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Spelling Rules

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Rebecca Lei

on 9 December 2013

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Transcript of Spelling Rules

and Usage Notes
Prefixes and Suffixes
Spelling Rules
Regular Use of Plurals
Irregular Use of Plurals
Nouns Ending in -o
Nouns Ending in -f, -ff, or -fe
When a noun ends in o preceded by a vowel, add -s
-e.g. studios, rodeos, ratios
For some common nouns ending in o, preceded by a consonant (musical terms), and proper nouns, add -s
-e.g. tacos, altos, pianos, Romeros
For nouns ending in o, preceded by a consonant, add -es -e.g. tomatoes, heroes
A few nouns can form a plural with either -s, or -es
-e.g. mosquitos/ mosquitoes, zeros/ zeroes
For some nouns ending in f, or fe, add -s.
-e.g. roofs, beliefs, safes, staffs
For others, change the f or fe to v and add -es.
-e.g. gulfs, roofs, leaves, knives
For proper nouns, add -s.
-e.g. Wolfes, Duffs, Rudolfs

Plurals of a few nouns are irregular
-e.g. tooth-teeth, woman- women, mouse-mise
Plurals of a few nouns are the same as singular form sheep, -e.g. trout, aircraft, Japanese, Sioux
Most compound nouns, form the plural of last word of compound
-e.g. bookshelves, baby sitters, ten-year-olds
Compound nouns in which in which one word is modified by other word, or words, from plural of the noun modified
-e.g. sisters-in-law, runners-up, mountain goats)
For nouns borrowed from other languages, the plural is formed as in the original language -e.g. alga-algae, hypothesis- hypotheses, ellipsis- ellipses, phenomenon- phenomena
To form plurals of figures, most uppercase letters, signs, and words used as words, add an -s or both an apostrophe and -s
-e.g. 1990- 1990s/ 1990’s, C- Cs/ C’s, and- ands/ and’s
Add both an apostrophe and -s to form the plural of all lowercase letters, certain uppercase letters, and some words used as words
-e.g. Mississippi- Mississipi’s, his-his’s, her-her’s

When a prefix is added to a word, the spelling of the word remains the same. When a prefix creates a double letter, keep both letters.

pre- + arrange = prearrange
re- + discover = rediscover
anti- + trust = antitrust
co- + operate = cooperate
com- + mend = commend
il- + logical = illogical
For most nouns, add -s
- e.g. dogs, cats, girls, chairs, pants
For nouns ending in s, x, z, ch, or sh, add -es
- e.g. boxes, marshes, marches, foxes
For nouns ended in y, preceded by a vowel, add -s
- e.g. buoys, pulleys, keys, boys, days
For nouns ending y preceded by a consonant, change the y to i and add -es
-e.g. daisies, berries, bunnies, dummies
For proper nouns, add -s
- e.g. Kennedys, Lincolns, Huangs, Smiths

The Suffixes -ly and -ness
When the suffix -ly is added to a word ending in l, keep both l’s. When -ness is added to a word ending in n, keep both n’s.

general + -ly = generally
truthful + -ly = truthfully
wool + -ly = woolly

keen + -ness = keenness
sudden + -ness = suddenness
lean + -ness = leanness
Miscellaneous Rules
Suffixes with a Silent e
In one-syllable words that end with a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant before adding a suffix beginning with a vowel.
-e.g. grabbing, digger, slimmest
Do not double the final consonant in one-syllable words ending in one consonant preceded by two vowels.
-e.g. treating, feeling, cleaning, eating
In two-syllable words, double the consonant only if both of the following conditions exist:
-The word ends with a single consonant preceded by a single vowel.
-The word is accented on the second syllable.
If the newly formed word is accented on a different syllable, the final consonant is not doubled.
-e.g. ref•
In some cases a word is correct with a single or double consonant
-e.g. canceled or cancelled, equiped or equipped, traveled or travelled.
Check your dictionary for the preferred spelling.

- When a suffix beginning with a vowel or y is added to a word ending in a silent e, the e is usually dropped.
- When a suffix beginning with a consonant is added to a word ending with a silent e, the e is usually retained.
Exceptions include truly, argument, ninth, wholly, and awful.
- When a suffix beginning with a or o is added to a word with a final silent e, the final e is usually retained if it is preceded by a soft c or a soft g.
- When a suffix beginning with a vowel is added to words ending in ee or oe, the final silent e is retained.

make + -ing = making
wheeze + -y = wheezy
knife + -ing = knifing
Doubling the Final Consonant
home + -less = homeless
subtle + -ness = subtleness
lone + -ly = lonely
Suffixes with a Final y
When a suffix is added to a word ending in the y, and the y is preceded by a consonant, the y is changed to i except with the suffix -ing.
Exceptions include dryness, shyness, and slyness.
When a suffix is added to a word ending in y preceded by a vowel, the y usually does not change.
Exceptions include daily and gaily.

Words with ie and ei
When the sound is long e (ē), the word is spelled ie, except after c.
When the sound is long a (ā), the word is spelled ei.
Exceptions include either, friend, leisure, neither, seize, sieve, species, weird, forfeit, financier, and Fahrenheit.

Words with the 'Seed' Sound
There are three suffixes in the English pronounced ‘seed.’ They are spelled -cede, -ceed, and -sede.
by: Annie Huang
Rebecca Lei
Judy Tang

bridge + -able = bridgeable
courage + -ous = courageous
gorge + -ous = gorgeous
agree + -ing = agreeing
see + -ing = seeing
free + -ing = freeing
silly + -ness = silliness
company + -es = companies
happy + -est = happiest
pray + -ing = praying
coy + -ness = coyness
marry + -age = marriage
twenty + -eth = twentieth
dally + -ing = dallying
empty + -ing = emptying
marry + -ing = marrying



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