Suffixes and verb endings

WORDS THAT DOUBLE THE FINAL CONSONANT

When a one-syllable word ends with one vowel followed by one consonant, double the final consonant in most cases before adding a word ending starting with a vowel.

 Example:  drop, dropped; ship, shipped; but: bus, buses

When a multisyllable word ends with one vowel followed by one consonant and the accent falls on the last syllable, double the final consonant in most cases before adding a word ending starting with a vowel.

 Example: control, controlling; regret, regrettable; but prefer, preferable

 

WORDS THAT DO NOT DOUBLE THE FINAL CONSONANT

When a one-syllable words ends with one vowel followed by one consonant, do not double the final consonant before adding an –ly ending.

 Example: glad, gladly; sad, sadly

When a multisyllable word ends with one vowel followed by one consonant and the accent does not fall on the last syllable, in most cases do not double the final consonant before adding a word ending starting with a vowel.

 Example: travel, traveling; credit, credited; but: program, programming

When a multisyllable word ends with more than one vowel followed by a consonant, in most cases do not double the final consonant before adding a word ending.

 Example: look, looking; appeal, appealing; but: equip, equipping

When a multisyllable word ends with more than one consonant, do not double the final consonant before adding a word ending.

 Example: confirm, confirmed; element, elements

 

WORDS ENDING IN SILENT E

             When a word ends with silent e, drop the e in most cases before adding a word ending starting with a vowel.

Example: arrive, arrival; sale, salable; but: mile, mileage

When a word ends with a silent e, retain the e before a word ending that start with a consonant unless another vowel precedes the final e.

 Example: manage, management; argue, argument

 

WORDS ENDING IN CE OR GE

            When a word ends in ce or ge, retain the in most cases before adding a word ending that start with a, o, or u

 Example: courage, courageous; notice, noticeable; but: age, aging

When a word ends with ce or ge, retain the final e before adding  –able or

ous, but drop it before adding –ible.

 Example: knowledge, knowledgeable; deduce, deducible

 

WORDS WITH IE

             When a word ends in ie, change the ie to y before adding –ing. In most cases, the rule for the other i and  e  is “i before e  except after  c  or when sounded like  as in neighbor and weigh.”

Example: tie, tying; believe (i before e); receive (except after c); weight (when sound like a)

 

WORDS ENDING IN Y

             When a word ends in a consonant followed by y, change y to i  in most cases before all word endings except those starting with i.

 Example: modify, modification; try, trying; but: dry, drier, dryer

When a word ends in a vowel followed by y, keep the y in most cases before adding a word ending.

 Example: buy, buyer; employ, employment; but: day, daily

 

WORDS ENDING IN –ATION

When a word ends in –ation, change it to –able. No clear cut rule exists for using –able and –ible.

 Example: communication, communicable; application, applicable

 

WORDS ENDING IN –IZE, -ISE, AND -YZE

No rule exist in American usage for –ize, -ise, and –yze.  Most  words end in  –ize, some in   –ise, and few in –yze. (British usage favor –ise  over  –ize.)

 Example: summarize; compromise; analyze

 

WORDS ENDING IN –ANCE, -ANCY, AND -ANT

In most cases use –ance,  -ancy, and  –ant when a word has a c that sound like k or a g with a hard sound.

 Example: extravagance; significant

 

WORDS ENDING IN –ENCE, -ENCY, AND -ENT

             In most cases use –ence, -ency, and –ent when a word has a c that sound like s or a g that sound like j.

 Example: convalescent; intelligence

 

WORDS ENDING IN –SEDE, -CEED, AND -CEDE

One word in English ends insede ; three words end in –ceed; all others in this category end in –cede.

 Example: supersede; proceed; exceed; succeed; recede, concede, precede

 

NOTE: Since numerous exceptions apply to many of the rules of spelling, consult a modern dictionary when in doubt.

Pronunciation Key

a At l, ll let, silly v, vv very, savvy
aa Father ‘l apple w wet
aw All m, mm mother, hammer y yes
ay Day ‘m rythm z, zz zoo, blizzard
air Hair n, nn not, funny vision
b, bb but, ribbon ‘n fashion
ch Chin ng song
d, dd do, ladder o odd
ə about, item ō open
edible, common good
Circus oo school
e Egg ow owl In foreign words:
ee Eel oy oil
f, ff fond, differ p, pp pen, happy kh as in German Bach
g, gg go, giggle r, rr road, carry as in Scottish loch
h Hat s, ss say, lesson aN as in French vin
hw When sh sheep aaN as in French blanc
i It th thin oN as in French bon
ī Ice th this öN as in French un
j, jj juice, pigeon t, tt tell, butter ö as in German schön
k key, thick u up ü as in French rue
ur urge