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Spelling Rules

Year 3 and 4 Spellings

Spelling Rule Example Words Useful Links

Adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters to words of more than one

syllable

forgetting, forgotten, beginning, beginner, prefer, preferred, gardening, gardener, limiting, limited, limitation

 

The /ɪ/ sound spelt y elsewhere than at the end of words

myth, gym, Egypt, pyramid, mystery

 

The /U/ sound spelt ou

young, touch, double, trouble, country

 

Prefixes dis, mis, in, re, sub, inter, super, anti and auto

 

Note

Before a root word starting with l, in–

becomes il.

Before a root word starting with r, in–

becomes ir

Before a root word starting with m or

p, in– becomes im

dis–: disappoint, disagree, disobey

mis–: misbehave, mislead, misspell (mis + spell)

in–: inactive, incorrect

il-: llegal, illegible

im–.immature, immortal, impossible, impatient, imperfect

ir–. irregular, irrelevant, irresponsible

re–: redo, refresh, return, reappear,

redecorate

sub–: subdivide, subheading,

submarine, submerge

inter–: interact, intercity, international, interrelated (inter + related)

super–: supermarket, superman, superstar

anti–: antiseptic, anticlockwise,

antisocial

auto–: autobiography, autograph

 

The suffix –ation

information, adoration, sensation,

preparation, admiration

 

The suffix –ly

Exceptions:

(1) If the root word ends in –y with a

consonant letter before it, the y is

changed to i, but only if the root word

has more than one syllable.

 (2) If the root word ends with –le, the

–le is changed to –ly.

 (3) If the root word ends with –ic,

–ally is added rather than just –ly,

except in the word publicly.

 (4) The words truly, duly, wholly.

sadly, completely, usually (usual + ly),

finally (final + ly), comically (comical+ ly)

 

happily, angrily

gently, simply, humbly, nobly

 

basically, frantically, dramatically

 

 

 

 

 

Words with endings sounding like –sure. Or chure spelt- ture

measure, treasure, pleasure, enclosure

creature, furniture, picture, nature,

adventure

 

Endings which sound like -shun

division, invasion, confusion, decision, collision, television

 

The suffix –ous

poisonous, dangerous, mountainous, famous, enormous, jealous humorous, glamorous, vigorous courageous,

serious, obvious, curious

 

 

Endings which sound like /shun/ spelt –tion,–sion, –ssion, –cian

invention, injection, action, hesitation,

completion expression, discussion,

confession, permission, admission

musician, electrician, magician, politician, mathematician, extension, comprehension, tension

 

Words with the /k/ sound spelt ch

scheme, chorus, chemist, echo,

character

 

Words with the /sh/ sound spelt ch

chef, chalet, machine, brochure

 

Words ending with the /g/ sound spelt –

gue and the /k/ sound spelt –que

league, tongue, antique, unique

 

Words with the /s/ sound spelt sc

science, scene, discipline, fascinate,

crescent

 

Words with the /eɪ/ sound spelt ei, eigh,

or ey

vein, weigh, eight, neighbour, they, obey

 

Possessive apostrophe with plural words.

(Note: proper nouns ending in an s use the ’s suffix e.g. Cyprus’s population)

girls’, boys’, babies’, children’s, men’s,

mice’s

 

Homophones and near-homophones

accept/except, affect/effect, ball/bawl,

berry/bury. brake/break, fair/fare,

grate/great, groan/grown, here/hear,

heel/heal/he’ll, knot/not, mail/male,

main/mane, meat/meet, medal/meddle,

missed/mist, peace/piece, plain/plane,

rain/rein/reign, scene/seen, weather/whether, whose/who’s

 

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