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
 
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

Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test

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
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

Find the best -ves word:

Type the whole word:

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. *

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Unit 9: Adding suffixes: the spelling rules

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