Spelling Rules

Here are the first spelling rules that students should know.

  1. Every word has at least one vowel.
  2. Every syllable has at least one vowel.
  3. C can say /k/ or /s/. C says /s/ before an e, i, or y (cent, city, cycle). It says /k/ before everything else (cat, clip).
  4. G can say /g/ or /j/. G may say /j/ before an e, i, or y (gem, giant, gym). It says /g/ before everything else (garden, glad).
  5. Q is always followed by a u (queen).
  6. Double the consonants f, l, and s at the end of a one-syllable word that has just one vowel (stiff, spell, pass).
  7. To spell the sound of /k/ at the end of a word, we use ck or k. Use ck after a short vowel (sick). After everything else, use a k (milk).
  8. Capitalize names.

After your student has mastered the above spelling rules and applies them consistently, go on to this next set of rules.

  1. A, e, o, and u usually say their name at the end of a syllable (a-pron, me, go, u-nit).
  2. Words do not end in v or j. We add a silent e at the end of the word (have).
  3. Contractions replace letter(s) with an apostrophe to shorten a phrase (I’ve represents I have).
  4. I and o may say /ī/ and /ō/ before two consonants (kind, sold). /j/ is spelled dge after a short vowel (edge).
  5. Capitalize the names of places (Florida).

Did you know that All About Spelling teaches these spelling rules? For even more detailed information on spelling rules, check out our blog posts below.

The Soft C Rule

The Soft C Rule is an easy way to determine when the letter c in a word is pronounced as a “soft” c using the /s/ sound. Mastering this useful rule makes words that have a c easier to spell…

Read Now
ice cream cone rules making words plural

Spelling Rules for Making Words Plural

Ready to demystify the spelling rules for making words plural? Our video and printable poster put these rules at your fingertips!

Read Now

How to Handle Spelling Rule Breakers

Rule breakers are words that do not follow reliable spelling rules. Find out how we handle these words in the All About Spelling program.

Read Now
raccoon in a kids club rule clubhouse

The Kids’ Club Rule for Spelling

If you don’t automatically know how to spell a particular word, how do you decide whether to use C or K? It’s easy if you know the “Kids’ Club Rule.”

Read Now
a tooth looking at words with double consonants f, l, and s

The Floss Rule for Spelling

Why do some words have a double consonant at the end while others don’t? Here’s the answer.

Read Now
Vowels A and I walking on a bridge

When Two Vowels Go Walking

Find out why this commonly referenced phonics “rule” is actually false over 60% of the time.

Read Now