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SS1: ENGLISH LANGUAGE - 3RD TERM

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Lesson 7, Topic 3
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Vocabulary Development: Spelling of Commonly Misspelt Words and Use of the Dictionary

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Many English words are commonly misspelt. Note some of them: receive, conceive, deceive, thief, chief, mischief, grateful, dining, beginning, decision, succeed, success, proceed, procedure, process, reference, referee, referred, offered, across, occasion, occurrence, omission, accommodation, recommendation, misspelt, admission, committee, embarrass, harass, dining, duly, truly, grateful.

It is important to emphasize the importance of spelling words correctly. When you write an essay in the examination, you are punished for every word you spell wrongly. You must therefore learn to make constant use of your dictionary, to look up the spelling of words. Such constant practice will help you to become familiar with the spellings of many words. We will now consider some useful spelling rules. 

Useful Spelling Rules

i. Addition to Words

All loses an l when it is prefixed to another word. Example are almighty, almost, alone, already, also, although, always. Exception – all right

ii. Dropping ‘e’

A word ending in silent ‘e’ generally drops the ‘e’ before a suffix beginning with a vowel sound.

desire + -ous        = desirous

combine + -ation = combination

dine + -ing            = dining

come + -ing          = coming

write + -ing           = writing

fame + -ous          = famous

hope + -ing           = hoping

achieve + -able     = achievable

like + -able           = likable

Note the following too:

awe + ful = awful

due + -ly = duly

true + -ly = truly

argue + -ment = argument  

iii. Retaining ‘e’

A word ending in silent ‘e’ generally retains the ‘e’ before a suffix beginning with a consonant or with any of the vowels a, i, o. Examples:

peace + -able                =      peaceable

singe + -ing          =      singeing

dye + -ing             =      dyeing

hoe + -ing             =      hoeing

notice + -able       =      noticeable

courage + -ous     =      courageous

arrange + -ment   =      arrangement

judge + -ment       =      judgement

iv. ‘i’ before ‘e’

Use ‘i’ before ‘e’ in spelling a word with the long ‘ee’ sound.

Examples are: relieve, believe, chief, grief, wield, yield, niece, field, thief, brief, shriek, siege, mischief. Exception: seize

v. ‘e’ before ‘i’

Use ‘e’ before ‘i’ in spelling a word with the long ee sound if the long ee sound follows c.

Examples are: ceiling, receive, deceive, perceive, conceive, conceit

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