MORE SPELLING RULES
SPELLING PLURAL NOUNS
- Most words add s to the root forms
without any change (barn - barns).
- Words ending in sh, ch, ss, x, and z, usually
add es to form the PLURAL (bush - bushes).
- Words ending in a consonant and y change the y
to i and add es (party - parties).
- 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
Spelling: A Lost Art
Linda Schrock Taylor
- The letter q is always followed by u and
together they say /kw/. The u is not considered a
- The letter c before e, i, or y says /s/ (cent,
city, cycle), but followed by any other letter says
/k/ (cat, cot, cut).
- 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,
- 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)
- The letters i and y usually say /i/ (big, gym),
but may say i (silent, my, type).
- The letter y, not i, is used at the end of an
English word (my).
- 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
(The job of the #4 Silent final e is to
prevent us from having a syllable with no
Silent e # 5: are nurse raise bye ewe owe
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
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)"
- 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,
- 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/.
- 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 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.
- After c we use ei (receive). If we say a, we use
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
cruc (cross) to cru cial / speci (kind) to spe
- 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).
- 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
- 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
- The phonogram si may also say /zh/ as in vi sion,
di vi sion, oc ca sion, ex plo sion.
- 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.
- We often use ay to say a at the end of a base
word, never a alone. (bay, day, decay)
- Vowels i and o may say long i and long o if
followed by two consonants (find, old).
- The letter s never follows x. The phonogram x
includes an s sound-/ks/.
- 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).
- 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).
- The phonogram dge may be used only after a
single vowel that says its short sound (badge, edge,
bridge, lodge, budge).
- 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
- The phonogram ck may be used only
after a single vowel that says its short sound
(back, neck, lick, rock, duck).
- Words that are the names or
titles of people, places, books, days, or months are
- Words beginning with the sound z
are always spelled with z, never with s.
- The phonogram ed has three
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).
- Words are usually divided between
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
from a while back:
Spelling (OWL Purdue)
: with 2
exercises and answer keys
Spelling: i/e rules: with 2 exercises and answer keys
Spelling: Noun Plurals
Spelling: Suffixes–-ible vs.
—able: with exercise and
- Spelling: i/e rules
Spelling:Exercises for -ible vs.