Monday, April 9

English Spelling

Because we concentrate on improving our Speaking skills, we don’t usually care about our spelling of English words.

It’s part of Writing after all, not Speaking.

But there are plenty of times when spelling will come back to haunt us. Perhaps as an SMS to a friend, a status update on Facebook, or a tweet on Twitter. And misspellings (spelling mistakes) are often embarrassing for us.

Needless to say, the correct spelling of English words, although confusing to learn, is an important skill to get and keep. Especially because English is not spelled the way it is pronounced.

Strange Spelling, Strange Pronunciation

Some other languages in the world - such as Spanish – can be a bit easier to learn for some people. When you learn and write down new Vocabulary like, for example, “Abrir,” you can feel confident that the way it will be pronounced is similar to the way that it is spelled.

Not so with English. Some letters that appear in writing are spoken in a different way, made with a quiet sound, or not pronounced at all during speaking. This means English tends to be more difficult than other languages. We have to memorize two things: spelling and pronunciation. These two are separate from each other in the English language.

For example, the pronunciation of these words is very different from their spelling. So, please be careful when you read them:

listen, receipt, aunt, height, stomachache, trouble, choir, honor, bouquet   etc.

The Spelling of English Verbs

A good sense of English spelling becomes very important when we use Verbs and Comparative Adjectives in English. This is because when we change Verbs into the Past Tense or their V+ing form, sometimes we have to double some letters. But sometimes we don’t.

The same is true with Comparative forms. For example,

Faster, Softer, Bigger, Harder, Cooler, Stronger, Taller etc.

Some (last) letters we need to double. But some we don’t.

As you might know, the hard part is to know when and when not to do that.

Well, basically it’s all a matter of Vocabulary. This means you have to memorize each word’s spelling and appearance.

But if you wanna have some rules that you can follow because you don’t have a lot of time to study all the words in English, there are some rules on that. But I have to warn you that these rules aren’t 100% guaranteed (basically because of irregular Verbs). This means they're usually true but not always.

Having said that, here they are:

The 4 Rules of Verb and Comparative Spelling

  1. If the word ends in “1 vowel + 1 consonant,” DOUBLE 
    the consonant


    Plan >>>>>>>>>> Planning





  2. If the Vocabulary ends in “2 consonants”, do NOT double the consonant.







  3. If the Vocabulary ends in “2 vowels + 1 consonant,” do NOT double the consonant.








  4. If the Vocabulary ends in “y” or “w,” do NOT double these consonants.






Simple enough to remember and easy enough to follow, right? 

But like I said, in the end, it’s best to learn these things by remembering them as Vocabulary - by being familiar with how each word looks one by one. Especially by practicing writing or typing them down. 

Hope you learned something!

Keep on learning !

Related Topic: The Spelling Monsters 

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