Vocabulary Development: Spelling of Words
In SS One you learnt a number of spelling rules. In this lesson and the next, we will revise the rules and introduce you to some other words that are commonly misspelt.
1. 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
2. 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.
peace + -ble = peaceable
singe + -ing = singeing
dye + -ing = dyeing
notice + -able = noticeable
courage + -ous = courageous
arrange + -ment = arrangement
3. ‘i’ before ‘e’
Use ‘i’ before ‘e’ in spelling a word with the long ‘ee’ sound.
relieve, believe, chief, grief, wield, yield, niece, field, thief, brief, shriek, siege, mischief.
4. ‘e’ before ‘i’
Use ‘e’ before ‘i’ in spelling a word with the long ‘ee’ sound follows ‘c’.
Ceiling, receive, deceive, perceive, conceive, conceit
5. Doubling Consonant
Words of one syllable and words of more than one syllable with the stress on the last syllable double the final consonant before a suffix beginning with a vowel.
drop + -ing, -ed = dropping, dropped
slim + -ing, -ed = slimming, slimmed
ban + -ing, -ed = banning, banned
admit + -ing, -ed = admitting, admitted
occur + -ing, -ed = occurring, occurred
begin + -ing = beginning
refer + -ing, -ed = referring, referred
travel + -ing, -ed = travelling, travelled
6. Distinguish Verb from Noun
(In American English, practice is used as both verb and noun)
7. Pronunciation Helps
Slovenly pronunciation is often the cause of misspelling. The presence of the letter e in hope makes it differ in meaning and pronunciation from the word hop. Even when the two words take the suffix –ing, they would still be spelt differently.
hope (hoping) hop (hopping)
bare (baring) bar (barring)
mate (mating) mat (matting)
mope (moping) mat (matting)
rate (rating) rat (ratting)
site (siting) sit (sitting)
tape (taping) tap (tapping)
dine (dining) din (dinning)
8. ‘-tain’ verbs and their nouns
9. Plurals of compound words
Form plurals of compound words such as father-in-law by adding s to the chief word, not the modifier.