Absolutely Ridiculous English Spelling

WOUND – past tense of verb TO WIND, rhymes with FOUND; tightening a spring with a twisting motion.

DOES – noun, Rhymes with NOSE; more than one female deer

INVALID – adjective, Stress on -VAL- meaning illegal or not acceptable

Lesson1.Some Basic Facts About English Spelling

ends with sound of Long U, as in the word THREW or SHOE

DEFECT – verb, Stress on -FECT; to desert, run or escape from

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pronounced like /DU/ , Long U sound, rhymes with

LEAD – noun, Short E sound, a soft, very heavy metal

3. Words that contain silent letters; that is, letters that must be included when you write the words even though they are not pronounced,

Absolutely Ridiculous English Spelling

are together in a word and are pronounced like Long A, the

OBJECT – verb, Stress on -JECT, to express opposition

The chart above is just a small sample of why Spelling Rules in English can be almost as much of a problem as spelling itself. Notice the i-e Rule:

SOW – noun, Rhymes with HOW; a female pig

SOW – verb, Long O sound: to spread seeds onto prepared ground

shoe – noun, item of clothing worn on and protecting your feet

Words with oo that should sound the same but dont.

DOVE – noun, Rhymes with LOVE; a pigeon-like bird.

Words that look the same but are pronounced differently.

READ – past tense verb, Short E sound, got meaning from written words

, (except for those times when the Long E sound is made by

Why does the English language have so many words that are difficult to spell? The main reason is that English has 1,100 different ways to spell its 44 separate sounds, more than any other language. Some of the results of this are:

DOVE – verb, Long PO sound; to jump head first, as into water.

ROW – as a noun, a line or tier of similar objects; as a verb, to propel a small boat with paddles or oars

ROW – noun – a disagreement or argument

pronounced like /WUZ) , rhymes with FUZZ.

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do – a verb meaning to perform, act, accomplish

POLISH – noun, Short sound as in DOLL; a liquid used to shine hard surfaces. verb, Soft O sound; the act of cleaning or shining.

Words that look the same but are pronounced differently.

Words that look the same but are pronounced differently.

ADDICT – noun, Stress on AD-, a person who acts compulsively

pronounced like /TU/ , Long U sound, rhymes with

COMBINE – verb, Stress on -BINE, to put together, mix together, join

ABUSE – verb, S sounds like Z, to injure or do harm

pronounced like /SHU/ , Long U sound, rhymes with

when it sounds like EE, or when sounding like

To begin learning Rules and Clues to spelling English, please go to theNEXT PAGE.

DESERT -verb, Stress on -SERT; to abandon or run away from

INVALID – noun, Stress on IN- a person who is physically disabled.

CLOSE – adverb, Long O, S sounds like S; meaning near or almost

to – a preposition meaning in the direction of

BOW – verb, Rhymes with COW, bending forward from the waist as a sign of respect

PRESENT – verb, Stress on -SENT; to give to, such as an award

LEAD – Verb, Long E sound; to conduct, show the way, take first position

DOES – Third -person singular form of the verb DO, Rhymes with FUZZ.

This situation exists for a variety of reasons. For some words, the pronunciation has changed over the centuries even though the spelling has not changed. Some words have been borrowed from other languages, and although they have kept their original spellings, people over the years began pronouncing the words according to English rules. Still other words have been borrowed from other languages and have kept their original spellings AND pronunciations, which makes them seem strange by English rules.

DESERT – noun, Stress on DE-; a rocky, sandy geographical area lacking water

together, usually to form the Long E sound in English:

contain the same sound as COW or NOW

Words that dont sound like they are spelled

of – preposition having many meanings

WOUND – Long U sound, rhymes with TUNED; noun, an injury; as a verb, to cause an injury.

SEWER – noun, Long U sound; a channel for waste water.

DEFECT – noun, Stress on DE-, a flaw

end with the sound of Long O, as in NO or GO

1. book, foot, good, hood, look, moor, wood

2. Words that contain letters that have nothing to do with the way the words are pronounced,

2. these words all have a Long U sound

Now, you know that the Long E sound in English can be made by

pronounced like /UV/ , Short U sound, rhymes with

In all of these words, ight is pronounced like Long i + t.

Then the rule says Except after C when it sounds like EE. The

ABUSE – noun, S sounds like S, an injury, damage or mistreatment

READ – Long E sound, present tense of same verb

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SUBJECT – verb, Stress on -JECT, to cause to submit to or undergo

At this point you may ask, What can I do about it? How can I figure out how to spell the words in this crazy language? Believe it or not, there are a few things you can do that will help, but after you remember the rules and learn the tricks, you are left with this basic technique:Study, Memorize, Study, Memorize, Study, Memorize.

Exercise: For each of the words in the list below, write the definition (from a dictionary) and write a sentence using the word.

pronounced like /HOO/ , Long U sound, rhymes with BOO.

BASS – noun, Long A sound, like BASE; the lowest male singing voice, low notes

POLISH – adjective, Long O sound; a person or object from Poland

TEAR – noun, Long E sound, rhymes with HERE; water that comes from the corner of ones eyes

4. Spelling rules that have lists of exceptions – words that do not follow the rules and thus must be memorized separately.

WIND – noun, Short I sound, moving air outdoors, part of weather

1. Words that have the same sounds but are spelled differently,

end with sound of ot as in POT, NOT

This is a nice, neat little rule concerning words that have the letters

BOW – noun, Has Long O sound; a long stick used to play a violin or shoot an arrow

The reasons for the Ridiculous English Spelling do not matter, however, because English is what it is; it has been this way for a long time. If you want to learn to speak and write it, you must learn it as it is and not how it should be. Our task is to make that a little easier for you

In spite of the fact that there are many English words that do not follow general pronunciation rules, at least 80 percent of English words DO follow normal rules. Go toBasic English, Lesson 7, to learn how to pronounce all the letters of the English alphabet.

OBJECT – noun, Stress on OB-, a thing, an article, a goal

ADDICT – verb, Stress on -DICT-, to make dependent on

WIND – verb, Long I sound, a twisting motion, as with a clock spring

All of these words are pronounced as if the red letters were not there, but when you write the words, you MUST include those letters.

Then the Rule tells you about another exception – when the

these words have the same Short U vowel sound

pronounced like /WUN/ , rhymes with GUN

seize, weird, neither, either, foreign, sovereign, forfeit, counterfeit, leisure heifer, protein, geiger

SUBJECT – noun, Stress on SUB-, topic of study or interest

SEWER – noun, Long O sound; a person who sews or stitches fabric

COMBINE – noun, Stress on COM-, a harvesting machine

PRESENT – Stress on PRE-; as noun – a gift; as an adverb – in attendance, here

these words have the same vowel sound as MUD.

In this one short Rule, there are already two exceptions to it covering dozens of other words, but that is not the end. There are many words that do not follow the Rule or its exceptions:

CLOSE – verb, Long O, S sounds like Z, like NOSE; to shut, unopen, seal

height, sleight, feisty, seismograph, poltergeist, kaleidoscope

pronounced like /TU/ , Long U sound, rhymes with BOO.

aloof, boom, doom, gloom, soon, bloom, broom, noon, proof, roof, zoom

BASS – Short A sound, rhymes with PASS; a species of fresh-water game fish

TEAR – verb, Long A sound, rhymes with MARE; to rip or shred paper or cloth

was – singular past tense of the verb TO BE

light, night, might, right, sight, tight, plight,

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