Spelling Rules and Tricks for SSC CGL Spelling Test
Spelling rules for SSC CGL and other exams
Some spelling rules are worth learning while others are too complicated or have too many exceptions.
Instead of learning ALL the rules, focus on learning rules which address your particular spelling
problems. Following is some helpful information on the rules for building new words:
1. Words for discussing spelling
1. Words for discussing spelling
- VOWELS—a, e, i, o and u are vowels.
- CONSONANTS—the other 21 letters of the alphabet.
- PREFIX—element added to the front of a word (e.g. un/in=not, pre=before, anti=against)
- SUFFIX—element added to the end of a word (e.g. -ing, -able, -ed, -ly, -ful, -ment, -tion)
- SYLLABLE—a word or section of a word with a single sound (e.g. read, fa_mous, dif_fi_cult)
- STRESS—the emphasis is given to a syllable (see underlined syllables: famous, focus, occur, infer)
2. Ten common spelling rules
|1. ‘ie’ or ‘ei’ |
i) Write i before e, except after c
ii) Write ie after c for words with a shensound.
iii) Write ei when the vowels sounds like an a as in 'weigh'
|i)achieve, believe, friend receive, receipt, perceive |
ii)ancient, efficient, sufficient, conscience
iii)neighbour, vein, reign, rein, deign
|Exceptions: Words like counterfeit, either, neither, height, leisure, forfeit, foreign, science, species, seize, weird|
|2. ‘s’ or ‘es’ |
i) Add es if a word ends in ch, sh, ss, xor z
ii) Add es for most words ending in o
|i)arch > arches, clash > clashes, class > classes, box > boxes, quiz > quizzes |
ii)tomato > tomatoes, hero > heroes, go > goes, do > does, echo > echoes
|Exceptions: Words like altos, duos, pianos, radios, solos sopranos, studios, videos, typos|
|3. ‘y’ to ‘i’ or not |
i) For words ending in y preceded by a vowel, retain the y when adding s or a suffix.
ii) For words ending in y, retain the y when adding ing.
iii) For words ending in y, preceded by a consonant, change the y to i before any other suffix
|i) convey > conveys, employ > employer |
ii) try > trying, justify > justifying, certify > certifying, study > studying
iii) try > tried, justify > justifies, certify > certifiable, mystify > mystified, laboratory > laboratories
|Exceptions: Words like dryness, shyness|
|4. drop the final ‘e’ |
i) DROP the e when the suffix starts with a vowel.
ii) DROP the e when the word ends indge.
iii) DROP the final e when adding -ing
|i)save > savable, use > usable |
ii)judge > judgment
iii)save >saving, manage > managing, trace > tracing, emerge > emerging
|Exceptions:DO NOT DROP the e if the word ends in ce or ge (e.g. manage > manageable, trace > traceable)|
|5. ‘t ’ or ‘tt’ when adding -ing, - ed and some suffixes to verbs |
i) DOUBLE the t for verbs of one syllable with a single vowel, or a short vowel sound.
ii) DOUBLE the t for verbs of more than one syllable when the stress is on the last syllable.
|i)rot > rotting, rotted, rotten fit > fitting, fittedknot > knotting, knotted |
ii)abet > abetting, abetting allot > allotting, allottedcommit > committing, committed emit > emitting, emittedforget > forgetting, forgotten (but forgetful)
|Exceptions:DO NOT DOUBLE the t for verbs of one syllable with a double vowel or a long vowel sound (e.g. treat > treating, treated; greet > greeting, greeted)|
|6. ‘r’ or ‘rr’ when adding -ing, - ed and some suffixes to verbs |
i)DOUBLE the r for verbs of one syllable when the final r is preceded by a single vowel.
ii)DOUBLE the r for words of more than one syllable when the stress does not fall on the first syllable.
|i)star > starring, starred, starry tar > tarring, tarredwar > warring, warred (but warfare) scar > scarring, scarredstir > stirring, stirred |
ii)concur > concurring, concurred, concurrence occur > occurring, occurred, occurrence defer > deferring, deferred, (but deference) deter > deterring, deterring, deterrentinfer > inferring, inferred, (but inference) prefer > preferred, preferring, (but preference) refer > referred, referring, referral
|Exceptions:DO NOT DOUBLE the r for verbs of one syllable when the final r is preceded by a double vowel (e.g. fear>fearing, feared)DO NOT DOUBLE the r for words of more than one syllable, when the stress falls on the first syllable (e.g. prosper > prospered, prospering)|
|7. ‘l’ or ‘ll’ when adding -ing,-ed and some suffixes to verbs DOUBLE the l when it is preceded by a single vowel.||cancel > cancelling, cancelled, cancellation enrol > enrolling, enrolled (but enrolment) fulfil > fulfilling, fulfilled, fulfillmentlevel > levelling, levelledtravel > travelling, travelled, traveller||Exceptions: DO NOT DOUBLE the lwhen it is preceded by a double vowel (e.g. conceal> concealing, concealed)|
|8. Dropping letters Many words drop a letter when adding a suffix, but it isnot always the final letter||argue > argument; proceed > procedure; humour > humorous; disaster > disastrous; repeat > repetition; administer > administration||There is no reliable rule covering these words, so they simply have to be memorised.|
|9. Word endings such as able/ible, ant/ance; ent/ence||negligible, incredible, invisible, sensible, admirable, preventable, suitable, dependable attendance, ignorance, nuisance, importance sentence, difference ,independence, intelligence||There is no reliable rule covering these words, so they simply have to be memorised.|
|10. Silent letters Some words include letters which are not pronounced when the word is spoken.||advertisement, campaign, column, debt, design, doubt, gauge, ghetto, heir, knife, knowledge, island, mortgage, often, pneumatic, rhythm, solemn, subtle||There is no reliable rule covering these words, so they simply have to be memorised.|
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