Set II, 36

Spelling Learning Activities

GENERAL GUIDELINES

The suggestions that follow are valuable hints for learning to spell. Accept them as a personal challenge and check your achievement regularly and often.

1. Keep a list of your own "spelling demons," those simple words that you habitually misspell. Learn to spell your "demons" correctly as soon as you discover them by spelling them correctly so many times you break the bad habit of misspelling them.

2. Study the list of the commonly accepted "spelling demons" at the end of this unit until you are sure you can spell each word correctly.

3. When you find a word that is difficult for you to spell, look it up in a dictionary. As you look carefully at the correct spelling, pronounce the word according to syllable and accent. Repeat the correct pronunciation until the sound and the spelling are united in your mind. Continue to look at the correct spelling until you can close your eyes and see the word in your mind's eye.

4. Work out your own mnemonic (memory) device for remembering the correct spelling, such as the following: business has sin in it; separate has a rat in it; a box of stationery has envelopes in it; and fundamental has fun and dame in it, and they go together. Your mnemonic device may sometimes or often be absurd, but that is all right--good, in fact--if it helps you spell the word correctly.

5. Study all of the spelling guidelines until you are able to apply them. Select carefully and use those guidelines you find most helpful, including the following, which are the most often used: changing y to i, doubling the final consonant, and i before e.

PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES

A prefix is one or more letters or syllables added to the beginning of a word. A suffix is one or more letters or syllables added to the end of a word. The main part of the word is the root.

One of the easiest of all spelling guidelines to remember is that the root remains the same when the prefix un, dis, or mis is added.

known -- unknown

miss -- dismiss

spell -- misspell

SUFFIXES FOR NOUNS

Recall that a noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.

1. Nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant (any letter that is not a vowel) are made plural by changing the y to i and adding es.

lady -- ladies

baby -- babies

city -- cities

This rule also applies to spelling the verb that pairs with the third person singular noun or pronoun. (Verbs, as you recall, show action, being, or state of being.)

try -- he tries

cry -- she cries

fly -- it flies

Exceptions: Proper names that end in y are made plural by adding s only.

the Brady family -- the Bradys

Sally -- several Sallys

Roy -- several Roys

2. Caution: Nouns ending in y preceded by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w or y) are made plural by adding only s.

donkey -- donkeys

turkey -- turkeys

joy -- joys

3. Nouns ending in a sibilant (hissing) sound (s, ss, ch, sh, x, or z) are made plural by adding es.

bus -- buses

glass -- glasses

church -- churches

dish -- dishes

box -- boxes

buzz -- buzzes

SUFFIXES FOR NOUNS

4. Nouns ending in f or fe are made plural by changing the f or fe to v and adding es.

shelf -- shelves

knife -- knives

half -- halves

5. Most nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant are made plural by adding es.

hero -- heroes

potato -- potatoes

cargo -- cargoes

Caution: There are so many exceptions to this rule that you may want to learn to spell the words that end in o individually.

piano -- pianos

auto -- autos

zero -- zeros

6. Nouns ending in o preceded by a vowel are made plural by adding only s.

radio -- radios

studio -- studios

coo -- coos

SUFFIXES FOR VERBS

Many of the spelling guidelines for nouns also apply to verbs functioning with nouns and pronouns in the third-person singular (the person spoken of--Irene, Larry, he, she, it).

1. Most verbs take the suffix s in the third-person singular.

arrive -- arrives

drive -- drives

say -- says

2. Verbs ending in s, z, x, sh, or ch take the suffix es to form the third-person singular.

fuss -- fusses

buzz -- buzzes

relax -- relaxes

rush -- rushes

lurch -- lurches

3. Verbs ending in o preceded by a vowel add only s to form the third-person singular.

radio -- radios

moo -- moos

SUFFIXES FOR VERBS

4. Verbs ending in y preceded by a consonant change the y to i, and add es to form the third-person singular.

fly -- flies

reply -- replies

try -- tries

5. Some verbs ending in o preceded by a consonant add es to form the third-person singular.

do -- does

echo -- echoes

veto -- vetoes

MORE SUFFIXES

1. When a suffix beginning with a vowel joins a word ending with a consonant, the final consonant doubles if the words has one syllable or an accent on the last syllable:

fit -- fitting

plan -- planning

remit -- remitted

BUT: benefit -- benefited

travel -- traveling

2. When a word ending in e is preceded by a consonant, the e dropped when a suffix beginning with a vowel follows.

describe -- describing

love -- lovable

Caution: Some exceptions are changeable, courageous, enforceable, noticeable.

3. When a suffix beginning with a consonant joins a word, keep the e.

bare -- bareness

love -- lovely

sincere -- sincerely

Caution: Some exceptions are abridgment, acknowledgment, and judgment. These spellings are every bit as correct as abridgement, acknowledgement, and judgement.

SUFFIXES FOR WORDS ENDING IN Y

1. Words ending in y preceded by a vowel retain the y before a suffix.

alley -- allyes

monkey -- monkeyed

2. Most words ending in y preceded by a consonant change the y to i before a suffix.

ally -- allies

cry -- cries

dry -- dried

3. If the suffix begins with i, the final y remains.

enjoy -- enjoying

pay -- paying

4. Proper nouns keep the final y when s is added.

the Baileys the Daleys three Larrys

IE OR EI?

1. When ie or ei spell the sound ee, put i before e except after c.

believe relief thief

Caution: Some exceptions are either, leisure, neither, seize, weird.

2. If you should have any difficulty with ie and ei, remember these jingles:

Use i before e

Except after c

Or when sounded like a

As in neighbor and weight.

If in a word a c you spy,

Put the e before the i.

OTHER SPELLING RULES

1. The letter u always follows the letter q.

bouquet quiet quiz

2. When full is added to the end of a noun to form an adjective, the final l is dropped.

cheerful helpful sorrowful

OTHER SPELLING RULES

3. In words ending in c, insert k before e, i, or y to retain the hard sound before any suffix.

frolic -- frolicked

picnic -- picknicking

panic -- panicky

SPELLING LIST

Studies have proven that the words listed below are among the most frequently misspelled. Their popular name is "spelling demons." You should learn to spell these words correctly so that your communication can be more effective. advice dining immediately secretary advise disappear interest sense, since affect, effect disapprove interesting separate all right disastrous its, it's succeed among discipline laboratory to, too, two amount disease laid truly argument dissatisfied lead, led until arrangement effect, affect lose, loose villain athlete eligible losing writing athletic embarrass marriage written bargain encourage necessary beautiful entertain occasion becoming environment occurred belief equipment omitted believe everything opportunity benefited excellence parallel business existence performance calendar existent personal cemetery experience possession changing explanation possible choose fascinate precede, proceed chose February prejudice coming foreign principal, principle committee fourth privilege conscience government professor conscious grammar quiet, quite criticism grievous receive describe height receiving description heroes recommend dictionary hoping referring

Exercise 1 Suffixes for Nouns

Add s or es to these nouns to form their plural.

1. donkey _____________________ 11. Dorothy __________________

2. ash ________________________ 12. valley ___________________

3. comedy _____________________ 13. knife ____________________

4. church _____________________ 14. joy ______________________

5. baby _______________________ 15. tax ______________________

6. tree _______________________ 16. house ____________________

7. circus _____________________ 17. potato ___________________

8. buffalo ____________________ 18. plane ____________________

9. fox ________________________ 19. city _____________________

10. James ______________________ 20. piano ____________________

Exercise 2 Suffixes for Verbs

Add s or es to the following verbs.

1. attract ____________________ 11. nullify __________________

2. boo ________________________ 12. occur ____________________

3. catch ______________________ 13. pass _____________________

4. drench _____________________ 14. buzz _____________________

5. establish __________________ 15. ratify ___________________

6. guess ______________________ 16. solo _____________________

7. hope _______________________ 17. touch ____________________

8. joke _______________________ 18. unify ____________________

9. lurch ______________________ 19. veto _____________________

10. moo ________________________ 20. watch ____________________

Exercise 3 More Suffixes

In the spaces provided, supply the proper spellings.

1. attend + ance ________________ 11. equip + ed _____________

2. begin + ing __________________ 12. excel + ed _____________

3. benefit + ed _________________ 13. heat + ing _____________

4. bid + ing ____________________ 14. hop + ed _______________

5. club + ed ____________________ 15. ice + y ________________

6. concur + ed __________________ 16. love + ly ______________

7. control + ed _________________ 17. nap + ing ______________

8. desire + able ________________ 18. occur + ed _____________

9. drop + ed ____________________ 19. sincere + ly ___________

10. effect + ive _________________ 20. take + ing _____________

Exercise 4 Suffixes for Words Ending in Y

In the spaces provided, supply the correct spellings.

1. alley + s _________________ 16. fly + ing _________________

2. angry + est _______________ 17. fry + ed __________________

3. beauty + ful ______________ 18. history + es ______________

4. bold + est ________________ 19. icy + est _________________

5. care + ful ________________ 20. lucky + er ________________

6. carry + ing _______________ 21. mercy + less ______________

7. cry + ed __________________ 22. pay + ing _________________

8. defy + ing ________________ 23. pity + ful ________________

9. deny + es _________________ 24. play + ed _________________

10. destiny + es ______________ 25. rely + es _________________

11. destroy + ed ______________ 26. reply + ed ________________

12. easy + est ________________ 27. stay + ing ________________

13. edify + ed _______________ 28. turkey + s ________________

14. eery + est ______________ 29. unify + ed ________________

15. enjoy + ed ______________ 30. (the) Barry + s ___________

Exercise 5 IE or EI?

In the spaces provided, supply the proper ie or ei spelling.

1. ach ___________ ve

15. p ____________ ce

2. bel ___________ f

16. perc _________ ve

3. bel ___________ ve

17. pr ___________ st

4. br ____________ f

18. rec __________ pt

5. c _____________ ling

19. rel __________ f

6. ch ____________ f

20. rel __________ ve

7. conc __________ t

21. repr _________ ve

8. conc __________ ve

22. retr _________ ve

9. dec ___________ t

23. sh ___________ ld

10. dec ___________ ve

24. shr __________ k

11. f _____________ ld

25. s ____________ ge

12. gr ____________ f

26. th ___________ f

13. gr ____________ ve

27. w ____________ ld

14. n _____________ ce

28. y ____________ ld

Exercise 6 Other Rules

In the spaces provided, supply the correct spellings.

1. colic _____________ y

6. q ___________ een

2. frolic ____________ y

7. q ___________ stion

3. beautifu __________

8. req _________ st

4. panic _____________ y

9. trustfu ______

5. politi ____________ ing

10. watchfu _______

Bindseil & Dickey: Effective Writing, Houghton Mifflin, 1978, pp.350-361.



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