A Few Simple Spelling Rules

Correct spelling is extremely important in writing for several reasons. First of all, there are a number of words in English that are very similar in spelling but different in meaning like quite and quiet or words that are similar in meaning but still different like dinner and diner. Using the wrong word can change the context of the sentence so it’s important to be sure you are spelling things correctly. Secondly, if you are submitting your writing to a professor, publisher, or a boss it’s important that your writing is professional.  Learning some English spelling rules can help to improve your writing and convey a clear, comprehensible final product to your readers.

I before E except after C

When e and i are in the same word it’s often difficult to tell by the sound of the word which letter comes first. So ask yourself, “is there a c before the vowels”? If yes, this is the exception to the rule when e comes before i. In the answer is no,  i comes before the e.

Examples of e before i after c:

  • Conceive
  • Ceiling
  • Perceive
  • Deceive

Examples if i before e:

  • Believe
  • Achieve
  • Piece

There’s one more thing. When the word has an A sound like neighbor and weigh the e comes first!

Doubling final consonants

If a word end in consonant, vowel, consonant and you are adding an ending that begins with a vowel (ing, -ed, est) the final consonant doubles


  • Sob + ed= Sobbed, +ing = Sobbing
  • Hug+ ed= Hugged, +ing= Hugging
  • Jog+ed= Jogged, +ing= Jogging

Words ending in E

Drop the e on the end of words that  you are adding an ending beginning with a vowel to (-ing, -ed, -est, -able)

  • Love+ed= Loved
  • Move+ing= Moving
  • Dive+ed= Dived
  • Dance+ed= Danced

These are just a few basic, but extremely common, rules to help you avoid simple mistakes. I recommend practicing writing sentences using these rules to train to turn these rules into second nature.