Spelling longer words with :ff ss ll ck

The same rules about double letters apply to most longer words, where the consonant sounds /f/,  /s/,  /l /, or  /k/ come after a short vowel:

ff ss l or ll ? c or ck ?
coffee
toffee
coffin
muffin
suffer
boffin (slang for 'scientist')
different
mastiff (a large dog)
across
address
assess
asset
distress
fossil
impress
mistress
cellar
bollard
hillock
ballot

Rule breakers break spelling rules

Longer words often need only one l:

until
fossil
handful
almost

For more about spelling the /l/ sound at the end of a word, please see Unit 26.



packet
jacket
ticket
cricket
rocket
socket
basket
bucket
padlock
sundeck

Rule breakers break spelling rules

At the end of most longer words, use ic instead of ick:

panic
Atlantic
public
electric

The next page of this unit tells you more about when to use ick or ic.


The /f/ sound can be spelled with f or ff. There is also another choice: words which came from ancient Greek use ph, for example:

graph
photograph
telephone

These and many more ph words can be found in Unit 5

The /s/ sound can be spelled with s or ss. There is also another choice: the vowels e. i and y make c say the sound /s/, as in:

cent
city
cycle

These and many more ce, ci and cy words can be found in Unit 20

next part of the spelling course Go to next page: Spelling choice ick or ic
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Unit 4: Spelling the consonant sounds

Page 5 of 22

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