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Other Spelling Rules

A syllable placed before a word to change its meaning is called a prefix. Some prefixes are a, ab, ad, anti, ante, be, contra, com, de, dis, ex, hemi, hyper, intra, pro, im, un, in, co, dis, inter.

Examples: atheist, abdicate, anti-aircraft, antibiotic, combat, disadvantage, enlighten, infertile, imbibe, sub-tropical etc.

Doubling the Final Consonant
  1. Words of one syllable ending in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel double the final consonant before adding ed and ing (trim - trimmed - trimming).
  2. Words of two or more syllables double the final consonant before adding ed and ing when these conditions are met: the last syllable ends in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, and the accent is on the last syllable (refer - referred - referring).
  3. Words that end in an accented short or modified vowel sound must have the final consonant doubled to protect that sound when you add a vowel suffix:
    • Quebec - Quebecker
    • remit - remittance
    • confer - conferring
    • refer - referred
    • upset - upsetting
    • shellac - shellacking
    • occur - occurred
    • concur- concurrent
Note that this doubling is not done if the accent is not on the last syllable. If the word ends in a schwa, there is no need to "protect" it.
  • open - opening
  • organ - organize
  • focus - focused
  • refer - referee
The consonants, v, j, k, w, and x are never doubled.

  1. Possessive Forms
    • Singular nouns form the possessive by adding an apostrophe and s (pilot - pilot's).
    • Plural nouns that end in s add only an apostrophe to form the possessive (aviators - aviators').
    • Plural nouns that do not end in s add the apostrophe and s to form the possessive (men - men's).
  2. Contractions
    • A word or phrase that has been shortened by leaving out some of the letters is called a contraction.
    • An apostrophe is used to show that the letters have been omitted (won't - will not), (o'clock - of the clock).
/ee/ before a vowel suffix:
When ee precedes a vowel suffix, it is usually spelled with the letter i:
  • Indian
  • obvious
  • medium
  • ingredient
  • zodiac
  • material
  1. The beginning of a sentence is always capitalized (The Sun rises in the east.).
  2. The names of holidays are capitalized (Christmas, Sankratri).
  3. The names of the months of the year and the days of the week are capitalized (January, Monday).
  4. The names of countries are capitalized (United States, Great Britain).
  5. When you write the name of a particular street, capitalize the words (Banjara Hills).
  6. The abbreviations Mr., Mrs. and Ms. are always capitalized and followed by a period (Mr. Callahan, Mrs. Perry, Ms. Smith).
  7. The names of deities are capitalized (God, Allah, Buddha, Lord Vishnu).
  8. The word congress is capitalized when it refers to the Congress Party (The Congress won the election.).
  9. When words like padmasri and padmabhushan are used as titles with a person's name, they are capitalized (Padmasri NTR, Padma Vibhushan Sachin).
  10. We capitalize the words supreme and court when referring the Supreme Court of India.
Other Words
  1. Compound Words are made by writing two small words together to make one larger word. (newspaper, somebody).
  2. A root word is the root, or beginning word, from which another word is made. Play is the root word of plays, played and playing.
  3. Derived words are words that come from other words.

    For example Suitable is derived from suit; advertisement from advertise. Sometimes the spelling of the root word is slightly changed in the derived word.
Spelling Determined by Word Meaning
  1. Mist and missed sound alike, as do band and banned. To determine the spelling, remember that -ed is a past-tense tending.
    1. The mist drifted into the harbor.
    2. I nearly missed my bus.
    3. The movie was banned in Boston.
    4. The band played on.
  2. The endings of dentist and finest sound alike. Deciding which one to use can be tricky. One rule helps but doesn't cover all cases:
    1. --ist is a suffix meaning someone who does something:
      artist - machinist - druggist
    2. --est is the ending used on superlative adjectives:
      finest - sweetest - longest
Published date : 24 Sep 2010 01:22PM

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