Rules to Improve Your Spelling
Rules to Improve Your Spelling
1. Use a (good) dictionary:
An English dictionary designed for English language learners, such as Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English or Oxford’s Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, can be very helpful for non-native speakers. These dictionaries give more information and often many more examples of words in context to help students select and use words appropriately.
2. Always check certain "troublesome" suffixes in your dictionary.
Some English suffixes confound even the best spellers. Make it a habit always to check these types of words when you are editing or proofreading your work.
-able or -ible (-ably/-ibly; -ability/-ibility)
responsible / dependable; responsibly / dependably; responsibility / dependability
-ent or -ant
apparent / blatant
-ence or -ance
occurrence / importance
-tial or -cial
influential / beneficial
3. Create your own "difficult-to-spell" lists.
If you notice that you routinely misspell certain words, consider learning from your mistakes by creating your own personal "difficult words" list. Keeping this list close at hand as you write will save you time and probably eliminate many of your common spelling errors.
4. Learn the standard pronunciations for frequently misspelled words.
Some common misspellings derive not from difficult combinations of letters but from pronunciations that do not reflect the word’s spelling. The word mischievous, for example, is often misspelled because of the common pronunciation "miss CHEEVY us." Learning the standard pronunciation "MISS chiv us" will aid you in properly spelling the word.
5. Watch out for homophones, near-homophones, and other easily confusable words.
Many English words have identical or similar pronunciations but different spellings. Using the wrong word of a homophone pair is one of the most common spelling pitfalls for all writers. Learn to check these types of commonly misspelled words carefully during your proofreading.
6. Become familiar with English spelling rules.
Contrary to common perception, English spelling does often follow certain rules. Becoming aware of these rules can help you avoid some common spelling errors. Many writing handbooks and style guides contain a complete list of spelling rules. Below are four of the most helpful.
Rule 1: i before e except after c, or when sounded like /ay/ as in neighbour or weigh.
This simple rhyme helps explain the difference between the spellings of believe (i before e) and receive (except after c). In general, when the long /e/ sound (ee) is spelled with the letters i and e, the order is ie: shield, field, fiend. Common exceptions are leisure, seizure, and weird.
When the letters i and e are used in words with a long /a/ sound, they are usually spelled ei: sleigh, feint, heinous.
When the sound is neither long /e/ nor long /a/, the spelling is usually ei: their, seismic, foreign. Some exceptions to this rule are friend, sieve, and mischief.
Rule 2: When adding suffixes that begin with a vowel (-able, -ible, -ous, etc.) to words ending in silent e, drop the final e.
This rule explains why a word like desire contains an e and a word like desirable does not. Other examples include response → responsible, continue → continuous, argue → arguing.
We do, however, retain the final e when a word ends in -ce or -ge in order to maintain the distinctive "soft" pronunciation of those consonants:
notice → noticeable, courage → courageous, advantage → advantageous.
For reasons of pronunciation, the final e is also retained in words ending in a double e,
e.g. agree → agreeable, flee → fleeing.
Rule 3: When adding suffixes to words ending in y, change the y to an i.
This rule explains the spelling shift that occurs in the following word pairs:
happy → happier, plenty → plentiful, body → bodily.
As English spelling does not generally allow an i to follow another i, the y is retained when the suffix itself begins with an i: carry → carrying, baby → babyish.
Rule 4: When adding suffixes, double the final consonant of a word only if any of the following conditions apply.
The final consonant is preceded by a single vowel: bar → barred. When there is more than one vowel before the final consonant, the consonant is not doubled: fail → failed. When the final consonant is preceded by another consonant, the consonant is not doubled: bark → barking.
The word has only one syllable or has the stress on the last syllable: fit → fitted, commit → committed, prefer → preferred. For words with more than one syllable where the stress does not fall on the last syllable, the final consonant is not doubled: benefit → benefited, offer → offered.
The suffix begins with a vowel: prefer → preferred. But if the syllable stress changes because of the addition of the suffix, then the consonant is not doubled: prefer → preference. Final consonants are also not doubled if the suffix begins with a consonant: prefer → preferment.
If the word ends in l or p, then the consonant is usually doubled in Canadian spelling:
travel → travelled; worship → worshipped. Note: American spelling does not follow this rule.
Some Commonly Misspelled Words
fulfill / fulfil
bookkeeper / bookkeeping
manoeuvre / maneuver
|The Following User Says Thank You to Man Jaanbazam For This Useful Post:|
ayeshaf (Saturday, July 30, 2016)
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