys
delay → delays
(because we can’t have three vowels in a row delaies x )

If the word has a consonant before the ‘y’:
take off the ‘y’ and add ‘ies’
baby → babies
company → companies

  1. Adding -es to words ending in -s, -ss, -z -ch -sh -x
    It softens the ‘s’ sound to a ‘z’ sound
    bus→ buses
    business → businesses
    watch → watches
  2. 1:1:1 doubling up rule
    put – putting, big-bigger, quiz – quizzes, swim – swimming…

When a word has one syllable + 1 vowel next to 1 consonant we double up the final consonant with a vowel suffix:
sit – sitter, big – biggest, tap – tapping, shop – shopper/shopping, fat – fatten, fattening, fatter, fattest…

This happens in longer words when the stress is on the final syllable:
begin (beGIN) – beginner, beginning
refer (reFER) – referring, referred

  1. Drop the ‘e’ rule
    We usually drop the final silent “e” when we add vowel suffix endings, for example:

write + ing → writing
hope + ed = hoped
We keep the ‘e’ if the word ends in –CE or –GE to keep a soft sound, with able/ous
courage + ous = courageous
outrage + ous = outrageous

  1. Changing the “y” to “i” when adding suffix endings.

beauty+ful > beauti+ful =beautiful, beautify, beautician
happy + ness = – happiness, happily, happier, happiest
angry + er = angrier, angriest, angrily,

  1. “-f” to “-ves” or “-s”

Most words ending in “-f” or “-fe” change their plurals to “-ves”
calf – calves
half – halves

  1. Words ending in -ful
    The suffix –FUL is always spelt with one L, for example:

grate + ful = grateful
faith + ful = faithful

  1. Adding -ly

When we add -ly to words ending in -ful then we have double letters
gratefully
faithfully

We also add -ly to words ending in ‘e’
love + ly = lovely
complete + ly = completely
definite + ly = definitely

BUT not truly (true + ly) This is a common misspelled word.

We change the end ‘e’ to ‘y’ in these -le words
gentle > gently
idle > idly

  1. When we add “all” to the beginning of words we drop the l
    all + so = also
    all + most = almost
    although
    always

That’s it for my top ten rules! I hope it has been a useful English class!

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