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Spelling rules and tips

Spelling rules and tips

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Summary

Spelling rules and tips

​​In a nutshell

When it comes to spelling, English can be quite tricky, but there are a few tips to help you remember how to spell words. In this summary, you will learn some of them. 


Mnemonics

A mnemonic is a tool used to help you remember certain things. In spelling, you can use a pattern, rhyme or saying to help you remember the way a word is put together.


Example

​​Word

​​Example

Analyses

Necessary
It's necessary that a shirt has one collar and two sleeves.
This sentence can help you remember that the word 'necessary' has one collar (one 'c') and two sleeves (two 's').


Acrostic

An acrostic is another type of mnemonic. It is a piece of writing in which you take the first letters of a word you want to memorise and use these to form words in sentences; visually it looks like a poem. If you write the acrostic yourself, your chances of memorising something are much greater. 


Example of an acrostic by Edgar Allen Poe


E
lizabeth it is in vein you say
L
ove not  - thou sayest it in so sweet way:
I
n vain those words from thee or L.E.L
Z
antippe's talents had enforced so well:
A
h! If that language from thy heart arise,
B
reathe it less gently forth - and veil thine eyes.
E
ndymion, recollect, when Luna tried
T
o cure his love - was cured of all beside - 
H
is follie - pride - and passion - for he died.


As you can see, the word 'Elizabeth' is written vertically and in front of each letter is a sentence. The sentences may or may not share a theme with the word written vertically. 


Common rules

When it comes to spelling, there are some rules you can follow. If you remember these rules, you can improve your spelling. 


​​Rule

​​Example

The letter 'i' comes before 'e'.
Except after 'c'.
believe / achieve
receive / ceiling 
In the past tense, add '-ed' to the end of the (regular) verb.
walk - walked
wish - wished
In the past tense, if a verb consists of three letters and ends in a consonant, double the consonant and add '-ed'.
hug - hugged
tip - tipped
When using the '-ing' form of a verb and the verb ends in a consonant, add '-ing'. 
walk - walking
wish - wishing
When using the '-ing' form of a verb and the verb consists of three letters and ends in a consonant, double the consonant and add '-ing'.
nap - napping
tip - tipping
When using the '-ing' form of a verb and the verb originally ends in an 'e', the 'e' falls away and the '-ing' form is added. 
save - saving
race - racing
Some words have silent letters. These letters are not pronounced aloud.
wrong / thumb / knee


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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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