Spellings - Rules and Examples, Verbal Ability Verbal Notes | EduRev

Verbal Aptitude

Verbal : Spellings - Rules and Examples, Verbal Ability Verbal Notes | EduRev

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Spelling words correctly is one of the basic requirements of learning a language effectively, especially the written form. Whereas writing is the main skill, spelling is the sub-skill. A person who is weak in spelling is likely to be perceived as a person who does not take his/her work seriously, has a casual attitude, and is not efficient in the language.
It is easy to ignore spelling mistakes as it is the most neglected skill and gets hidden behind other skills such as vocabulary building, using idioms and expressions to make language impactful etc.
A good speller is one who automatically writes correctly, while absorbed in the thought process, while expressing himself. Learning to spell well is important for good communication. Poor spelling makes a piece of written work less appealing and less effective.

Spellings include being conscious of the following four parts:

  1. The way a word is written: this relates to observing the shape and size of the letters making up a word and the way the words have been arranged.
  2. The way a word is spoken: this relates to observing the way the letters and the words come out of your mouth and the movement of your mouth as the words are spoken.
  3. The way a word sounds: this relates to observing the sound that the letters and the words make.
  4. The way a word looks: this relates to observing the visual aspect of the letter and words, the way the letters combine to form a word. 

Another way of getting the spellings right is to break the word into syllables.
Example: 
(i) The word 'dictionary' is made up of four syllables, dictionary = dic+ ion+ ar+ y
(ii) The word 'handkerchief' is made of three syllables, handkerchief = hand+ker+chief

Some Useful Spelling Rules to Avoid Errors

  1. 'ie' and 'ei': Generally, 'i' comes before 'e' except after 'c'
    Examples: Believe, Friend, Deceive, Ceiling
    Exceptions: leisure, seize, heir, etc.
    Try yourself:Find the correctly spelt words.
    View Solution
  2. (a) When a weak verb ends in a final consonant, except 'l', preceded by a short vowel, the final consonant is not doubled to form the past tense, unless the accent falls on the last syllable.
    Example:
    (i) Budget -Budgeted (Not budgetted)
    (ii) Offer -Offered (Not offerred)
    Exception: Worship - worshipped (Not worshiped)
    (b) If the accent does fall on the last syllable, the consonant is doubled.
    Example:
    (i) Begin - beginning (Not Begining)
    (ii) Transfer - Transferred (Not Transfered)
    (c) If the final consonant is 'l', it is always doubled.
    Example:
    (i) Travel - Travelled (Not Traveled)
    (ii) Level - Levelled (Not Leveled)
    Exception: Parallel - Paralleled (Not parallelled)
  3. When two words, verbs and nouns, which have the same pronunciation end in 'se' and 'ce' and 'sy' and 'cy', then 'se' and 'sy' are verb endings and 'ce' and cy' are noun endings.
    Example: 
    (i) Verbs: License, Practise
    (ii) Nouns: Licence, Practice
  4. 'us' and 'ous'. Nouns end in 'us', Adjectives end in 'ous'.
    Example:
    (i) Nouns: Census, Genius
    (ii) Adjectives: Jealous, Envious
  5. The final 'e'
    (a) When the 'e' is followed by 'ment', it need not be dropped.
    Example: Judgement (Not judgment)
    (b) When 'e' is followed by 'able', always drop the 'e'.
    Example: Move - Movable (Not moveable)
Rules of Pronunciation

Rule 1: C always softens to /s/ when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise, C says /k/.

Rule 2: G may soften to /j/ only when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise, G says /g/.

Rule 3: English words do not end in I, U, V, or J.

Rule 4: A E O U usually say their names at the end of a syllable.

Rule 5: I and Y may say /ĭ/ or /ī/ at the end of a syllable.

Try yourself:Find the correctly spelt words.
View Solution

Rule 6: When a one-syllable word ends in a single vowel Y, it says /ī/.

Rule 7: Y says /ē/ only at the end of a multi-syllable base word. I says /ē/ at the end of a syllable that is followed by a vowel and at the end of foreign words.

Rule 8: I and O may say /ī/ and /ō/ when followed by two consonants.

Rule 9: AY usually spells the sound /ā/ at the end of a base word.

Rule 10: When a word ends with the phonogram A, it says /ä/. A may also say /ä/ after a W or before an L.

Rule 11: Q always needs a U; therefore, U is not a vowel here.

Rule 12: Silent Final E Rules

  1. The vowel says its name because of the E.
  2. English words do not end in V or U.
  3. The C says /s/ and the G says /j/ because of the E.
  4. Every syllable must have a written vowel.
  5. Add an E to keep singular words that end in the letter S from looking plural.
  6. Add an E to make the word look bigger.
  7. TH says its voiced sound /TH/ because of the E.
  8. Add an E to clarify meaning.
  9. Unseen reason.

Rule 13: Drop the silent final E when adding a vowel suffix only if it is allowed by other spelling rules.

Try yourself:Find the correctly spelt words.
View Solution

Rule 14: Double the last consonant when adding a vowel suffix to words ending in one vowel followed by one consonant only if the syllable before the suffix is accented.*
*This is always true for one-syllable words.

Rule 15: Single vowel Y changes to I when adding any ending, unless the ending begins with I.

Rule 16: Two I’s cannot be next to one another in English words.

Rule 17: TI, CI, and SI are used only at the beginning of any syllable after the first one.

Rule 18: SH spells /sh/ at the beginning of a base word and at the end of the syllable. SH never spells /sh/ at the beginning of any syllable after the first one, except for the ending -ship.

Rule 19: To make a verb past tense, add the ending -ED unless it is an irregular verb.

Rule 20: -ED, past tense ending, forms another syllable when the base word ends in /d/ or /t/. Otherwise, -ED says /d/ or /t/.

Try yourself:Find the correctly spelt words.
View Solution

Rule 21: To make a noun plural, add the ending -S, unless the word hisses or changes; then add -ES. Occasional nouns have no change or an irregular spelling.

Rule 22: To make a verb 3rd person singular, add the ending -S, unless the word hisses or changes; then add -ES. Only four verbs are irregular.

Rule 23: Al- is a prefix written with one L when preceding another syllable.

Rule 24: -Ful is a suffix written with one L when added to another syllable.

Rule 25: DGE is used only after a single vowel which says its short (first) sound.

Rule 26: CK is used only after a single vowel which says its short (first) sound.

Rule 27: TCH is used only after a single vowel which does not say its name.

Rule 28: AUGH, EIGH, IGH, OUGH. Phonograms ending in GH are used only at the end of a base word or before the letter T. The GH is either silent or pronounced /f/.

Rule 29: Z, never S, spells /z/ at the beginning of a base word.

Try yourself:Find the correctly spelt words.
View Solution

Rule 30: We often double F, L, and S after a single vowel at the end of a base word. Occasionally other letters also are doubled.

Rule 31: Schwa Rules

  1. Any vowel may say one of the schwa sounds, /ŭ/ or /ĭ/, in an unstressed syllable or unstressed word.
  2. O may also say /ŭ/ in a stressed syllable next to W, TH, M, N, or V.
  3. AR and OR may say their schwa sound, /er/, in an unstressed syllable.
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