Spelling ge, gi and gy words - the soft g sound

Think back - help with spelling rules These are the rules for spelling the /j/ sound:

1. No English word ends in j - we always use ge.

2. Before the vowels a, o and u, the sound /j/ is usually spelled with the letter j:

January job jump

3. Before the vowels e, i and y, the sound /j/ is usually spelled with the letter g:

Germany giraffe gymnastics



Rule Breakers - these words break spelling rules  

1. In an English dictionary you may find these words ending in j :
raj - meaning the British rule in India. It is a Hindi word meaning reign.

hajj or hadj - the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It is an Arab word meaning pilgrimage.

2. A few words use ge or gi to make the /j / sound before o :

George pigeon legion region

Several words begin with the prefix geo (meaning 'earth') which should be said as two syllables: ge - o, so these words do follow the ge rule :

geography geology geometry geosphere

3. Some words do use the letter j, even before e and i.
These are the most common:

jealous jeans jeep jeer jelly Jennifer
jeopardy jerk jersey jet jetty Jew jewel

jiffy jig jigsaw jilt jingle jinx jittery


Try making up a sentence containing many of the je and ji words above.

For example:

When jealous Jenny was jilted, she put on her jeans and jewels and
jetted off to Jersey.

Can you beat 7 je or ji words in one sentence?

4. The suffix -ject (meaning 'throw') is always je:

eject inject object project reject subject


homophones - learn to spell similar sounding words Only one homophone from this unit:

Jim - short for James

gym - short for gymnasium

My brother does not like being called Jim.

Get fit by working out at the gym.

next part of the spelling course Go to next page: suffix rules for -ge words.
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Unit 19: The soft g sound: ge gi gy words

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