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Spelling List


spelling   splng  
NOUN: 1a. Forming words with letters
       in an accepted order; called
The art or study of orthography.
    The way a word is spelled.

The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language

"Nothing you can't spell will ever work."
      - Will Rogers

Basic Spelling Rules

One of the most common spelling rules taught to elementary students is "I before E, except after C, unless it says A as in neighbor and weigh." However, there are a number of other rules that you can use to help decode the spelling of an unfamiliar word. For example:

  • The letter Q is always followed by U. In this case, the U is not considered to be a vowel.
  • The letter S never follows X.
  • The letter Y, not I, is used at the end of English words. Examples of this rule include my, by, shy, and why.
  • To spell a short vowel sound, only one letter is needed. Examples of this rule include at, red, it, hot, and up.
  • Drop the E. When a word ends with a silent final E, it should be written without the E when adding an ending that begins with a vowel. In this way, come becomes coming and hope becomes hoping.
  • When adding an ending to a word that ends with Y, change the Y to I if it is preceded by a consonant. In this way, supply becomes supplies and worry becomes worried.
  • All, written alone, has two L's. When used as a prefix, however, only one L is written. Examples of this rule include also and almost.
  • Generally, adding a prefix to a word does not change the correct spelling.
  • Words ending in a vowel and Y can add the suffix -ed or -ing without making any other change.

If you are interested in a rules-based approach to improving your spelling skills, check out the Spelling Rules Web site. The creator of this site has developed a Spell500 instructional method that uses spelling rules to teach students how to master up to 500 new words per day. By focusing on understanding before memorization, this study method proposes to drastically increase your spelling abilities. Six free sample lessons are available online to help you get started.



Four Key Spelling Rules

  • **(see detail below)  Write "i" before "e" except after "c," or when sounding like "a" as in "neighbor" and "weigh." When the "ie/ei" combination is not pronounced "ee," it is usually spelled "ei."

Examples: ie

fiery, friend, mischief, view, believe

Examples: ei

reign, foreign, weigh, neighbor, weird, receive
  • If a word ends with a silent "e," drop the "e" before adding a suffix which begins with a vowel:
state--stating; like--liking
  • You do not drop the "e" when the suffix begins with a consonent:
state--statement; like--likeness; use--useful
  • When "y" is the last letter in a word and the "y" is preceded by a consonant, change the "y" to "i" before adding any suffix except those beginning with "i":
beauty--beautiful; fry--fries; hurry--hurried; lady--ladies

with fry, when you added the suffix es, you had to change the y
to i, and then add es (above)
But... when adding the suffix ing to fry.... you do not drop the y....
 instead you just add the suffix to the word:  frying

  • When forming the plural of a word which ends with a "y" that is preceded by a vowel, add "s":
toy--toys; play--plays; monkey--monkeys
  • When a one-syllable word ends in a consonant preceded by one vowel, double the final consonant before adding a suffix which begins with a vowel:
bat--batted, --batting; prod--prodded, --prodding
  • When a multi-syllable word ends in a consonant, and the consonant is preceded by one vowel, and the last syllable is stressed, then the same rule holds true: double the final consonant:
control--controlled; sum--summary;
god--goddess; prefer--preferred

examples of first syllable stress which are not doubled..
Symbol  - symbolic   Iron - ironed


(American) English Spelling 

Techniques and strategies for spelling (the American way)

Free Online Spell Checker - Free Online Spell Checker, copy and paste your word or whole
document to our site to check and correct it online.



  1. Most words add s to the root forms without any change (barn - barns).

  2. Words ending in sh, ch, ss, x, and z, usually add es to form the PLURAL (bush - bushes).

  3. Words ending in a consonant and y change the y to i and add es (party - parties).

  4. Some words ending in f can be changed like this:
    calf becomes calves
    You change the f to v and add es
    Another one would be

Guide to English Spelling Rules
Basics of British and American spelling with a minimum of effort


Spelling: A Lost Art

by Linda Schrock Taylor

  1. The letter q is always followed by u and together they say /kw/. The u is not considered a vowel here.
  2. The letter c before e, i, or y says /s/ (cent, city, cycle), but followed by any other letter says /k/ (cat, cot, cut).
  3. The letter g before e, i, or y may say /j/ (page, giant, gym), but followed by any other letters says /g/ (gate, go, gust). The letters e and i following g do not always make the g say /j/ (get, girl, give).
  4. Vowels a, e, o, and u usually say their names/long sounds (a, e, o, u) at the end of a syllable (na vy, me, o pen, mu sic). (These are referred to as open syllables.) This rule helps students know how to divide unfamiliar vowel-consonant-vowel words and then pronounce the word correctly. (re port…rather than rep ort)
  5. The letters i and y usually say /i/ (big, gym), but may say i (silent, my, type).
  6. The letter y, not i, is used at the end of an English word (my).
  7. There are five kinds of Silent final e's. (In short words such as me, she, and he, the e says e, but in longer words where a single e appears at the end, the e is silent.)

    Silent Final e's should be thought of as "having a job."

    Silent e #1: bake gene time/type code cute

(The job of the #1 Silent e is to make the vowel preceding it say its name.)

Silent e #2: love give blue true

(The job of the #2 Silent final e is to prevent us from ending an English word with a v or a u.)

Silent e #3: chance bodice charge allege

(The job of the #3 Silent final e is to soften a c or g.)

Silent e #4: lit tle cas tle bot tle dab ble fid dle

(The job of the #4 Silent final e is to prevent us from having a syllable with no vowel.)

Silent e # 5: are nurse raise bye ewe owe cause

Mrs. Spalding referred to the #5 Silent final e as the "No job e."

Mrs. Sanseri refers to the #5 Silent final e as the "Odd job E" and explains: "Any reason for a silent E not covered by the first four is lumped into this final category.

    1. The E keeps a word that is not plural from ending in an 's'

      Examples: dense (not dens), purse (not purs), false (not fals)

    2. The E adds length to a short main-idea word. Ex.: awe, ewe, rye

    3. The E gives a distinction in meaning between homonyms. Ex.: or/ore for/fore

    4. The E is left over from Middle English or a foreign language where the final E was once pronounced. (treatise giraffe)"

  1. There are five spellings for the sound /er/. Keep this sentence in mind:

    Her nurse first works early.

    In that, the spellings are in the descending order of usage in English.

    The phonogram or may say /er/ when it follows w (work, worm, worthy). Also keep in mind that ar and or say /er/ at the end of some words (dollar, doctor).

  2. The 1-1-1 Rule: Words of one syllable (hop), having one vowel followed by one consonant, need another final consonant (hop + ped) before adding endings that begin with a vowel. This rule does not apply to words with x since x has two sounds /ks/.
  3. The 2-1-1 Rule:

    Words of two syllables (be gin) in which the second syllable (gin) is accented and has one vowel followed by one consonant, need another final consonant (be gin + ning) before adding an ending that begins with a vowel. If the last syllable is not accented (en ter, prof it, bud get) do not double the final consonant before adding the ending.

  4. The Drop-e Rule:

    Words ending with a Silent final e (come, hope) are written without the e when adding an ending that begins with a vowel.

  5. After c we use ei (receive). If we say a, we use ei (vein).

    In the list of exceptions, we use ei.

Exceptions: Neither foreign sovereign seized counterfeit forfeited leisure. Plus: either weird protein heifer

In all other words, the phonogram ie is used.

(In school we were taught, "I before E, except after C, unless it says A as in neighbor and weigh.")

  1. The phonogram sh is used at the beginning or end of a base word (she, dish), at the end of a syllable (fin ish), but never at the beginning of a syllable after the first one except for the ending ship (wor ship, friend ship).
  2. The phonograms ti, si, and ci are the spellings most frequently used to say /sh/ at the beginning of a second or subsequent syllable in a base word (na tion, ses sion, fa cial).

    Most often, consider the root or root word to help you choose the correct /sh/ spelling to use.

    Examples: infect to in fec tious / collect to col lec tion / potent to po ten tial

    music to mu si cian / space to spa cious / finance to fi nan cial

    soci (companion) to so cial / ancien (old) to an cient

cruc (cross) to cru cial / speci (kind) to spe cial
  1. The phonogram si is used to say /sh/ when the syllable before it ends in an s (ses sion) or when the base word has an s where the base word changes (tense, ten sion).

    discuss to dis cus sion / compress to com pres sion / admis to ad mis sion

  2. The phonogram si may also say /zh/ as in vi sion, di vi sion, oc ca sion, ex plo sion.
  3. We often double l, f, and s following a single vowel at the end of a one-syllable word (will, off, miss). Sometimes rule 17 applies to two-syllable words like recess.
  4. We often use ay to say a at the end of a base word, never a alone. (bay, day, decay)
  5. Vowels i and o may say long i and long o if followed by two consonants (find, old).
  6. The letter s never follows x. The phonogram x includes an s sound-/ks/.
  7. Dismiss L Rule:

    All, written alone, has two l's, but when used as a prefix, only one l is written (al so, al most).

  8. Dismiss L Rule (part 2):

    Till and full, written alone, have two l's, but when used as a suffix, only one l is written (un til, beau ti ful).

  9. The phonogram dge may be used only after a single vowel that says its short sound (badge, edge, bridge, lodge, budge).
  10. Change Y to I Rule:

    When adding an ending to a word that ends with a consonant and y, use i instead of y unless the ending is ing or might split a phonogram.

    city/cit ies beauty/beau ti ful play/player funny/fun ni est

    multiply/mul ti ply ing rely/re li able cry/cried deny/denied

  11. The phonogram ck may be used only after a single vowel that says its short sound (back, neck, lick, rock, duck).
  12. Words that are the names or titles of people, places, books, days, or months are capitalized.
  13. Words beginning with the sound z are always spelled with z, never with s.
  14. The phonogram ed has three sounds.

    If a base word ends in the sound /d/ or /t/, adding ed makes another syllable that says /ed/ (sid ed, part ed).

If the base word ends in a voiced consonant sound, the ending ed says /d/ (lived). If the base word ends in an unvoiced consonant sound, the ending ed says /t/ (jumped).

  1. Words are usually divided between double consonants.

    For speaking and reading, only the consonant in the accented syllable is pronounced; the consonant in the unaccented syllable is silent (lit tle to lit le).


Rhymes With Orange cartoon from a while back:

  1. Free Spelling Course

Spelling  (OWL Purdue)