The Spelling Rules for Adding Suffixes:
What happens to words ending in -f?

To make most words plural you normally just add s or es:

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

As you saw on page 12, some words ending in y need to change:

baby > babies puppy > puppies story > stories

Teaching point - learning to spell Some words ending in f must change to ve before the s:

English spelling
 
Singular
Plural
calf calves
half halves
leaf leaves
loaf loaves
knife knives
life lives
sheaf sheaves
shelf shelves
thief thieves
wife wives
wolf wolves
yourself yourselves
 
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
 
Singular
Plural
dwarf dwarfs or dwarves
hoof hoofs or hooves
scarf scarfs or scarves
wharf wharfs or wharves
handkerchief handkerchiefs or handkerchieves
 
English spelling
English spelling English spelling

Fill the gaps in these sentences by using a word that always changes to -ves:


Find the best -ves word


Type the word here

I baked six ______ yesterday.
Fishermen's ______ need to be very sharp.
We could hear the ______ howling.
All my disks were taken by the ______.
Both ______ of the game were exciting.
The ______ are turning red and brown.
King Henry VIII had six ______.
We need four new ______ for the books.
The ______ of refugees can be hard.
Young elephants are called ______.


 


Skip this exercise and go to the next part of this unit: A final check on all the suffix rules. *

* Skip link not available for logged in students.

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Unit 9: Adding suffixes: the spelling rules

Page 16 of 19

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