- Pronounce words correctly to catch all the sounds in a word.
(This means slow down.)
- Don’t let silent letters lead you astray in words like sight, vote, and bought.
- Be aware of different pronunciations.
- Know the difference between homonyms (words that sound alike but have different meanings: their/there, your/you’re, etc.) and words that look similar
(like quiet/quite, farther/further, and then/than).
- Familiarize yourself with some basic spelling rules:
- When a suffix that begins with a vowel is added to a root that ends in a silent “e,” the silent “e” is omitted. (care + ing = caring)
- If the suffix begins with a consonant, the silent “e” is kept.
(care + less = careless) Exceptions: true/truly, argue/argument, & judge/judgment
- When adding a suffix beginning with a vowel or “y” to a word ending with a consonant, double the consonant if the word has only one syllable and the final consonant is single and preceded by a single vowel: drop/dropping, flip/flipping, etc. (This rule also applies to words with two syllables if the last syllable is accented and the final consonant is single and preceded by a single vowel: upset/upsetting, omit/omitted, etc.)
- Use “i” before “e” except after “c” or when it sounds like “a” as in neighbor or weigh: believe, receive, eight, etc. (Exceptions: counterfeit, either, seize, etc.)
- To form plurals for nouns that end in “y”:
* If the noun ends in a consonant and “y,” change the “y” to “i”
and add “es.” (Examples: quantity/quantities and city/cities)
* If the noun ends in a vowel and “y,” add “s.”
(Examples: attorney/attorneys and turkey/turkeys)