Rules to Remember for Spelling

• When deciding whether to use ie or ei, follow these rules:
For words with the long-e sound, follow the rule “i before e except after c.”
Examples: piece and receive
Exceptions: either, neither, and seize
Use ei to spell other sounds, such as the long-a sound.
Examples: eight and weight
• When adding a suffix to a word that ends in y, change the y to i if a consonant
precedes the y.
Example: penny becomes penniless; apply becomes applies and applied.
Exception: words ending in ing: apply becomes applying.
• If a vowel precedes the y, keep the y and add the suffix.
Example: toy becomes toys.
• Double the final consonant in a word when adding a suffix if
(a) the word is one syllable and
(b) the final consonant is preceded by a single vowel.
Example: run becomes running
or
(a) the last syllable of the word is stressed and
(b) the final consonant is preceded by a single vowel.
Example: infer becomes inferred.
• Do not double the final consonant if the stress is on the first syllable and not the last.
Example: enter becomes entering.
• Drop the final, silent e before you add a suffix beginning with a vowel.
Examples: convince becomes convincing and love becomes loving.
• Keep the final, silent e in place when you add a suffix beginning with a consonant.
Example: love becomes lovely.

Traits of Writing – Ruth Culham

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