Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Some importan Rules


1. "Q" Is Followed By "U"

The letter Q is almost always followed by U, as in words like "queen," "earthquake," and "equity." When used in this way, the U is not considered to be a vowel. There are exceptions to this rule, but they're few and far between.

2. "S" Never Follows "X"

The letter S never follows X. The letter C often takes its place to achieve the desired sound, as in excise and excite.

3. "C" Makes Two Sounds

The letter C can make either the "K" sound or the "S" sound. You'll hear it pronounced as a "K" before most letters, including words like "cat," "cloud," and "cotton." You'll hear it pronounced as an "S" before the vowels E, I, and Y, as in words like "century," "citation," and "cyclical."

4. Short Vowels Only Need One Vowel

In most words with a short vowel sound, only one vowel is needed. Examples of this rule include "at," "it," "hot," "red" and "up." For more on this, check out this List of Short Vowel Words.

5. Double the "F," "L," and "S" in One Syllable Words

If these letters come at the end of a one-syllable word, you must double them.

Examples ,include the double F in "stiff," the double L in "stall," and the double S in "class." Here's another list for you. Have a look at these Words With Double Letters.

6. Drop the Final "E" After a Suffix

When adding a suffix, you usually need to drop the final E, especially in American English. Many words end with a silent final E, and when adding an ending that starts with a vowel, you should always remove it.In this way, "come" becomes "coming," "hope" becomes "hoping," "race" becomes "racing" and "squeeze" becomes "squeezing."

7. Remove an "L" From "All" as a Prefix

The word "all," when written alone, has two L's. When used as a prefix, however, only one L is written. Examples of this rule include "almost," "also," "altogether" and "always."

8. Prefixes (Generally) Don't Change the Spelling

Generally, adding a prefix to a word does not change the correct spelling. So, adding de- to "activate" results in "deactivate," and adding non- to "fiction" becomes "nonfiction."

9. Suffixes Don't Have to Change the Spelling

Words ending in a vowel and Y can add the suffix -ed or -ing without making any other changes. "Jockeying," "journeying," and "toying" are all examples of this rule.

10. Contractions Need Apostrophes Where Letters Are Missing

This sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? The apostrophe in "can't" signifies the missing letters "N" and "O" in "cannot." But, think of other words we use; ol' is a good example. Have you ever seen someone write it as 'ol? If so, that apostrophe was placed in error, because the apostrophe stands in place of the D that is missing from "old." An apostrophe should only hang wherever the letters are missing. For more on this, read through Using Contractions Correctly.

11. Proper Nouns Must Be Capitalized

Proper nouns are specific people, places, or things. They're not buildings, but the Empire State Building. They're not states, but the state of Georgia. Proper nouns are specific labels, and whenever someone's name or the official title is being used, these nouns must be capitalized.

12. Words Do Not End With "V" or "J"

We thought we'd end on a clear note. Even though this rule is mostly true, similar to "Q" being followed by "U," there are a few exceptions.

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