What Are Effective Aids for Spelling a Word Correctly?


Quick Answer

One effective aid for spelling words correctly is the rhyme "i before e except after c or when sounded as a, as in neighbor and weigh." There are a few exceptions such as weird and foreign. Another rule explains when to double a final consonant when adding a suffix.

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Full Answer

A double consonant is only added if there is a single vowel before the last consonant, if the consonant ends with an accented syllable or if the word is only one syllable. An example is adding the suffix "-ing" to the word "stop" to make it "stopping" or adding "-ed" to "admit" to make it "admitted." An example where a double consonant is not added is when "-ing" is added to "stoop" to make it stooping or "-ful" to "delight" to make it "delightful."

Another common spelling aid is remembering to drop an "e" at the end of a word before a suffix is added if the suffix starts with a vowel. An example is adding "-ing" to "ride" to make it "riding." If the suffix begins with a consonant, the "e" is kept, such as adding "-ment" to "arrange" to make it "arrangement." There are a few exceptions including "argument" and "noticeable."

Mnemonic devices are helpful tools for remembering the spelling of tricky words. A classic mnemonic phrase to remember the spelling of the word "believe" is, "Never believe a lie." Another mnemonic for the word "misspells" is, "Miss Pell never misspells."

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