Out Spelling Rules!
( 11/14/14 )
"By the age of ten or twelve, most children reach a fairly mature level of spelling ability. They are familiar with the most frequently used spelling patterns; they understand how to form plural nouns (book, books; box, boxes) or to change verb tenses (raise, raised, raising); they know how to form contractions (don't) and compound words (classroom ); they have learned many words that have unusual spellings (neighbour, sight ); and they can distinguish between words with the same sounds but different spellings and meanings (right and write or wood and would ). (Katy Independent School District, http://www.katyisd.org/files/curriculum/curriculum/spellingStages.doc)
Here are several spelling rules. There are many ways you can study spelling words and here are a few suggestions:
1. list other words that follow the rule or are exceptions
2. look for other 'rules' that the spelling words follow e.g. deceive (i.e. rule; VCV rule)
3. go to the list of Frequently Misspelled Words and see if you can say the rule, check to see if you are correct
4. make up flashcards of the spelling words
5. make up flashcards with words following a rule on one side, and the rule printed on the other side
6. try to use these words in your daily writing
7. go to Puzzlemaker and use spelling words you have trouble with to create word search
8. go to Basic Skill Practice Games to practice you overall spelling skills
9. also check out this list of words we frequently misuse Fun With Words
For more ideas that you can run off, go to http://www.sd91.bc.ca/frenchj/Students/Ideas%20for%20Studying%20Spelling%20Words.rtf
CVCC and CVC (Inflected Endings)
CC or CCC (Blends, Complex Consonants)
vowels (vowels including y)
vowel diphthong (e.g. ow, ou, oi, oy)
vowels: other vowel sounds (short o sound e.g. al, aw, au, wa)
Affixes (simple suffixes)
Unaccented Final Syllables
Affixes (complex suffixes)
"when a single vowel is followed by consonants the vowel makes a 'short' vowel sound"
- shop - hip
- effect - across
- went - bump
- blend - stand
Inflected Endings 1 "if the
single vowel is short, double the consonant before adding ed,
ing, or es to keep the first vowel short "
- begin .........beginning hop........hopping (or else it says hoping)
- shop ...........shopping tap..........tapping (or else it says taping)
- if the suffix begins with a vowel, we drop the 'e' before adding it e.g. suffixes such as 'ing', 'ed', 'est'
- if the suffix begins with a consonant, we do not drop the 'e' e.g. hope, hopeful
* examples for when we drop the 'e'
- bake .........baking fine........finer, finest (or else it reads fineest)
- bike ...........biked, biker wipe..........wiped, wiping (or else it reads wipeing)
* examples for when we don't drop the 'e'
- hope.......hopeful home......homeless
1) VCV "a single vowel followed by one consonant followed by one vowel usually makes a 'long' vowel sound...vcv. (* when at the end, the second vowel is often an 'e')
- home, bake, wise, cube, hobo, basic, human, ruby, final, mutate, rotate, tiny
2) VV two vowels side by side
- goat, seat, moan, coach
3) CV a single consonant followed by a by a single vowel
- no, go, be
- sigh, fight, right
* prefixes usually spell their long-vowel sound with only one letter, regardless of the next letters
"when two vowels go walking (side by side),
the first one does the talking (makes the long sound) "
- leaves, wheat, sleep, rain, teaching, peach, reap, boat, coal
- bread, said, wealthy, death
when 'igh' come together in a word, the 'i' is long
- light, bright, sigh, fright, delight, twilight, knight
- eight, weight, freight
"CC" or CCC separate sound (phonics terminology)
* a blend is when two or more consonant
are together and you can hear their two sounds
Complex Consonants (sometimes there are three consonants together, or one consonant is silent)
- tch as in 'batch'
- dge as in 'badge'
- scr as in 'scrub'
- squ as in 'squawk'
- kn as in 'know' (the 'k' is silent)
* think about what the first vowel would say if there was only one consonant
"CC" or CCC one sound (phonics terminology)
a digraph is when two or more consonant
sounds are pronounced together as one sound
"i before e except after c or when it sounds
'ay' as in neighbour or weigh"
i before e
sounds like 'ay'
* names usually follow the exception (Booth, Jack and Linda Booth, Spelling Essentials)
"we use an apostrophe to show a letter missing or to show possession"
missing letter for a contraction
- can't can
to show possessive nouns not its as in 'its home'
possessive singular nouns
- cat's whiskers
- car's hood
- boy's hair
- John's coat
possessive purual nouns
- cats' climbing tree
- cars' horns
- boys' team
- pigs' pen
- its colour
- its battery
* Inflected Endings 3 : adding s
The most common way to form a plural noun is to add 's'.
- flower .............flowers
- apple ..............apples
When the noun ends in ch, sh, ss or x, we add 'es'.
- church ............churches
- fox ...................foxes
- dress ..............dresses
- ax ....................axes
* exception: If there is a vowel just before the y, we just add 's'.
- relay ......relays
- boy ......boys
When the noun ends in 'y', change the 'y' to an 'i' and add 'es'.
- bunny ......bunnies
- penny ......pennies
- candy ......candies
When the noun ends
in f, change the 'f' to a 'v' and add 'es'.
- leaf ...........leaves
- loaf ...........loaves
- shelf .........shelves
- wolf ..........wolves
exception: if there is a vowel just before the y or the f, add 's'
- relay ......relays
- belief ...........beliefs
Irregular Plurals: sometimes the entire word changes
- mouse .....mice
- foot ..........feet
- ox ............oxen
"when 'c' or 'g' are followed
by 'e', 'i' or 'y', they make their soft sound "
or (sometimes including our)
"there are three spellings
for the 'er' sound: er, ir, and ur "
- berth ( e.g. a bed on a ship)
- fir (tree)
- fur (hair on a dog)
"sometimes, individual letters or
groups of letters are silent "
"two words contracted into one using
an ' to mark missing letters; sometimes the first word changes as well"
- cannot ................can't
- will not ................won't
- have not .............haven't
- is not ..................isn't
- I will ....................I'll
- they will ..............they'll
- they are .............they're
- we are ...............we're
"a compound word
uses two smaller words together"
"homonyms" (see homonyms to see a larger list)
"two or three
words can sound the same but are spelled differently"
- allowed, aloud
- bear, bare
- blue, blew
- dear, deer
- fir, fur
- pair, pear
- their, there, they're
- principle, principal
- weather, whether (although these two words should sound slightly different, they seldom do)
vowels: a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y
consonants: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
'a' as in 'hat'
'e' as in 'pet'
'i' as in 'pit''
'o' as in 'hot'
'u' as in 'hut'
long vowels (4 conditions vowels are usually long)
'a' as in 'make''
'e' as in 'lead'
'i' as in 'pile''
'o' as in 'poke'
'u' as in 'tune'
'y' as a vowel is when 1) it is in the middle of a word (cycle) or 2) at the end of a word (by or funny)
'y' as a consonant when it is a the beginning of a word, it says 'yeh' as in 'yellow' or 'yam'
Vowel Digraph (phonics terminology)
"two vowels together that make a single sound are called
a vowel digraph as in ' oo' as in look "
"oo as in spoon "
"ou as in cough "
"ou as in tough "
"ei as in sleigh "
"ea as in bread"
** note the different ways to spell the same sound
"oo sound as in took "
- took, put
"oo sound as in spoon"
- spoon, tune
"short o sound as in saw "
- 'al' as in all, stall, balk
- 'aw' or 'wa' as in fawn, straw, want
- 'au' as in taught, caught
- 'ou' as in fought, sought, bought
Vowel Diphthong (two vowels together that make two sounds or a vowel combined with a consonant such as 'w' to make new sounds) (Booth, Jack and Linda Booth, Spelling Essentials) also see phonics terminology
two vowel letters together that are closely blended but where you can hear two sounds gliding together e.g. listen to the glided 'ou' sound and take note of how your mouth changes
.........oi together as in oil, toil or
.........oy together as in boy, toy
.........2 vowels together as in hour, sour, shout or
.........a vowel + consonant as in now
"sometimes a vowel/consonant combination makes two different sounds"
"ow as in cow"
or "ow as in snow "
"sometimes when a vowel is paired with another vowel or a specific consonant, it makes a short 'o' sound"
- tall, balk, stalk (al)
- crawl, shawl, dawn (aw)
- fault, taught, thought (au or ou)
- wasp, fawn, want, raw (with w)
"q is always
followed by u "
|prefix 'ad' means 'to or toward'||change 'ad' to make the word easier to say|
|adtest||attest (changed 'd' to a 't')|
|adfect||affect (changed 'd' to an 'f')|
|accelerate, allocate, aggression, arrive, assume, accuse, attention, assent|
|prefix 'in' means 1) 'in', 'into', or 'on', or 2) 'not'||change 'in' to make the word easier to say|
|inluminate||illuminate (changed the 'n' to another 'l')|
|inrigate||irrigate (changed the 'n' to another 'r')|
|illiterate, import, irrigate, illegal, improper, irregular, irrational, ignoble|
Affixes (An affix means to attach. In English we can look a prefixes (something added infront of a word) and suffixes (something added to the end of a word). Prefixes and suffixes usually change the meaning of the rootword (a word without an affix).
Prefixes: below are some common prefixes and their meanings (note the change in meaning of the rootword.
un- means ' not or the opposite of' e.g. tie - untie (the opposite of)
pre- means 'before' e.g. read - preread (to do before, not now)
re- means 'back, again' e.g. paint - repaint (to do again)
Suffixes: below are some common suffixes and their meanings (note the change in meaning of the rootword.
-ate means 'to make or to do' e.g. active - activate (to make active)
-ent means 'one who acts' e.g. assist - assistant (the person who assists)
-ize also means 'to make or to do' e.g. alphabet - alphabetize (to put in alphabetical order)
-tion means 'action or state of being' e.g. starve - starvation (in the state of starving)
-ure means 'state of, act, process) e.g. fail - failure (in the state of failing)
jumped......'ed' sounds like a 't'
planted......'ed' sounds like a 'ed' or 'id' (depending on how we pronounce it)
rowed......'ed' sounds like a 'd'
Final Syllables 2 -le, -al, -el (at the end of words)
* - le is the most common of the three endings (found on nouns, verbs, adjectives) e.g. table
- usually after words ending with a stick (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) or a tail (g, j, p, q, y)
- apple, candle
* -al is usually added to adjective (desciptive words) but a few nouns
* -el is the least common ending and usually on nouns (person, place or thing) and verbs (action words)
- usually after words not ending with a stick or a tail
- funnel, travel, vocal, usual
* if the suffix is added to a base word that ends in –de or -it, we just add –sion (division)
* if the suffix is added to a base word that ends in –te or -ce, the word will end in -tion (reduction)
* if the suffix is added to a base word that ends with ‘ent’, the suffix is usually –ence (silent/silence)
* if the suffix is added to a base word that ends with ‘ant’, the suffix is usually –ance (brilliant/brilliance)