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Useful Spelling Rules

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Correct spelling is very difficult for many students because the spellings of many words do not follow rules.

Useful Spelling Rules, Question Marks

Even when rules apply to the spellings of words:

  • There are many rules to be learned.
  • Many of the rules are very complicated.
  • Many of the rules apply to a small number of words.
  • Almost every rule has exceptions.

Still, there are some rules that apply to the spellings of words with few exceptions and that are not difficult to learn and remember. Learning and using these rules can improve your spelling.

Here are eight spelling rules you should learn and use.

  1. A word that ends with the sound of "v" is spelled with the letters "ve" at its end.
    *Examples: shave, above, effective
  2. The letter "i" comes before "e" except after "c."
    *Examples: believe, field, tried (but not receive)
  3. When a word ends with "y" preceded by a consonant, form the plural of the word by changing the "y" to "i" and adding "es."
    *Examples: countries, carries, ladies
  4. Useful Spelling Rules, Capital E
  5. Drop the final silent "e" when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel.
    *Examples: changing, notable, nervous
  6. Keep the final silent "e" when adding a suffix that begins with a consonant.
    *Examples: useful, lovely, hopeless
  7. When a one-syllable word ends in a vowel followed by a consonant, double the final consonant when adding a suffix.
    *Examples: topped, swimmer, hitting
  8. The letter "q" in a word is followed by "u."
    *Examples: quick, antique, equation
  9. Do not change the spelling of a word when adding a prefix to it.
    *Examples: remove, triangle, misspell

While some of these rules have exceptions, learning and using them will help you correctly spell many words.

All articles in the Language Arts category:

Building Vocabulary Capitalization Rules Choosing a Topic
Common Foreign Phrases Common Prefixes Commonly Misspelled Words
Confusing Pairs of Words Critical Reading Eponyms
Expository Writing Five Paragraph Essay Forming Plurals
Idioms Metaphors Number Prefixes
Parts of Speech Phonics Rules Proofreading
Using Punctuation Marks Reading Comprehension Reading Novels
Revising and Editing an Essay Similes Spelling Long Words
Transition Words and Phrases Useful Spelling Rules Using Quotation Marks
Word Identification Writing a Book Report Writing a Narrative Essay
Writing a Persuasive Essay Writing a Research Paper Writing Numbers
Writing Techniques Writing Terms  

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