C always softens to /s/ when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise, C says /k/.
center cat circus clap icy arc
G may soften to /j/ only when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise, G says /g/.
germ get goat ginger gift glad allergy argyle log
English words do not end in I, U, V, or J.
cry true have edge high few age pie
A E O U usually say their names at the end of a syllable.
ta per tap per be low bel low to tal tot ter hu man hum ming
I and Y may say /ĭ/ or /ī/ at the end of a syllable.
li on ti tle try cry cli nic vi sit bi cy cle phy sic
When a one-syllable word ends in a single vowel Y, it says /ī/.
by my cry try fry
Y says /ē/ only at the end of a multi-syllable word. I says /ē/ at the end of a syllable that is followed by a vowel and at the end of foreign words.
ba by fun ny hap py a bil i ty sta di um o lym pi an cal ci um ra di us manicotti spaghetti Afghani safari
I and O may say /ī/ and /ō/ when followed by two consonants.
bond bold pond post rink rind sing sign
AY usually spells the sound /ā/ at the end of a base word.
may day stay portray
When a word ends with the phonogram A, it says /ä/. A may also say /ä/ after a W or before an L.
ma water pa wasp koala tall zebra also
Q always needs a U; therefore, U is not a vowel here.
queen quiet enquire liquid
Silent Final E The vowel says its long sound because of the E. (50% of the time.)
strange bone theme cute line type
Silent Final E English words do not end in V or U.
have blue love rescue curve argue
Silent Final E The C says /s/ and the G says /j/ because of the E.
choice cage trace change commerce orange
Silent Final E Every syllable must have a written vowel.
ta ble bi cy cle waf fle
Silent Final E Add an E to keep singular words that end in the letter S from looking plural.
house mouse goose
Silent Final E Add an E to make the word look bigger.
are awe ewe
Silent Final E TH says its voiced sound /TH/ because of the E.
breath breathe teeth teethe bath bathe
Silent Final E Add an E to clarify meaning.
or ore teas tease
Silent Final E Unseen reason.
done were some come
Drop the silent final E when adding a vowel suffix ONLY if it is allowed by other spelling rules.
like + ing ------> liking like + ly -------> likely
trace + ing --------> tracing trace + able -------> traceable
courage + ous ------> courageous
Double the last consonant when adding a vowel suffix to words ending in one vowel followed by one consonant only if the syllable before the suffix is accented.* *This is always true for one-syllable words.
let + ing let ting pop + ed pop ped
sleep + ing sleep ing pick + ing pick ing
for got + en for got' ten o pen + ing o' pen ing
Single vowel Y changes to I when adding any ending, unless the ending begins with I.
try + es tries baby + es babies boy + s boys try + ing trying
Two I's cannot be next to one another in English words.
cry -----> crying die ------> dying lie --------> lying
TI, CI, and SI are used only at the beginning of any syllable after the first one.
e lec tion spa cious dis cus sion
SH spells /sh/ at the beginning of a base word and at the end of the syllable. SH never spells /sh/ at the beginning of any syllable after the first one, except for the ending -ship.
shock dish friend ship
To make a verb past tense, add the ending -ED unless it is an irregular verb.
stay stayed count counted run ran see saw
-ED, past tense ending, forms another syllable when the base word ends in /d/ or /t/. Otherwise, -ED says /d/ or /t/.
land ed want ed played stamped
To make a noun plural, add the ending -S, unless the word hisses or changes; then add -ES. Some nouns have no change or an irregular spelling.
toys boxes stories cats glasses knives deer children fish feet
To make a verb 3rd person singular, add the ending -S, unless the word hisses or changes; then add -ES. Only four verbs are irregular.
She reads. It hisses. He carries.
have | has do |does go |goes am |is
AL- is a prefix written with one L when preceding another syllable.
al most al ways al so
-FUL is a suffix written with one L when added to another syllable.
grace ful mer ci ful won der ful
DGE is used only after a single vowel which says its short sound.
badge ledge bridge lodge budge
CK is used only after a single vowel which says its short sound.
back neck tick locket truck
TCH is used only after a single vowel which says its short or broad sound.
match watch fetch butcher pitch botch hutch
AUGH, EIGH, IGH, OUGH Phonograms ending in GH are used only at the end of a base word or before the letter T. The GH is either silent or pronounced /f/.
laugh caught weigh weight sigh sight tough thought
Z, never S, spells /z/ at the beginning of a base word.
zoo zebra zipper
We often double F, L, and S after a single, short or broad vowel at the end of a base word. Occasionally other letters also are doubled.
off ball less ebb ruff tell mass egg puff fill toss jazz
Any vowel may say one of the schwa sounds, /ŭ/ or /ĭ/, in an unaccented syllable or unaccented word. O may also say /ŭ/ in an accented syllable next to a W, TH, M, N, or V.
about the before was infinite from command until wonder, other, compass, son, oven