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Other spelling topics


 Other spelling topics
Spelling rule : i before e, or e before i?
חוקי האיות הם בדרך כלל מורכבים, אבל הנה אחד שיעבוד טוב, בתנאי שאתה זוכר את כל החוק
When you want to say -ee-
it's i before e except after c.

Try to remember always to say the start of the rule:
When you want to say ee ....
1. Work at the rule by separating the following words
into two groups and writing them in the boxes below.
brief ceiling perceive thief field deceive
achieve receipt piece conceited relief
chief diesel receive

I before e ---------------------- e before i
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
However, when you add -s to words like policy, vacancy and
agency, you follow the normal rule for words ending in -y:
Change the -y to -ie- and add –s
policy + s = policies vacancy + s = vacancies

Notice also, two common exceptions to the i before e rule:
protein seize
2. Now memorize the focus words and test yourself on them
Homophones: they're, their and there
These three words often lead to difficulty. Try to make sure that you know which is which:

"they're" is perhaps the easiest to remember. It is the shortened form of "they are".
For example: They're catching a flight at 11.45.

"their" means "belonging to them".
For example: Their house is in Elm Street.

"there" has two uses:
1) to mean a place
For example: The post office is over there.

2) with the verb "to be" (in phrases like "there is", "there are" etc)
For example:There are 26 letters in the alphabet.

See if you can choose the correct words to fill
the gaps in the following sentences.
1. They always take ......... dog with them on holiday.
Their - they're - there

2. Let's wait ......... alongside the entrance.
their - they're - there

3. Ask them if ........ coming tomorrow.
their - they're - there

4. ........ building an extension to our school.
Their - They're - There

5. ........ are over 1200 students at our school.
Their - They're - There

6. We'll call in at Mcdonalds if ........'s time.
their - they're - there

7. ........ football team is at the top of the league.
Their - They're - There

8. Sam is always ........ in good time.
their - they're - there

9. Dad was pleased that they had done so well in ........ exams.
their - they're - there

10. I'm afraid ........ going to find the move very stressful.
their - they're - there

11.My parents won't be coming as ........ both working on Saturday.
their - they're - there

12. The teacher told them to leave ........ books on her desk.
their - they're - there
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Its and it's
These two words are often confused. You can see them
spelled incorrectly every day. Try to make sure that you know which is which:

"it's" is the shortened form of "it is" or "it has".
For example: He's replacing his computer because it's very old. It's become very unreliable.

"its" means "belonging to it".
For example: The dog wagged its tail.

See if you can choose the correct words to fill the gaps in the following sentences
..

1. If ....... possible I'd like to see you tomorrow
it's - its

2. The football club always has ....... annual meeting in January.
it's - its

3. The bike is in good condition but ....... gears need adjusting.
it's - its

4. Please remind me when ....... due for renewal.
it's - its

5. The crowd slowly made ....... way home.
it's - its

6. ....... rained every day since Monday.
It's - Its

7. Ask Bill if ....... convenient to arrive about 7pm.
it's - its

8. Luigi's restaurant is famous for ....... vegetarian meals.
it's - its

9. The factory pays ....... workers very poor wages.
it's - its

10. ....... been a close game but the best team won in the end.
It's - Its
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Two, too and to
Some people find these three homophones cause them difficulty.
Try to make sure that you know which is which:

"Two" is always a number - the number 2
For example: The two boys shivered in the cold.

"Too" can be used in 2 ways:
to mean "excessively" e.g. too far, too expensive
to mean "also" or "as well" e.g. Will you be skating too?

"To" is used in 2 ways:
to show direction e.g. He passed the ball to his brother
as part of a verb e.g. He wanted to read the new Harry Potter book.

See if you can choose the correct words to fill the gaps in the following sentences.


1. There were ......... trains standing in the station.
two - too - to

2. I usually go ........ the swimming pool on Saturdays.
two - too - to

3. The question was ........ hard for me.
two- too - to

. 4. My best subject is Geography but I'm quite good at English ........ .
two - too - to

5. Maisie tries ........ train at least four times a week.
two - too - to

6. The music was far ........ loud for Joe's parents.
two- too - to

7. Twice ........ is four.
two - too - to

8. Jack's ambition is ........ become an actor.
two - too - to

9. ........ heads are better than one!
two - too - to

10. "I'd like a cookie please," said Emma. "Me ........ !" shouted Mick.
two - too - to

11. I wouldn't bother ........ much about what to wear at the party.
two - too - to

12. "Remember ........ bring a change of clothes in case we get wet.
two - too - to
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Test yourself on these homophones
See if you can choose the correct words to fill the gaps in the following sentences.

1. Katie will be coming .......... tomorrow.
here - hear

2. Sorry, I didn't .......... you shouting.
here- hear

3. Bill .......... the shopping mall every day on his way to work.
past - passed

. 4. The weather has been terrible during the .......... few weeks.
past - passed

5. I'm not sure if I .......... the answer to this one.
no - know

6. Our team had .......... luck in the final match of the season.
no - know

7. Joe was completely .......... in History lessons.
bored- board

8. They placed the injured man on a wooden .......... to carry him indoors.
bored - board

9. Kate is .......... to invite a friend for a sleepover on Saturday night.
allowed - aloud

10. Darren enjoys reading .......... to his older sister.
allowed- aloud

11. The Grimm brothers were famous for writing fairy .......... .
tails - tales

12. Little boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dogs' ......... .
tails - tales

13. We'll have to buy a .......... TV set if this one goes wrong again.
knew - new

14. I .......... that was the right answer.
knew - new

15. The cyclists went out of .......... over the hill.
sight - site

16. The new school is being built on the .......... of an old steelworks.
sight - site

17. Please .......... this small gift. Thanks very much for all the work that you've done for us.
except - accept

18. The store is open every day .......... Christmas Day.
except - accept

19. I'm not sure .......... to choose the large or the medium size.
weather- whether

20. If the .......... is fine we'll be going for a bike ride tomorrow.
weather- whether
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The most helpful part of a word is the start. If you can work
out the first syllable then you stand a good chance of finding
the word in a dictionary. Always listen to it carefully.
But sometimes there are different ways of writing the first
sound. Here are some examples:
1. Use your dictionary to find words starting with the same
letter and fill in the spaces.

Three ways of writing the sound "c" as in cat

cabbage _______________ _______________ _______________
kitchen _______________ _______________ _______________
Christmas _______________ _______________ _______________

Two ways of writing the sound "f" as in fish

finger _________________ ________________ _________________
photograph _________________ ________________ _________________

two way of writing the sound "j" as in jelly

jewel ________________ _________________ _________________
German ________________ _________________ _________________
Now memorize the focus words and test yourself on them


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The most helpful part of a word is the start. If you can work out the first syllable
then you stand a good chance of finding the word in a dictionary.
Always listen to it carefully. But sometimes there are different ways of writing the first sound. Here are some examples.
1. Use your dictionary to find words starting with the same
letter and fill in the spaces.

three ways of writing the sound "s" as in sickness

suddenly ________________ _______________ _________________
certainly ________________ _______________ _________________
scenery ________________ _______________ _________________

Two ways of writing the sound "w" as in wish

weather _________________ _________________ __________________
whether _________________ _________________ __________________

2. Make sure that you know the difference between
"weather" and "whether".
Look them up in the dictionary if you're not sure.
Then fill in the gaps in the following sentences:
I'm not sure we'll go camping this weekend.
A lot will depend on the .

3. Now memorize the focus words and test yourself on them

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The Apostrophe Mark
The apostrophe is used above a word for two reasons:
• to show ownership:
o Helen's exercise book - the book belongs to
Helen so the apostrophe goes after Helen.
o The boys' changing room - the changing room
belongs to all the boys, so the apostrophe
goes after boys.
• to show that one or more letters are missing:
They've built a new stadium on the outskirts
of town - the apostrophe shows that ha is
missing from They have.

1. Write the shortened form of the following, making
sure you put the apostrophe in the correct place.
The first one is done for you.

do not don't should not _________________
it is ________________ could have _________________
let us ________________ will not _________________
would not ________________ does not _________________
we have ________________ he will _________________

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American and British Spelling - some differences
From time to time I receive e-mails pointing out
"spelling mistakes" that appear in Spelling it Right.
These are always where American and British spellings are different.
Just to make things clear: I am English,
was born in England and have lived here for all my 70 years
except for a year in Germany. So I have a tendency to use words that are British and spellings that are British.
However, if you live in the United States this shouldn't be a problem
for you as there aren't all that many differences and I try to avoid those words which I know might lead to confusion.
But there are some that just can't be avoided. Here are the main ones:

American British comments

-ize -ise We tend to prefer -ise to -ize. However -ize is becoming more
acceptable in Britain so this is the spelling I've tried
to use (when I can remember) for words like
memorize, recognize etc
-or -our We use -our at the end of colour, humour, favour, and a few
others. But words which indicate a person who does
something always end with -or, for example
actor, survivor, curator
-er -re We use -re at the end of words such as centre, metre, theatre

Where Americans use a totally
different word (for example American fall is our autumn
and your sidewalk is our pavement) I just try to avoid the word altogether.
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Revision List 1
Here is a list of words beginning bl-, br-, cl-, cr-, dr-, and
for those of you who want to revise
words that follow this pattern:
blackboard -bleed - bleach - blizzard - blend
-blackbird -blessing -blazing bloodstream- blush
bloom- bluebird-blind -blanket -blockbuster
-blemish bloodhound -blueberry –blunder- blacksmith
-blossom-blowpipe -blind -blister blogging

brother -bracelet –brainwave-broken -brilliant
-bracket- branch breakfast-brass- bravado
-breakdown -breakthrough -bristle -brittle brute
breath- breathe- bridge- bribe-broadcast
-broomstick -bright -bridesmaid brought- bread

climate-clockwork –classify- classical -clutter
-cloudburst claim –clear- clearance -clarify
climber- clothes- clipper -clumsy- claptrap
cleaner- clerk- clinic –clutch- cloverleaf

-cracker -create creature- crime -criminal
cricket –cruise- crocodile –crusade- crystal
-crank crawling -crooked -crucial -credible
- crown- crowded -crumple -criticize -cringe

-drawing- dripping -dramatic drawback -dreamer
drastic –dressing- drift -drummer -drumstick
-drench-dribble drowsy –driver- dripdry
- drawbridge


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Revision List 2
Here is a list of words beginning fl-, fr-, gl-, and gr-, for those
of you who want to revise words that follow this pattern:
flicker- flatter –flame- flashback-flexible
-fleece -fleshy -fling -floating florist
flower -flying -flight -flourish -flutter
flounder -flamingo -flashlight- flimsy -flood

fraction-friendly-frontier –friction-fragment
fragrant- fracture- frighten- frame- freezing
free- freedom -fraud -frosty -frozen
-frequent frustrating- frostbite -fruit -frantic


glacier-glimpse- gloomy -gloves- glucose
glitter- globe- glance- glorious- glorify
glider- glimmer- gleaming- gladiator- glossary

gradually- gracious -grammar –grapes-graduate
gradient- grasp- greeting -gravel -grease
--grumble –gripping- greyhound -- grumpy


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Revision List 3
Here is a list of words beginning pl- and pr-, for those
of you who want to revise words that follow this pattern:
platform -plural -place -plaster plastic-
platoon-plateau- playful- plenty- pleasure
plucky- plump- plumber- plankton- plaque

practice- praise –precious- prayer -precaution
-precipice precinct –precise- predator- predict
prefer- prefix-prejudice -prepare- prescribe
present- preserve- president-pressure- presumably

-pretend priest- primitive –prince- property
propose- prospect- protect- protection- professor
profit –project- progress-promise- pronounce
-proof -proper protection -protest- provide

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Revision List 4
Here is a list of words beginning sc-, scr-, sh-, and sk-, for those
of you who want to revise words that follow this pattern:
scald- scales-scallywag- scamper -scandal
-scanner -scanty -scarce -scarecrow scatter
scoff -scold –scoop- scooter- scorch

-scrabble –scramble-scrape scratch -scream
-screwball -screwdriver -scribble -scripture scrounge

shredder -shrewd –shrink- shrivel -shroud
-sketch- skidded -skilled skimming-skimpy
-skipper- skirmish -skiver -skylark skyrocket

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Revision: Words beginning with the prefix un-
Here is a list of words starting with the prefix un-
for those of you who want to revise words that follow this pattern:
unable-unacceptable- unaccompanied- unachievable -unadventurous
-unaffordable –unafraid-unaltered- unambitious unappetizing
-unapproved- unattached -unaware -unbearable unbeatable
unbelievable- unblemished -unbolt -unbreakable -unbuttoned
-uncanny unceasing –uncertain- unchained -unchanging

uncivilized –unclean- unclimbable- unclip- uncluttered
-uncomfortable- uncommon -unconcerned -unconnected unconscious
uncontaminated- unconvinced-uncovered -undecided- undeniable
-undeserved –undesirable- undrinkable- uneven unexpected
-unfashionable- unfasten –unfinished- unfogettable ungetatable

ungoverned -unhappiness –unhelpful- unhurried- unidentified
unimaginable-unintentional-unjust-unknown -unkind
-unloading unlucky- unmatched -unmusical -unnatural
-unnoticed -unobserved –unoccupied- unpack unpeopled
-unpleasant-unplug- unprintable- unproductive unqualified

unreal -unreasonable –unreliable- unripe -unruly
-unsafe unscrew- unsettled -unskilled -unspoiled
-unsuited-unsurprising -unsweetened unthinkable -untidy
untitled-untruthful-unusual -unusable -unvaried
-unwanted –unwell- unwilling -unwind unzipped


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Revision List 6
Here is a list of words beginning prefix dis- for those of you who want to revise
words that follow this pattern:
disable -disagree- disadvantage- disallow- disappear
disarrange- disapprove- disbelieve- discomfort- discontented
-disembark -disentangle -disinfect -disinformation disinterest
-disinterred-dislike- dislocate -dislodge disloyal

-disobedient –disobey- disorder- disorganized displaced
-dispossess –disqualified- disregard -disrespect dissatisfied
-dissimilar -distasteful -distrust -disunited disused

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Revision List 7
For those of you who want to revise words that follow this pattern, here is a list of verbs ending -ate
which form a noun by changing the ending to -ation:
abbreviate-accelerate- accommodate –activate- aerate
allocate- alleviate- amputate- annotate -appreciate
arbitrate -assassinate -associate -attenuate-automate
captivate -castigate –celebrate- circumnavigate- collate
communicate- compensate- complicate- concentrate- confiscate

-conflagrate –congratulate- congregate -contaminate contemplate
cooperate-create - cultivate- deactivate
-dedicate -deflate delegate –deliberate- demonstrate
discriminate -disintegrate –donate- educate- elaborate
elevate- eliminate --elongate -emmancipate -emigrate

-eradicate escalate –evacuate- evaporate -exaggerate
fluctuate- formulate- frustrate- generate- germinate
graduate- gravitate –hesitate-hibernate- illuminate
illustrate- implicate-indicate- infatuate-infuriate

-initiate- innoculate -instigate insulate- interrogate
-intoxicate –laminate- legislate -levitate liberate
lubricate-masticate-mediate- moderate -motivate
mutate -narrate- navigate- notate- propagate
punctuate –rejuvenate- replicate-rotate -situate

speculate -stagnate –stimulate- subjugate -suffocate
-terminate triangulate- undulate- validate -violate


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