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Unit 9: Adding suffixes: the spelling rules

Page 16 of 19

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

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Page 16 of 19

The Spelling Rules for Adding Suffixes:

What happens to words ending in -f ?

Usually, we add the suffixes -s or -es to make plurals.

car > cars train > trains bus > buses coach > coaches

As you saw before, some words ending in y need to change:

baby > babies puppy > puppies story > stories

Teaching point - learning to spell This is also true for some words ending in f:

English spelling
calf calves
half halves
leaf leaves
loaf loaves
knife knives
life lives
sheaf sheaves
shelf shelves
thief thieves
wife wives
wolf wolves
yourself yourselves

Learn the Words:

English spelling
English spelling English spelling

Not all words ending in -f follow this rule. Some stay the same:

chiefs beliefs roofs proofs

... and all words ending in -ff stay the same:

cliffs muffs tiffs skiffs

And a few words can be spelled both ways (English is a strange language!):

English spelling English spelling
dwarf dwarfs or dwarves
hoof hoofs or hooves
scarf scarfs or scarves
wharf wharfs or wharves
handkerchief handkerchiefs or handkerchieves
English spelling English spelling

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