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Spelling rules for English Improvement For SSC CGL

Spelling rules for English Improvement For SSC CGL

Spelling rules make learning the spellings of English words much easier. Becoming aware of these spelling rules can help you avoid some common spelling errors. Many books and style guides contain a complete list of spelling rules. Below are some of the most helpful rules.


Spelling rule 1 i before e except after c

Most people know the spelling rule about i before e except after c, as in the

following words:

IE  –  Achieve, believe ,belief, chief, piece, yield, thief.

EI  –  Ceiling,conceit,deceit,deceive,perceive,receipt,receive

The rule only applies when the sound represented is ‘ee’, though. It doesn’t

apply to words like science or efficient, in which the –ie- combination does

follow the letter c but isn’t pronounced ‘ee’.

Neither does the rule apply to any word without the ee sound, even when

there is no c involved.

For example:

-ei- (not pronounced ee)


There are a few exceptions to the general i before e rule, even when the sound

is ‘ee’.

Examples include seize, weird, and caffeine. There’s nothing for it but to learn

how to spell these words.

Spelling Rule 2: When adding suffixes that begin with a vowel (-able, -ible, –

ous, etc.) to words ending in silent e, drop the final e.

• This rule explains why a word like desire contains an e and a word like

desirable does not. Other examples include :

response → responsible, continue → continuous, argue → arguing.

We do, however, retain the final e when a word ends in -ce or -ge in order to

maintain the distinctive “soft” pronunciation of those consonants:

notice → noticeable, courage → courageous, advantage → advantageous.

• For reasons of pronunciation, the final e is also retained in words ending in a

double e, e.g. agree → agreeable, flee → fleeing.

Spelling Rule 3: When adding suffixes to words ending in y, change the y to

an i.

• This rule explains the spelling shift that occurs in the following word pairs:
happy → happier, plenty → plentiful, body → bodily.

• As English spelling does not generally allow an i to follow another i, the y is

retained when the suffix itself begins with an i:carry → carrying, baby →


Spelling Rule 4: When adding suffixes, double the final consonant of a word

only if any of the following conditions apply.

• The final consonant is preceded by a single vowel: bar → barred.

• When there is more than one vowel before the final consonant, the

consonant is not doubled: fail → failed.

• When the final consonant is preceded by another consonant, the consonant

is not doubled: bark → barking.

• If the word ends in l or p, then the consonant is usually doubled.

travel → travelled; worship → worshipped.

• Note: American spelling does not follow this rule.

Spelling Rule 5

Nouns ending in -acy and –asy. The ending -acy is much more common than –

asy. Here are some of the most familiar ones ending in -acy: accuracy;

conspiracy; intimacy; piracy; legacy; intricacy; primacy; adequacy; delicacy;

legitimacy; aristocracy; pharmacy; privacy; democracy; lunacy;

bureaucracy; literacy; supremacy; fallacy; numeracy; obstinacy.
• There are only four nouns in standard English which end in-asy. It’s best just

to remember these: apostasy; ecstasy; fantasy; idiosyncrasy.

Spelling rules
Spelling Rule 6   Words ending in –ance and –ence

These two endings are both used to make nouns from verbs.(e.g. performance

from perform) or nouns from adjective. (e.g. intelligence from intelligent).

Here are some tips to help you remember:

Words ending in -ance
• If the word is formed from a verb that ends in -y, -ure, or-ear, then the

ending will be spelled -ance. For example: alliance (from ally), endurance

(from endure), or appearance (from appear)

• If the main part of the word (i.e. the bit before the ending) ends in a ‘hard’ c

(pronounced like the c in cab) or a ‘hard’ g (pronounced like the g in game),

then the ending will be spelled -ance. For example:elegance or significance.

• If the noun is related to a verb ending in -ate, then the ending is likely to be –

ance, e.g. tolerance (from tolerate)

Here are some common nouns ending in -ance:

clearance; guidance; acceptance; relevance; ignorance; importance;

resemblance; instance; allowance; insurance; distance; substance;

maintenance; appliance; disturbance; assistance; nuisance; balance;

fragrance; circumstance; grievance; dominance; attendance.

Words ending in -ence

• If the word is formed from a verb ending in -ere, then the ending will be

spelled -ence.

For example:reverence (from revere), adherence (from adhere), orcoherence

(from cohere).
Note that the word perseverance is an exception to this rule.

• If the main part of the word ends in a soft c (pronounced like the c in cell) or

a soft g (pronounced like the g in gin), then the ending will be -ence. For

example: adolescence or emergence.

Note that the word vengeance is an exception to this rule!

Here are some common nouns ending in -ence:

consequence; absence; convenience; preference; influence; presence;

innocence; difference; recurrence; audience; reference; essence; evidence;

affluence; insistence; sentence; coincidence; sequence; existence; silence;

conference; experience; patience; confidence.


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