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28 Rules For English Spelling

  1. The letter q is always written with u and we say, "kw." The letter u is not a vowel here. (quiet)
  2. /c/ before e, i, or y says, "s" (cent, city, cycle).
  3. /g/ before e, i, or y may say, "j" (gentle, get).
  4. Vowels a, e, o, u usually say, "", "", "", "" at the end of a syllable (belong, protect, futile)
  5. Vowels i and y may say "" at the end of a syllable, but usually say "" (final and my as opposed to Indian and baby) [for spelling]
  6. Vowel y, not i, is used at the end of an English word (for example, my).
  7. There are five kinds of silent final e's. The first rule (as in time) is one of the three ways a vowel says its name.
  8. o-r may say, "er" when w comes before the o-r (for example, works).
  9. We use e-i after c... if we say, ""... and in some exceptions.


    receive, vein, neither, foreign, sovereign, seize, counterfeit, forfeit, leisure, either, weird, heifer, protein, geiger, height, sleight, feisty, stein, seismograph, poltergeist, kaleidoscope

  10. s-h is used at the beginning of a word, at the end of a syllable but not at the beginning of any syllable after the first one, except for the ending, "ship." (shut, fish, nation)
  11. t-i, s-i and c-i are used to say "sh" at the beginning of any syllable after the first one. c-h says, "sh" in a word of French origin. (nation, session, special, chic)
  12. s-i is used to say, "sh" when the syllable before it ends in s (session) and when the base word has an s where the word changes. (tense/tension)
  13. Only s-i can say, "zh" except for t-i in "equation." (vision)
  14. When a one-syllable word ends with one short vowel and one consonant, double the final consonant before adding a vowel suffix. (hop, hopping/hopped)
  15. When a two-syllable word ends with a vowel and a consonant, double the final consonant when adding a vowel suffix, if the accent is on the last syllable. (admit, admitted, admitting)
  16. Silent final e words are written without the e when adding an ending beginning with a vowel. (have, having)
  17. We often double l, f, s, after a single vowel, at the end of a one-syllable word. (full, puff, pass)
  18. Base words do not end with the letter a saying, "" except for the article a; a-y is used most often. (may, pay, say)
  19. Vowels i and o may say, "" and "" when followed by two consonants. (find, bold - gift, bond)
  20. s never follows x. (box, boxes)
  21. All is written with one l when added to another syllable.(almost, also)
  22. Till and full added to another syllable are written with one l. (until, fulfill)
  23. 3-letter "j" (dge) may be used after a single vowel which says, "" - "" - "" - "" - "" (badge,edge,ridge,lodge,fudge)
  24. When adding an ending to a word that ends with y, that has a sound alone, change the y to i unless the ending is i-n-g. (fry,fried - cry,crying)
  25. 2-letter "k" (ck) may be used only after a single vowel which says, "" - "" - "" - "" - "" (pack,peck,pick,pock,puck)
  26. The letter z, never s is used to say, "z" at the beginning of a base word. (zero, zipper)
  27. The letters e-d say, "d" and "t" as the past tense ending of any base word which does not end in the sound, "d" or "t." When e-d says "ed" after words ending with "d" or "t," they form another syllable. (loved, wrapped) (word,word ed-part,parted)
  28. Double consonants within words of more than one syllable should both be sounded for spelling. (lit tle, but ton)

Pronouncing Spelling Rules:

Pronounce all sounds of letters written with virgules /o/. Pronounce the names of letters written alone (x) or with dashes between (s-i). Pronounce the sound of all letters written with quotations and dictionary markings as shown ("sh" "" "er"). Word examples in parentheses are not taught as part of the rule but are shown as illustrations only. The rules are most effectively taught when the phonograms are applied, sound by sound, in written dictated spelling lessons - not by rote memorization. Students learn the process of analysis and thinking.