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Unit 9: Adding suffixes: the spelling rules

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Unit 9: Suffixes: why we need to double letters, change them or drop 'e'

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The Spelling Rules for Adding Suffixes

Teaching point - learning to spell A suffix is a letter or group of letters added to the end of a root word to change its meaning.

Look at these examples:

English spelling English spelling
help + s = helps help + ing = helping help + ed = helped
help + er = helper help + ful = helpful help + less = helpless
helpful + ness = helpfulness helpful + ly = helpfully
English spelling English spelling

Learn the Words:

In the above examples, you do not need to change the root word when you add a suffix.

In this unit, we will look at when you do need to change the root word.

Suffixes can be broken up into:
Vowel suffixes – the suffix begins with a vowel.
Consonant suffixes – the suffix begins with a consonant.

For example:

English spelling English spelling
Vowel suffixes

ing es ed er
en est ish y*
able ible al ous
English spelling English spelling

English spelling English spelling
Consonant suffixes

s less ful ness
ment ly ty
English spelling English spelling

*At the end of a word, y is pronounced with an ee sound.

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