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Generalizations

There are some generalizations, or rules, in spelling that can help writers remember unique spelling features. Researchers caution, however, that the only generalizations students should consider are those that apply to a large number of words, with very few exceptions.

In the Instant Spelling Words for Writing program, seven spelling generalizations are featured because of their utility. These generalizations are as follows:

1. Some words double the final consonant when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel.

  • get + ing = get + t + ing = getting
  • big + er = big + g + er =bigger

2. Some words drop the final e when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel

  • have + ing = hav + ing = having
  • write + er = writ + er = writer

3. Some words change y to i when adding a suffix not beginning with i.

  • try + ed = tri + ed = tried
  • try + ing = trying

4. Most nouns form the plural by adding s.

  • word + s = words
  • key + s = keys

5. Nouns ending with s, ss, sh, ch, and x form the plural by adding es.

  • inch + es = inches
  • class + es = classes

6. Some nouns form the plural by changing y to i when adding es.

  • story + es = stori + es = stories
  • country + es = countri + es = countries

7. Some nouns form the plural by changing f or fe to v when adding es.

  • half + es = halv + es = halves
  • wife + es = wiv + es = wives

 

Spelling Guide

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