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 Language of Spelling

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PostSubject: Language of Spelling   Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:50 am


Language of spelling:

It's important to understand some key words about spelling.

When you start to look carefully at how and why words are spelt, you'll need to know and understand some of the language. This is important with spelling rules.

What are vowels, consonants, compound words, root words, singular nouns, adjectives, short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds and verbs?

Here's a glossary to help you remember what they are:


* Vowels - a e i o u (y can sometimes be used as a vowel too)

- Short vowels- pen, pin, pun, pan, ant, engine, igloo, octopus, upset, apple...

- Long vowels - they usually have the sound of the first vowel but exceptions: bean, cheese, table, equal, ice, old, use, seize, height (long i sound).

- Diphthongs are two vowel sounds made by the tongue to make one long vowel sound (they can look like short vowels): table, ice, ear, oil, appear

- Consonants - bcdfghjklm... letters other than a,e,i,o,u. The letter 'y' can be a consonant as in word 'yes' or a vowel as in happy.

How words are built:
root word/base word - a word which a prefix and suffix can be added to make another word.


* Prefixes are little words that go before a root word to change its meaning.
un + certain = uncertain, mis + understanding = misunderstanding, il + legal = illegal, ir + regular = irregular.

* Suffixes are little words that are added to the end of a word to change the way that a word is used = want + ed = wanted/ start - starting / incredible/ happiness


* Syllables / syllable breakdown means breaking the word down into chunks of sound with a vowel in each chunk. This is a good strategy to help spell long words:

ex/pe/ri/ence, un-for-tu-nat-ly, in/te/res/ting, Wed/nes/day.

* Homophones - same sound words but have different meaning and different spelling - there,their,they're / to,too,two/ by, buy, bye / aisle, I'll/ wear, where, were...

* Compound words - two words together that make one word - time + table = timetable/ hair+dresser = hairdresser/ toothbrush/football/armchair

* Noun - a word which names something or somebody - table, chair, London, Joanne...

singular noun - one of anything - a party, one computer, an egg, man, woman...

* Plural noun - a word (noun) that means there is more than one - parties, computers, girls, men, women...

* Adjective - a word describing a noun - blue bag, happy, boring, healthy...

* Verb - a word showing action or being - work, watched, are, be, listen, read, learn, ran...

* Adverb - a word describing a verb - speak slowly, drive fast, listen carefully, work hard on your spelling...


* Capitals/upper case - big letters at start of a proper noun, abbreviations, or sentence - Joanne, London, India, I, I'm, August, Wednesday, BBC, UN, CV,

* BLOCK CAPITALS - ALL CAPITALS - usually needed when you write on forms.
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