Random spelling tips


  • facial, racial, glacial, residential, marital, partial, influential, special
  • When do we spell the suffix cial and when is it spelt tial?
  • Answer: cial after a vowel and tial after a consonant

BUT…there are exceptions (surprise surprise!) – financial, spatial, commercial,  provincial, initial and finally controversial (there are probably more lurking around somewhere but you get the general idea)

  • f/ph/gh??
  • Generally f is found in shorter words (one or maximum 2 syllables) ie: fox, fate, food, fabric etc
  • In words of 3 syllables or more f becomes ph (originally Greek) ie: geography, atmosphere, physician, amphibian etc
  • ph (sounded as f) occurs only in a very few words ie: enough, tough, laugh, trough, rough, cough

BUT…there are exceptions: feminine, felony, fabulous, furniture etc..

We double l, f and s after a single short vowel at the end of a word ie:  call, tall, toss, miss, stiff (notable tiresome exceptions:) bus ,us, gas, of, this, yes

ck may only be used after a single (short) vowel at the end of a syllable or root word (ie: track, pick, wreckage, rocket)

When w comes before or the word is often pronounced /ɜː/ ie: wɜːm, wɜːth/ wɜːk  etc

Words ending in a single vowel or a single consonant always double the last consonant before adding the suffix ie: stop/stopped, swim/swimming/, flat, flatter etc.

When g is followed by i, e or y it is pronounced j, otherwise it is pronounced g as in gold ie: gentle, giant, gymnastic, good, gallon, guide, glass (exceptions include: get, give, gear, gift etc)

Drop the final e from a root word when the inflection starts with a vowel, but keep it before a consonant ie:  love, loving, lovely, drive, driving, driver,  grace, graceful etc.

ti, ci and si are three spellings most frequently used to pronounce sh at the beginning of all syllables except the first.

Almost no words in English end in v and none end in j (spiv being the exception!)

ous at the  end of a word often means ‘full of’ ie; gracious (full of grace), spacious (full of space), famous, furious, dangerous (you get the point)

er and or endings, most common everyday words end in er.  (If in doubt, use or when the meaning of the word is ‘one who’ or ‘that which’ (author, director, instructor, indicator, conveyor etc)

easy now isn’t it?