The 29 Spalding Rules

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Source: Romalda Spalding, The Writing Road to Reading, 29 Spelling Rules

Rule 1

q is always followed by u and together say /kw/. 'qu' is a consonant.

Rule 2

c before e, i, or y says /s/ (cent, city) but followed by any other letter says /k/ (clock, cat)

Rule 3

g before e, i, or y usually says /j/ (page) but followed by any other letter says g (glove, gate)

Rule 4

Vowels a, e, o, and u usually say their names (long sound) at the end of a syllable (na vy, mu sic)

Rule 5

i and y usually say the name i (long i) at the end of a syllable, but not always. (hi, cy cle but u ni ver si ty)

Rule 6

y not i is used at the end of English words (rain, ray)

Rule 7

There are five kinds of silent e's

Rule 8

'or' may say 'er' after 'w' (work, worry, worst)

Rule 9

use ei after c
If the sound is long a, use ei (neighbor). There are some exceptions to this. It is a short list of words.

Rule 10

• sh may be used at the beginning or end of a base word (ship, wish).
• sh can be used at the end of a syllable (fin ish).
• sh cannot be used at the beginning of a syllable in the middle of a word. (only 1 excepton: wor ship)

Rule 11

Words ending with a silent final e are written without the e when adding a vowel ending

Rule 12


Rule 13

The phonogram sh is used at the beginning or end of a base word at the end of the syllable but never at the beginning of a syllable after the first one except for the ending ship

Rule 14

The phonograms ti, si, ci, are used to say sh

Rule 15

si is used to say sh when the syllable before it ends in an s (ses sion) or when the base word has an s where the base word changes

Rule 16

si may also say zh, as in vi sion

Rule 17

Often double l, f, and s following a single vowel at the end of a one-syllable word (will)

Rule 18

Use ay to say a at the end of a base word

Rule 19

Vowels i and o may say i and o if followed by two consonants (find, old)

Rule 20

s almost never follows x

Rule 21

All, written alone, has two l's, but with another syllable, only one l is written (al so, al most)

Rule 22

till and full have one l (same as 21)

Rule 23

dge may be used ONLY after a single vowel that says â,ê, î, ô, or û (badge, edge)

Rule 24

adding a suffix to a word that ends with a consonant and y, use i instead of y unless the ending is ing

Rule 25

ck may be used only after a single vowel that says â,ê, î, ô, or û (duck, back)

Rule 26

26! 26! capitalize 26!

Rule 27

Words beginning with the sound z are always spelled with z, never s (zoo)

Rule 28

ed has 3 sounds and is used to form the past tens verbs

Rule 29

Words are usually divided between double consonants within a base word.

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