Advanced English Grammar





Most suffixes can change or add to the meaning of a word, but what about proper spelling?

Spelling rules and the changes required to add a suffix can sometimes be a little confusing... until now, that is.

It's a fact, suffixes do change words but the way in which they are added often cause spelling problems for those whose native language isn't English.

Yes, even native speakers of English find these rules and changes of spelling a little challenging sometimes, but what follows is meant to help make things a little more clear.

Let's start with some suffixes spelling rules. Be glad that most of the time the spelling of the word and the suffix simply stays the same.

Suffixes Spelling Rules

RULE: 1 - When a word ends with a consonant and the suffix begins with a consonant, simply add the consonant with no spelling changes.

enjoyment = enjoy + ment
commitment = commit + ment
doubtful = doubt + ful

RULE: 2 - For most one syllable words ending in a single consonant you need to double the last letter when you add a suffix.

run + ing = running
sun + y = sunny
fun + y = funny

*** When the word ends with more than one consonant, the last letter is NOT doubled.

jump + ing = jumping
sing + ing = singing

RULE: 3 - For words with more than one syllable and end with the letter "L" you must double the "L" when adding suffixes.

travel + ing = travelling
cancel + ed = cancelled

RULE: 4 - For words stressed on the last syllable and ending with a single consonant, you need to double the last letter.

prefer + ing = preferring
begin + er = beginner

*** For words where the stress isn't on the last syllable, then you do NOT need to double the last letter.

benefit + ed = benefited
offer + ing = offering

***OTHER SPELLING RULES- "Y" to "I" and the silent "E"

When a word ends in a consonant plus "Y" then the "Y" is changed to "I" when you add the suffix. When adding the suffix 'ing' to a word ending in "Y" -- you keep the "Y." 

lonely + ness = loneliness
happy + ness = happiness
copy + ing = copying

Silent "E" words end with a consonant and an "E." Words like love, like, and hope... you drop the "E" when you add the suffix.

noise + y = noisy
simple + y = simply


The above is meant to cover the spelling challenges when adding a suffix, to go to the suffixes list page just click on the previous link.

To go to my new site which deals exclusively with prefixes and suffixes, simply click on prefixes suffixes site.