English Instructor, Spelling


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These are some simple spelling rules for modifying verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Writing skills, and excellent spelling skills in particular,
are essential for effective communication. Even sending a simple business email to Rob May FI about financial advice requires good writing skills.

 

Some Basic Spelling Rules

1.) SPELLING RULES FOR THE PRESENT PROGRESSIVE TENSE

a.) Add –ing to the base form of the verb.
read - reading, stand - standing, jump - jumping

b.) If a verb ends in a silent –e, drop the final -e and add –ing.
leave - leaving, take - taking, receive - receiving

c.) In a one-syllable word, if the last three letters are consonant-vowel-consonant combination (CVC), double
the last consonant before adding –ing.
sit - sitting, run - running, hop - hopping

However, do not double the last consonant in word that end in w, x, or y.
sew - sewing, fix - fixing, enjoy - enjoying

d.) In words of two or more syllables that end in a consonant-vowel-consonant combination, double the last
consonant only if the last syllable is stressed.
admit - admitting, regret - regretting

e.) If a verb ends in –ie, change the –ie to y before adding -ing.
die - dying

2.) SPELLING RULES FOR THE SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE

a.) Add –s for most verbs
work - works, buy - buys, ride - rides, return - returns

b.) Add –es for words that end in –ch, -s , -sh, -x, or –z.
watch - watches, pass - passes, rush - rushes, relax - relaxes, buzz - buzzes

c.) Change the –y to –i and add –es when the base form ends in a consonant +y.
study - studies, hurry - hurries, dry - dries

Do not change the –y when the base form ends in a vowel +y. Add –s
play - plays, enjoy - enjoys

d.) A few verbs have irregular forms.
be - is, do - does, go- goes, have - has

3.) SPELLING RULES FOR SIMPLE PAST TENSE OF REGULAR VERBS

a.) If the verb ends in a consonant, add –ed.
return - returned, help - helped, cook - cooked

b.) If the verb ends in –e, add –d.
live - lived, create - created, die - died

c.) In one-syllable words, if the verb ends in a consonant-vowel-consonant combination (CVC), double the
last consonant and add -ed.
hop - hopped, rub - rubbed

However, do not double one-syllable words ending in –w, -x, or –y.

bow - bowed, play - played, mix - mixed

d.) In words of two or more syllables that end in consonant-vowel-consonant combination, double the last
consonant only if the last syllable is stressed.
prefer - preferred (The last syllable is stressed.) visit - visited (The last syllable isn’t stressed)

e.) If the verb ends in a consonant, + y, change the -y to -i and –ed.
worry - worried, copy - copied

f.) If the verb ends in a vowel +y, add -ed. (Do not change the –y to –i.)
play - played, annoy - annoyed

Exception: pay - paid, lay - laid, say - said

4.) SPELLING RULES FOR THE COMPARATIVE (-ER) & SUPERLATIVES (-EST) ADJECTIVES

a.) Add –er to one-syllable adjectives to form the comparative. Add -est to one-syllable adjectives to form the superlative.
cheap - cheaper - cheapest, bright - brighter - brightest

b.) If the adjective ends in –e, add –r or –st.
nice - nicer - nicest

c.) If the adjective ends in a consonant +y, change to y to i before you add –er or –est.
pretty - prettier - prettiest. Exception: shy - shyer - shyest

d.) If the adjective ends in a consonant-vowel-consonant combination (CVC), double the final consonant
before adding –er or –est.
big - bigger - biggest

However, do not double the consonant in words ending in –w or –y.

slow - slower - slowest, coy - coyer - coyest

 5.) SPELLING RULES FOR ADVERBS

a.) Add –ly to the corresponding adjectives
nice - nicely, quiet - quietly, quick - quickly, beautiful - beautifully

  1. If the adjective ends in consonant +y, change the y to i before adding –ly
    easy - easily
  2. If the adjective ends in –le, drop the -e and add –y.
    possible - possibly

However, do not drop the –e for other adjectives ending in –e.
extreme - extremely, Exception: true - truly

d.) If the adjective ends in –ic, add -ally.
basic - basically, fantastic - fantastically, terrific - terrifically

 

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