I understand many English speakers dread this topic. Let's face it, English spelling is not easy, but it's not impossible to master it either. Seriously. People can learn to spell properly, but let's face it again: if you have struggled with spelling most of your life, you are not going to become an expert from one day to the other. This requires time, motivation, patience and a keen interest to learn. But you will get there, honestly. If you have always thought you are rubbish at spelling and keep doing so, that won't help. Get that negative thought off your head and think that you can do it. Positive thinking, yes, even with spelling.

    A warning: Rules are there to be kept, of course, but when it come to spelling, I wouldn't trust them. There are always exceptions to those rules, so beware. Ah! Also, DO NOT trust spell-checkers either, they are not made to understand meaning, so you must use your best judgement when deciding on a particular word. All said.

    Let's go for it!

    Some Essential Spelling Rules

    1) I before E, except after C (Or when sounds like A as in neighbor (neighbour) and weigh

    Examples, believe, friend, receive, conceive

    Exceptions, foreign, weird, ancient, sufficient (the C in the last two words sounds SH)

    2) Words that double the final consonant when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel

    Examples, sit + ing = sitting; get + ing = getting

    Exceptions, paint + ed = painted; feel + ing = feeling

    3) Words that drop the final E when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel

    Examples, cope + ing = coping; have + ing = having

    Exceptions, peace + able = peaceable; change + able = changeable

    4) Words that change Y to I when adding a suffix not beginning with I

    Examples, apply + ed = applied; fly + es = flies

    5) Nouns that end with S, SS, SH, CH, and X form the plural by adding ES

    Examples, church + es = churches; boss + es = bosses

    6) Nouns ending in Y change in the plural to I + ES

    Examples, country + ies = countries; cry + ies = cries

    7) Nouns ending in For FE change in the plural to V + ES

    Examples, wolf + ves = wolves; wife + ves = wives



    That's it! Short and sweet (just wait for the next lesson…). Now try the following task and you’ll be ready to face what’s coming…

    Free Task - Find two or three examples of words for each rule above. Use a dictionary


    1) niece, field

    2) planning, spotted

    3) making, leaving

    4) cried, studied

    5) boxes, businesses

    6) studies, libraries

    7) knives, lives

      Tasks 0/2 completed
      1. Read about Some Essential Spelling Rules
      2. Free Task - Find two or three examples of words for each rule above. Use a dictionary

      Top Helpers in This Lesson

      Join the Discussion
      Write something…
      Recent messages
      AlvaroC Premium
      Fernando, Many thanks for such wonderful training. Will go on to the next lesson, but first I would like to comment that I did fail : ^Cordiality^ I clasified as an adjective ( understand is ^qualifying^ the crew´s attitude ), but then I find that it is a name (Noun). How could I be able to see the difference. Thanks again for providing us, specially the non-native English speaking members, with this magnificent tool.
      Fernan Premium
      Gracias Alvaro I´m glad you like it. As a general rule words ending in -ity are all nouns (adversity, versatility, complexity, etc) and the adjectives are made up with the roots of those words, adversal, versatile, complex, etc.
      AlvaroC Premium
      Gracias Fernando !!
      The easiest way to learn the difference, awesome.
      rickbcf1 Premium
      I appreciate a good grammer review. It reminds me to stay on top with the way I speak and write.
      Fernan Premium
      That´s great rickbcf1, thanks for checking the training.
      Bill Carver Premium
      You've done an admirable job on a very complex subject. What you covered in five brief lessons would take a fair amount of an English grammar book to cover and teach in detail. I know from experience---my 8th grade English teacher had an excellent grammar book and drilled us and drilled us over and over!

      If someone is having problems with English grammar, spelling and punctuation, this is an excellent place to start. Especially with the exercises it should improve most anyone's ability to use English correctly.
      Fernan Premium
      thanks Bill, I hope the training serves its purpose, nothing would make me happier.
      affiliatesun Premium
      I browsed through the course. I will be back to it with a note book to take notes in details. I can tell that this is an A+ course. Very well structured, easy to understand, followed by helpful exercises. Highly recommended for everyone who can benefit from it, specially ESL (English as a Second Language) speakers, as it is called in the U.S.
      Fernan Premium
      Thanks Mehdi, you made my day. I put long hours, but I think it will be worth it.
      OldCodger Premium
      Permit me a terrible joke, Fernando.

      Migrants coming to Australia after WW2 attended English Language classes. They often struggled with pronunciation of strange new words. One such student was walking past a theatre, where he saw a large banner:

      "Pygmalion - pronounced Success!"
      He promptly threw himself under a bus...

      Your course is a very comprehensive one - well done!
      :) george
      wtbee2013 Premium
      IT is took me a minute, I loved it HAHAHA LOL it was so funny.