English Spelling Rules and Generalizations
There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. Twenty-one of those letters are consonants and the other five are vowels. The letters a, e, i, o and u are vowels. The consonants make one sound except for c, g, and s.
The letter c is the first choice for the /k/ sound at the beginning of a word.
The letter c has the soft sound /s/ when followed by e, i or y. For examply city, rice, cyclone.
The letter g has the soft sound /j/ when followed by e, i, or y. For example: gentle, gym, fringe.
The letter s makes the /s/ sound as in snake. It can also sound like the letter z at the end of many words. For example: his, dogs, brothers.
The letter q is always followed by a u and one or more vowels. For example: quit, quack, queen.
The lettes v, x, and w are never doubled.
Short Vowel Rule
The five vowel letters each make more than one sound. They each make is called a short vowel sound. Short vowel a says /a/ as in cat. Short vowel e says /e/ as in pen. Short vowel i says /i/ as in pig. Short vowel o says /o/ as in hot and short vowel u says /u/ as in cup.
Double the final f, s, z, or l in short words after a single vowel. For example: huff, pass, buzz, hill.
Use the spelling ck to spell the /k/ sound after a short vowel. For example: snack, stick, lock.
Use the letter k to spell the /k/ sound after a consonant, a long vowel or a double vowel. For example: sink, chunk, hike, peak, soak.
Use the spelling tch to spell the /ch/ sound after a short vowel. For example: catch, pitch, notch, clutch.
Use the spelling ch to spell the /ch/ sound after a consonant or a double vowel. For example: bunch, porch, peach, coach.
Use the letters dge to spell the /j/ sound after a short vowel. Examples: badge, fudge, bridge, lodge.
Use the letters ge to spell the /j/ sound after a double vowel or a consonant. For example: gorge, gouge, plunge.
The above spelling rules and generalizations are introduced and practiced in our series English Reading and Spelling for the Spanish Speaker.
Visit our website at www.Fisher-Hill.com to learn more about this series for Spanish Speaking teens and adults.