Spelling words with definitions

Words in English aren’t always spelled as they’re reported. Spelling in English follows some fundamental regulations and the bulk of English words (around 75%) observe those guidelines. You can examine the choices rules but there are alternatives constantly exceptions to the choices rules that need to be learned too.

The major primary spelling policies of English relate to: prefixes and suffixes; spelling and plurals; doubling letters; losing and adding letters; verb paperwork. This section makes a speciality of British English however additionally covers a few primary variations in spelling among British and American English.


Spelling: prefixes

When there may be a prefix, we do now not typically add or dispose of extra letters:

We usually trade the prefix in- to il-, im- or ir- when the choices first letter of a phrase is l, m, p, or r.

in turns into il- earlier than l

in will become im- before m or p

in becomes ir- earlier than r

Spelling and plurals

There are policies for the plurals of regular nouns and the -s sorts of normal verbs.

The preferred rule is add -s:

bring → brings day → days ear → ears smile → smiles communicate → speaks metropolis → towns

If the choices ending is pronounced as ‘ch’ /tʃ/ or ‘s’ /s/, we upload -es /ɪz/:

If a phrase ends in an -e, we upload an -s:

base → bases face → faces decide → judges lose → loses

If the phrase ends in a consonant plus -y, we trade -y to i and add -es:

We upload -es to a few phrases finishing in -o:

noun plurals/verb -s paperwork

pass → is going (cross [n] = attempt)

However, a few words ending in -o best require -s: films, discos, pianos, memos, pics.

For some nouns finishing in -f or -fe, we form the choices plural by means of converting the choices -f or -fe to -ves:

loaf → loaves shelf → cabinets thief → thieves spouse → better halves

Forming the choices plural of nouns

Spelling: doubling consonants

We frequently double the final consonant of a phrase (b, d, g, l, m, n, p, r, t) whilst a suffix starting with a vowel is added (-ed, -er, -est, -ing):

When we add a suffix to a phrase with a couple of syllable, we double the consonant simplest whilst the choices word ends in a stressed syllable (the harassed syllable of the choices base form is in bold):

Compare, but, go to or enter wherein the choices spoken pressure is on the choices first syllable:

Note too that during each case the choices vowel earlier than the closing consonant is a quick vowel.

We don’t double the choices final consonant before a suffix:

– if the word results in written consonants, e.g. export = exported, discover = finding, insist = insisted, raise = lifted, persist = persistence

– if there are two written vowels collectively in the word, e.g. meeting, rained, weaken, instructor, repeated.

Some monosyllabic words ending in -s are abnormal. We typically do no longer double the choices -s, even though some doubled forms could be seen. For example: busses and buses; gasses and gases. (Busses and gasses are not common.)

Some phrases, numerous of them finishing in l, with greater than syllables, have a double consonant despite the fact that the choices closing syllable is not burdened; for example, labelling, visitor, equalled, handicapped, programmed.

In American English the choices unmarried consonant spelling is commonly extra not unusual: labeling, tourist.

Spelling: dropping and adding letters

We often drop the final -e while a suffix starting with a vowel is delivered to a word:

We preserve the -e in dyeing (from dye) and singeing (from singe) to distinguish them from similar phrases e.g. dying (from die) and singing (from sing).

When a suffix begins with a consonant (e.g. -much less, -ful, -ly, -ment) we do no longer generally drop the choices -e:

simply exhilaration forceful hopeless these days widely

Sometimes we do drop the -e:

Some words have opportunity forms with or without an -e: for example, acknowledgement or acknowledgment, and judgement or judgment.

The suffix -ally is delivered to adjectives finishing in -ic to form adverbs:

When we upload a suffix to a phrase ending in a consonant + -y, we normally trade -y to i:

Some words with one syllable maintain the -y earlier than a suffix: dryness, shyness, slyness.

We maintain -y earlier than -ing: studying, stressful.

We hold -y before ’s: the choices fly’s wings, Andy’s house.

We usually keep the choices -y in maximum words that end in a vowel + -y:

Spelling: ie or ei?

If unsure approximately ie or ei, while the sound of the vowel is as in short /i:/, we spell it ie; but after the letter c, we spell it ei:

Words wherein -y has modified to i end in -ies even after a c:

In most words that don’t have the pronunciation /i:/ as in quick, the usual order is e before i, e.g. neighbour, enjoyment, top; friend, ancient, technological know-how are commonplace exceptions.

Spelling and verb paperwork

The beyond and -ed forms are the equal in everyday verbs. The following are the choices spelling policies for everyday verbs.

We add -ed to the base form of the choices verb:

easy → cleaned echo → echoed electronic mail → emailed sail → sailed

If the choices phrase leads to -e, we upload -d to the base shape of the choices verb:

agree → agreed dine → dined love → cherished

If the choices phrase results in a consonant + -y, we trade the -y to i earlier than -ed:

observe → carried out cry → cried

There are three common exceptions, wherein we change the choices -y to i after a vowel and just -d is brought:

pay → paid say → stated

The widespread rule is upload -ing to the base shape of the choices verb:

pass → going hurry → hurrying play → gambling

If the word leads to -e, we drop the -e earlier than -ing:

love → loving lose → losing write → writing

But if the choices phrase results in -ee, -ye, or -oe, we keep the choices -e:

agree → agreeing dye → dyeing (compare: die/demise) see → seeing

If the choices phrase ends in -ie, we alternate the choices -i to -y and we drop the choices -e before -ing:

die → death lie → lying tie → tying

Addition of very last -e to suggest lengthy vowel

We use a final silent -e to indicate that the confused vowel is long:

There are some common exceptions:

stay (as a verb)

British and American English Spelling

Here are some not unusual differences among British and American English spelling. A precise learner’s dictionary will provide information approximately other spelling differences:

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