Useful Spelling Rules

Click here to print

Correct spelling is very difficult for many students because the spellings of many words do not follow rules.

Even when rules apply to the spellings of words:

Still, there are some rules that apply to the spellings of words with few exceptions and that are not difficult to learn and remember. Learning and using these rules can improve your spelling.

Here are eight spelling rules you should learn and use.

  1. A word that ends with the sound of "v" is spelled with the letters "ve" at its end.
    *Examples: shave, above, effective
  2. The letter "i" comes before "e" except after "c."
    *Examples: believe, field, tried (but not receive)
  3. When a word ends with "y" preceded by a consonant, form the plural of the word by changing the "y" to "i" and adding "es."
    *Examples: countries, carries, ladies
  4. Drop the final silent "e" when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel.
    *Examples: changing, notable, nervous
  5. Keep the final silent "e" when adding a suffix that begins with a consonant.
    *Examples: useful, lovely, hopeless
  6. When a one-syllable word ends in a vowel followed by a consonant, double the final consonant when adding a suffix.
    *Examples: topped, swimmer, hitting
  7. The letter "q" in a word is followed by "u."
    *Examples: quick, antique, equation
  8. Do not change the spelling of a word when adding a prefix to it.
    *Examples: remove, triangle, misspell

While some of these rules have exceptions, learning and using them will help you correctly spell many words.

See our other study skills resources at
and don't forget to visit to learn about our study skills products.

Copyright © 2002 - 2023

Feel free to link to our site. Give credit to whenever you print and distribute material from this site.
You must obtain our written permission for use of any of the information at this site for commercial purposes.