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Is Spelling a Nightmayor? Top Five Spelling Tips

(Continued from EdWorld At Home)

And 101 words kids often get wrong.

5. General Double the Letter Tip

If a prefix ends with the same letter that the base word starts with (mis + step), you include both (misstep).

If a suffix (after the base word, remember?) begins with the same letter the base word ends with (thin + ness), you include both (thinness).

If you're not sure whether a word has a single or double consonants, remember that usually a long vowel will come before a single consonant and a short vowel before double consonants. (Litter has a short "I" sound; Liter has a long "I" sound.)

4. To Double Not to Double Suffixes

When a one-syllable word ends with a vowel and a single consonant (cut), double that final consonant before adding a suffix (cut + ing = cutting).

When a word with more than one syllable ends with a vowel and consonant (impel), and the accent is on the last syllable in that base word (imPEL), double the final consonant before adding the suffix (impel + ing = impelling).

However, if a word with more than one syllable does NOT put the accent on the last syllable in the base word (MARvel), DO NOT double the final consonant before adding the suffix (marvel + ous = marvelous).

3. Final Y

When a word ends in a consonant and a Y, change that Y to an I before adding a suffix (try becomes tried). BUT this isn't the case with adding ing.

When a word ends in a vowel and a Y, do NOT change the Y to an I before adding the suffix (stray + ed = strayed).

2. Final and Silent E

For words ending in a silent E, drop the E before adding a suffix that begins with a vowel (hope + ing = hoping) but not if the suffix does not begin with a vowel (hope + ful = hopeful).

There are some big exceptions to this rule: The words acknowledge and judge drop their final Es when adding the suffix ment, for example (acknowledgment, judgment). You'll see that Judgment is one of the most misspelled words!

1. IE or EI? The Oldest Spelling Question in the World

First asked by a dazed and confused Noah Webster when being visited by the devil (no, that's another story, folks!) Seriously, here's the I and E rule:

I before E except after C or when sounding like A as in NEIGHBOR and WEIGH.

We've heard there's an exception to this rule on Tuesdays, but this rumor is not confirmed! Seriously, there are exceptions:

Either, neither, height, leisure, weird

101 Words Kids Often Get Wrong

1.            absence

2.            accept

3.            achieve

4.            across

5.            address

6.            all right

7.            already

8.            anyway

9.            arithmetic

10.        a while (always two words)

11.        before

12.        beginning

13.        believe

14.        breath (the noun; breathe is the verb)

15.        break

16.        brought

17.        business

18.        calendar

19.        capital (a capital city, a capital letter, a capital or great idea, capital punishment)

20.        capitol (a capitol building)

21.        career

22.        ceiling

23.        clothes

24.        column

25.        cough

26.        country

27.        dairy (the cow farm; the thing you write in is a diary)

28.        deceive

29.        dictionary (great word to misspell, huh?)

30.        different

31.        discipline

32.        disease

33.        dissatisfied

34.        effect (the result of something or to make something happen; to affect is to influence or alter something and also has some other meanings)

35.        eighth

36.        eligible

37.        eliminate

38.        embarrass

39.        enormous

40.        environment

41.        everybody

42.        faucet

43.        February

44.        feud

45.        foreign

46.        friend

47.        gauge

48.        genius

49.        gorgeous

50.        grammar

51.        guard

52.        guidance (yes, spelled just like the office at the high school!)

53.        handkerchief, handkerchiefs

54.        health

55.        heart

56.        height

57.        hoarse (sore throat; the animal is horse)

58.        humor

59.        illegal

60.        iron

61.        irrelevant

62.        jealous

63.        judgment (remember this one?)

64.        knowledge

65.        leisure

66.        lightning

67.        loose (not tight)

68.        lose (you can't find it anymore)

69.        marriage

70.        mileage

71.        minute

72.        misspelled (another good one to misspell!)

73.        muscle

74.        neighbor

75.        neither

76.        ninety

77.        ninth

78.        noisily

79.        occur

80.        occasion

81.        often

82.        origin

83.        parallel

84.        piece

85.        potatoes

86.        quiet (not loud)

87.        quite (very)

88.        receive

89.        rhyme

90.        rhythm

91.        seize

92.        siege

93.        thorough (complete)

94.        through (the preposition)

95.        tomorrow

96.        vacuum

97.        village

98.        villain

99.        voice

100.    weird

101.    wrestle

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