Some Useful Spelling Rules

1. When we add the suffix -ful to a word ending in -ll, the second -l is usually dropped.

  • Skill + ful = skilful
  • Will + full = willful

2. Words ending in silent -e drop the -e before a suffix beginning with a vowel (e.g. -ing, -ed, -er).

  • Drive + er = driver
  • Love + ed = loved
  • Live + ing = living
  • Hope + ing = hoping

3. Words ending in silent -e retain the -e before a suffix beginning with a consonant (e.g. -ful, -ness, -ment, -ly).

  • Hope + ful = hopeful
  • Engage + ment = engagement

There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule.

  • True + ly = truly, (not truely)
  • Whole + ly = wholly
  • Due + ly = duly
  • Awe + ful = awful

4. When we add the suffixes -able and -ous to words ending in -ce and -ge, the -e is kept.

  • Change + able = changeable
  • Notice + able = noticeable
  • Courage + ous = courageous

5. Words ending in -ee do not drop the final -e before a suffix.

  • See + ing = seeing
  • Agree + ment = agreement

6. Words ending in -ie change the -ie to -y when the suffix, -ing is added to it.

  • Die + ing = dying
  • Tie+ ing = tying
  • Lie + ing = lying

7. A word ending in a consonant + y, change the -y to -I when a suffix, other than -ing, is added to it.

  • Happy + ness = happiness
  • Beauty + ful = beautiful
  • Carry + ed + carried

8. When we add the suffix – ing to a word ending in a consonant + y, the -y is retained.

  • Carry + ing = carrying
  • Marry + ing = marrying

9. A one – syllable word ending in a vowel + consonant will double the consonant before a suffix beginning with a vowel.

  • Run + ing = running
  • Rob + er = robber
  • Cut + ing = cutting
  • Beg + ed = begged
  • Sad + est = saddest

10. A one – syllable word ending in two consonants or two vowels + one consonant will not double the consonant before a suffix beginning with a vowel.

  • Fear + ing = fearing
  • Wish + ed = wished

Notes

Syllable is a unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound. A word may contain one or more syllables. Put, for instance, has only one vowel sound and hence only one syllable. Butter has two syllables.

Suffix is an addition to the end of a word. Examples are: -ness in happiness, -ly in slowly, -ment in engagement and -ing in crying.

Prefix is an addition to the beginning of a word. Examples are: in abed, aboard and awake, be in beside and become.

image_pdfimage_print

Manjusha Nambiar

I am the founder and editor of http://www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.ielts-practice.org, and http://ncertguides.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *