Spelling Rules

Understanding the spelling rules is important because it helps in reading. It aids in strengthening the connection that is shared between letters and sounds.

Kids must be relaxed about spelling; if not, it will restrain their writing. They will be less willing to write their homework. When parents and teachers listen to a kid’s abilities to read or speak something they have written, it is difficult not to notice that their choice of words may be inadequate or insufficient. This is unfortunate because writing is something that all of us do throughout our lifetime. Therefore, kids getting acquainted with spelling tips is vital. 

Below given are the most common spelling rules followed by the teachers and parents while teaching kids.

What are the spelling rules?

A spelling rule is a principle or guideline intended to help writers write accurate spellings.

Silent E

When E is the last letter in a word, and there’s only one other vowel in that syllable, the first vowel in that syllable usually is long, and the E is silent, as in sale and inside. This syllable pattern is called ‘vowel-consonant-E’.

These spelling rules for kids play a vital role in English learning right from a young age. Some parents and teachers call this the ‘silent E’ rule. And, a few named it the ‘magic E’ rule. The E gives all its power to the other vowel and makes that vowel use its long sound (‘say its name’).

Consonant blends and digraphs

A digraph is a fancy word for two letters that express one sound. In a digraph composed of consonants, the two consonants work together to create a new sound. Instances include ship, chap, whiz, thin and photo. Consonant combinations are pretty different. These groups of two or more consonants function together. However, unlike digraphs, their sounds can still be heard as they’re blended. Instances include grasp, clam and scrub.

Vowel digraphs

In a vowel digraph, two vowels stand side by side. The initial vowel is long and says its name. The second vowel is silent, as in paint, boat and beach.

At times, two vowels work together to create a new sound. This is known as a diphthong. Instances include boil and cloud.

R-controlled vowels

When a syllable has a vowel followed by R, the vowel is ‘controlled’ by the R and makes a new sound. Instances include bird, car, form, germ, and hurt. This rule is called ‘bossy R’ because the R ‘bosses’ over the vowel to make a new sound.

The ‘schwa’ sound

Any vowel can create the SCHWA sound; it sounds like a weak ih or uh. Words like finally and from have the SCHWA sound. Some words have more than one SCHWA sound, like balloon and banana. It’s a familiar sound in the English language.

Soft C and hard C, and soft G and hard G

When E, I, or Y accompany the letter C, it regularly makes its soft sound. Instances of that are circus, cent and cyclone. With other vowels, the letter C makes a complex sound, as in cot and cat.

Hence, when the letter g is followed by the vowels E, I, or Y, it usually makes its soft sound. Instances of that are giant, gym, and gel. The letter G makes a complicated sound with other vowels, as in gorilla, gas and yogurt.

The ‘FSZL’ (fizzle) rule

The letters F, S, Z, and L are generally multiplied at the end of a one-syllable word immediately next to a short vowel. Instances include grass, stuff, shell, and fuzz. Exceptions include bus and quiz.

Drop the e with -ing

When words conclude with a silent E, leave the E before adding -ing. Instances: hike/hiking, come/coming, and go/going. This spelling rule also applies to other suffixes that begin with vowels, like -er, -ed, -ous, and -able. Instances: excite/excitable, walk/walked and grieve/grievous.


In a one-syllable word like pin where one short vowel is supported by one consonant, double the consonant before adding a suffix that begins with a vowel. Instances: winner, winning, winnable.


For a few words, add S to make them plural, as in bat/bats. However, when a singular word concludes with sh, s, x, ch, or z, add ‘es’ to make it plural, as in brushes, bushes and torches.

Osmo provides age-wise Alphabet games for Kids for the benefit of children as well as parents.

Frequently Asked Questions on Spelling Rules

What are some of the simple Spelling Rules for kids?

Some of the simple Spelling Rules for kids are the schwa sounds, silent E, soft and hard G, soft and hard C, doubling, learning the difference between singulars and plurals, etc.

What are spelling rules?

Spelling rules are the set of principles or guidelines that help writers to write accurate and error free spelling of words. These spelling rules help kids to learn the right spelling rules and pronounce them correctly.

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