Shown below are 4,219 common words with unpredictable spellings. Only 2,828 have irregular spellings like ‘fruit’, but they make another 1,389 unpredictable. – Long /oo/, for example, is spelt mainly oo (in 94 words like ‘food, soon’). But because they are outnumbered by 103 words in which long/oo/ is spelt differently (e.g. rude, shrewd, move), the spellings for long /oo/ all have to be learned one by one, in all 197 words.
Next to the words with irregular spellings are shown respellings which conform to the main English spelling patterns. – Theyhelp to clarify their irregularities, and for words which pose both reading and as spelling difficulties, they also provide guides to pronunciation.
The tricky words are listed in the following order:
1) Words with irregular spellingsfor clear vowels and consonants, in alphabetical order of
the spellings which they disobey, i.e. A, a-e, -ain, air, -ar, au, -aw, -ay, … .
2) Irregular spellings for unstressed vowels (e.g. flatten, certain, mutton)
3) Unpredictably doubled consonants (rabbit habit, very merry, shoddy body).
The figures [in brackets] show how many of the 7,000 most used words which I analysed use the pattern and how many do not. Redundant or surplus letters are shown in red (e.g. have, debt, touch).
Heterographs, such as ‘ale/ail‘, are reduced to a single spelling [ale], like the 2,500 other English words which have just one spelling for their different meanings (e.g. bar, post, round). email@example.com
A (hat) – [466 – 4/7]
|have, meringue, plaid, plait, aunt,draught, laugh||hav, merang, plad, plat, ant/ahnt, draft/drahft, laf/lahf – (US/UK)|
a-e / ai (e.g. made/maid) – [338 – 75]
|ale/ail, bale/bail, male/mail, pale/pail, sale/sail, tale/tail, whale/wail, aid/aide, made/maid, brake/break, stake/steak, place/plaice, waste/waist; ate/eight, bate/bait, grate/great, straight/straits, wait/weight, fate/fête, assail, cocktail, detail, fail, hail, jail, nail, prevail, rail, retail, snail, trail, braid, laid, paid, raid, afraid,|
aim, claim, exclaim, maim, proclaim,
daisy, praise, raise, raisin, traitor, freight, faith halfpenny, neighbour, able, apron, cable, fable, gable, stable, table, cradle, ladle, sabre, gauge
ale, bale, male, pale, sale, tale, wale, ade, made, brake, stake, place, waste, ate, bate, grate, strate / strates, wate, fate, asale, coctale, deetale, fale, hale, jale, nale, prevale, rale, reetale, snale, trale, brade, lade, pade, rade, afrade,ame, clame, exclame, mame, proclame,
dasy, prase, rase, rasin, trater,
hapenny, naber, abel, aperon, cabel, fabel, gabel, stabel, tabel, cradel, ladel, saber, gage
–ain endingsare the most common (in 40 words), but 11 words use –ane, and a small number have other irregularities.
|Lain/lane, main/mane, pain/pane, plain/plane, |
rain/ reign, reins(reindeer), vain/vein, crane, sane, membrane,
skein; deign, feign; campaign; champagne, arrange, change, range, strange
|lain, main, pain, plain|
rain, rains(raindeer), vain, crain, sain, membrain, scain, dain, fain, campain, shampain, arainge, chainge, rainge, strainge,
Air / are / ear – The /air/ sound has no clear main pattern, but the ‘air’ spelling is the simplest for readers (chair, dairy, despair…) – [15 air – 43 others]; 7 words have two spellings and 2 have three.
|Air/heir, fair/fare, flair/flare, hair/hare, pair/pare/pear, stair/stare, bare/bear, there/their, ware/where/wear, |
blare, care, dare, glare, mare, rare, scare, share, snare, spare, square,
aware, compare, declare, parent, prepare
canary, hilarious, malaria, Mary, various, vegetarian, wary.
Swear, tear x2,
Area, aerial, aeroplane, aerobatics.
Air, fair, flair, hair, pair, stair, bair, thair, wair,
blair, cair, dair, glair, mair, rair, scair, shair, snair, spair, squair,
awair, compair, declair, pairent, prepair
canairy, hilairious, malairia, Mary (leaving names unchanged) vairious, vegetairian, wairy.
Swair, tair / teer,
Airia, airial, airoplain, airobatics.
Just with air: chair, dairy, prairie, affair, despair, éclair, repair, questionnaire.
-ar – (far) – [138 – 3 /4]
|are, heart, hearth, clerk,||ar, hart, harth, clark(UK)|
For speakers of standard British English, the following have an ar/ah sound too:
Ask, bask, blast, cask, cast, caste, clasp, contrast, fast, flabbergast, flask, gasp, ghastly, grasp, last, mask, mast, past, rascal, task, vast, brass, class, glass, grass, pass, mass(x2 in UK).
Advance, avalanche, banana, branch, chance, dance, chant, enhance, glance, lance, plant, prance, slant, soprano, stance, trance.
After, craft, daft, draft, giraffe, graft, raft, shaft, staff. Almond, calf, calm, half, halve, palm, gala.
Drama, example, panorama, salami. Bath, path, father, lather, rather.
Bra, la, ma, pa, spa, ah, hurrah, shah, baa, armada, fuselage, promenade, strata, vase. Graph.
Au / aw -(autumn, awful, all, alter) – The /au/ sound has no clearly dominant main pattern,
but au is the most used spelling [in 45 words – with 79 exceptions].
In endings, it is spelt regularly as –aw (claw, draw, jaw), except ‘awe’.
|Awe, awful, awkward, awning, bawdy, dawdle, hawk, squawk. |
Bawl, brawl, crawl, drawl, scrawl, shawl, sprawl, trawl.
All, almost, already, also, altogether, always,
ball, call, recall, fall, gall, hall, pall/Paul, small, squall, stall, tall, wall,
appal, install, instalment, bald, scald, chalk stalk, talk, altar/ alter, alternate x2, alternative, falter, halt, salt; poultry.
Brawn, dawn, drawn, fawn, lawn, pawn, prawn, sawn, spawn, yawn.
Caught, daughter, haughty, naughty, slaughter, taught.
Bought, brought, fought, nought, ought, sought, thought.
Broad. Walnut, walrus, waltz; water.
|Aw, auful, aukward, auning, baudy, daudle, hauk, squauk. Baul, braul, craul, draul, scraul, shaul, spraul, traul. |
Aul, aulmost, aulreddy, aulso, aultugether, aulways,
baul, caul, recaul, faul, gaul, haul, paul/Paul, smaul, squaul, staul, taul, waul,
apaul, instaul, instaulment, bauld, scauld, chaulk, staulk, taulk, aulter, aulternate / aulternat, aulternativ, faulter, hault, sault; paultry.
Braun, daun, draun, faun, laun, paun, praun, saun, spaun, yaun. Caut, dauter, hauty, nauty, slauter, taut. Baut, braut, faut, naut, aut, saut, thaut.
Braud. Waulnut, waulrus, waultz; wauter.
Spelt with au: applaud, applause, astronaut , auburn, auction, audacious, audible, August, auspicious, authentic, author, authorise, authority, auto, autonomy, autumn, cauldron, cause, caution, cautious, cosmonaut, daub, exhaust, fault, gaudy, haul, haunt, jaunt, launch, launder, laundry, maul, nautical, Paul, pause, Santa-Claus, sauce, saucer, somersault, staunch, tarpaulin, taunt, taut, vault.
–ay /-ey /-eigh – (say – they, weigh) – [42 –ay – 19 others]
|They, grey, hey, convey, obey, survey.|
Neigh/nay, slay/sleigh, way/whey/weigh.
Ballet, beret, bouquet, buffet, duvet, chalet, chliche, crochet,
Café, matinee, sundae/Sunday
|thay, gray, hay, convay, obay, survay,|
nay, slay, way,
Ballay, berray, bookay, buffay, duvay, shallay, clishay, croshay.
Caffay, mattinay, sunday/Sunday
With –ay: bay, betray, bray, clay, day, (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, holiday, midday, today, yesterday), fray, gay, hay, lay, may, pay, play, pray, ray, say, slay, spray, stay, stray, sway, tray, way, array, astray, away, decay, delay, dismay, display, essay, okay.
Ca-, co-, cu-, cl-, cr- (cat, cot, cut, clip, crib, comic, arctic)
[c in 1,000 words – with 33 exceptions).
|chameleon, chaos, character, chasm, mechanical, |
kaleidoscope, kangaroo, karate, kayak, skate;
anchor, cholesterol, chorus, psychological, school,
bouquet, quoit, turquoise, queue/cue, chlorine, chocolate, Christmas, chrome, chrysalis, chrysanthemum, mackerel, technical, cockney, cocktail, anorak, barrack, ransack, stomach
|Cameeleon, caos, caracter, casm, mecannical, |
calidoscope, cangaroo, carahty, cayac, scate,
ancor, colesterol, corus, sicolodgical, scool,
bookay, coit, turcoise, cue, cloreen, choclat, Crismas, crome, crissalis, crisanthemum, macrle, tecnical, cocny, coctale, annorac, barrac, ransac, stummac
Ch – (chip) – regular, apart from ‘cello‘, but with a redundant –t– (catch) after short vowels in 24 words, unlike 7: much, rich, such, touch, which, attach, detach.
|Cello. Catch, hatch, latch, match, patch, scratch, snatch, thatch, dispatch; sketch, stretch, wretch/retch; ditch, hitch, itch, pitch, stitch, switch, twitch, witch/which; notch, watch; hutch, Dutch.||Chello. Cach, hach, lach, mach, pach, scrach, snach, thach, dispach; skech, strech, rech; dich, hich, ich, pich, stich, swich, twich, wich; noch, woch; huch, Duch.|
-cy (fancy) – /see/-sound in endings – [11 –cy – 6 not]:
|Controversy, courtesy, fantasy, gypsy, topsy-turvy. Embassy.||Controvercy, curtecy, fantacy, gipcy, topcy-turvy. Embacy.|
With –cy: agency, conspiracy, delicacy, democracy, diplomacy, emergency, fancy , mercy, policy, tendency, vacancy.
E – (bed – head) – exceptions mainly with a surplus a – [301 e – 64 irregular]
|Bread/bred, breadth, breast, breath, dead, deaf, dealt, death, dread, dreamt, head, health, lead x2, leant, leapt, meant, readx2, realm, spread, sweat, thread, threat, wealth. Breakfast, cleanliness, cleanse, endeavour, feather, heather, instead, leather, measure, pleasure,stealthy, treacherous, tread, treasure, weather.|
Against, said, says, every, Wednesday.
|bred, bredth, brest, breth, ded, def, delt, deth, dred, dremt, hed, helth, leed, led, lent, lept, ment, reed, red, relm, spred, swet, thred, thret, welth. Brekfast, clenlines, clense, endevour, fether, hether, insted, lether, mesure, plesure, stelthy, trecherous, tred, tresure, wether.|
Evry, frend. Agenst, sed, ses, evry, Wensday.
The following 16 are also without a doubled consonant after the short /e/ sound:
| Heaven, heavy, jealous, meadow, peasant, pheasant, pleasant, ready, (already), steady, weapon, zealous. |
Any, many. Jeopardy, leopard. Berry/bury. Heifer. Leisure, lieutenant
|Hevven, hevvy, jellous, meddo, pezzent, fezzent, plezzent, reddy, (aulreddy), steddy, weppon, zellous, |
enny, menny, jeppardy, leppard, berry, heffer. UK: Lesure, leftennent; US: leesure, lutennent.
Ee / ea / e-e … – (deed, lead, concede, siege, conceive, police, people, key, ski )
Spellings for the /ee/-sound are completely unpredictable, apart from a few longer words which end with a stressed /ee/ (agree, chimpanzee, employee). The 452 spellings for the 404 common words with an /ee/ sound all have to be learned one by one.
48 words have two spellings:
|Bee/be, beech/beach, been/bean, beet/beat, breech/breach, cheep/cheap, creek/creak, deer/dear, discreet/discrete, eerie/eyrie, eve/eaves, feet/feat, flee/flea, freeze/frieze, jeans/genes, Greece/grease, heel/heal, hear/here, key/quay, leech/leach, leek/leak, meet/meat, need/knead, pee/pea, peace/piece, peek/peak, peel/peal, peer/pier, reed/ readx2[reed/red], reek/wreak, reel/real, sealing/ceiling, seamen/semen, see/sea, seem/seam, seen/scene, serial/cereal, sheer/shear, sheikh/chic, steel/steal, sweet/suite, tee/tea, teem/team, wee/we, week/weak, wheel/weal. + UK: Geezer/geyser, lever/leaver||Bee, beech, been, beet, breech, cheep, creek, deer, discreet, eery, eev(s), feet, flee, freese, jeens, Greece/ greece, heel, heer, kee/quay, leech, leek, meet, need, pee, peece, peek, peel, peer, reed/red, reek, reel, seeling, seemen, see, seem, seen, seerial, sheer, sheek, steel, sweet, tee, teem, wee, week, weel. UK: Geeser, leever. US: geeser, giser, leever, lever.|
The other unpredictable spellings for /ee/ are shown below.
The 80 words with just ee for the /ee/ sound have to be learned word by word too:
Beef, beer, beetle, between, bleed, bleep, breed, breeze, career, cheek, cheer, cheese, cheetah, creep, deed, deep, eel, exceed, feeble, feed, feel, fleece, fleet, geese, greed, green, greet, indeed, jeep, jeer, keel, keen, keep, kneel, meek, needle, peep, pioneer, preen, proceed, proceedings, proceeds, queen, queer, reef, screech, screen, seed, seek, seep, seesaw, sheep, sheet, sleek, sleep, sleet, sleeve, smithereens, sneer, sneeze, speech, speed, squeeze, steep, steeple, steer, street, succeed, sweep, sweet, teeth, teetotal, thirteen, tweed, tweezers, weed, weep, wheedle, wheeze, wildebeest.
|Achieve, adhesive, albino, antique, appeal, appear,arena, aubergine, beacon, bead, beak, beam, beard, beast, beaver, belief, believe, beneath, bikini, bleach, bleak, bleat, breathe, brief , cafeteria, caffeine, cathedral, cease, cedar, chameleon, cheat, chief, chinese, clean, clear, clementine, cliché, codeine, colleague, comedian, compete, complete, conceal, conceit, conceive, concrete, congeal, convene, convenient, cream, crease, creature, deal, dean, debris, deceit, deceive, decent, decrease, defeat, demon, diesel, disease, dream, dreary, each, eager, eagle, ear, ease, east, Easter, eat, equal, era, even, evil, experience, exterior, extreme, fatigue, fear, feasible, feast, feature, female, fever, field, fiend, fierce, freak, frequent, gear, genie, genius, gleam, glean, grief, grieve, guillotine, he, heap, heat, heath, heathen, heave, hero, hyena, hygienic, imperial, increase, inferior, ingredient, intermediate, interior, leadx2, leaf, league, lean, leap, lease, leash, least, leave, legal, legion, lenient, machine, magazine, margarine, marine, material, me, meagre, meal, mean, measles, medieval, medium, mere, meteor, meter, millipede, mosquito, mysterious, near, neat, niece, obedient, ordeal, peach, peat, people, period, peter, pierce, pizza, plasticine, plead, please, pleat, police, polythene, preach, precede, prestige, previous, priest, protein, queasy, query, ravine, reach, really, reap, rear, reason, receipt, receive, recent, recess, regime, region, relay, release, relief, relieve, repeat, retreat, reveal, routine, sardine, scheme, scream, seal, sear, season, seat, secret, seize, senior, sequence, sequin, series, serious, serum, she, sheaf, sheath, shield, shriek, siege, ski, smear, sneak, souvenir, speak, spear, species, sphere, squeak, squeal, squeamish, stampede, steam, strategic, streak, stream, superior, supreme, swede, tambourine, tangerine, teach, teak, tearx2, tease, tedious, theatre, theme, theory, these, thief, thieve, tier, torpedo, trampoline, trapeze, treacle, treason, treat, treaty, unique, vaseline, veal, vehicle, Venus, wean, weary, weasel, weave, weir, weird, wheat, wield, wreath, year, yeast, yield, zeal, zero||acheev, adheesiv, albeeno, anteek, apeel, apeer, areena, aubergeen, beecon, beed, beek, beem, beerd, beest, beever, beleef, beleev, beneeth, bikeeny, bleech, bleek, bleet, breethe, breef, cafeteeria, caffeen, catheedral, seece, seedar, cameelien, cheet, cheef, chineese, cleen, cleer, clementeen, cleeshay, codeen, colleeg, comeedian, compeet, compleet, conceel, conceet, conceev, concreet, congeel, conveen, conveenient, creem, creece, creecher, deel, deen, debree, deceet, deceev, deecent, decreece, defeet, deemon, deesel, diseese, dreem, dreery, eech, eeger, eegle, eer, eese, eest, Eester, eet, eequal, eera, eeven, eevil, expeerience, exteerior, extreem, fateeg, feer, feesible, feest, feecher, feemale, feever, feeld, feend, feerce, freek, freequent, geer, jeeny, jeenius, gleem, gleen, greef, greev, gilloteen, hee, heep, heet, heeth, heethen, heev, heero, hieena, higeenic, impeerial, increece, infeerior, ingreedient, intermeediat, inteerier, leed/ led, leef, leeg, leen, leep, leece, leesh, leest, leev, leegal, leegion, leenient, masheen, magazeen, margereen, mareen, mateerial, mee, meegre, meel, meen, meesles, medeeval, meedium, meer, meeteor, meeter, millipeed, mosqueeto, misteerious, neer, neet, neece, obeedient, ordeel, peech, peet, peeple, peeriod, peeter, peerce, peetsa, plasticeen, pleed, pleese, pleet, poleece, pollytheen, preech, preceed, presteege, preevious, preest, proteen, queesy, queery, raveen, reech, reely, reep, reer, reeson, receet, receev, reecent, reeces, regeem, reegion, reelay, releece, releef, releev, repeet, retreet, reveel, rooteen, sardeen, skeem, screem, seel, seer, seeson, seet, seecret, seese, seenier, seequence, seequin, seeries, seerious, seerum, shee, sheef, sheeth, sheeld, shreek, seege, skee, smeer, sneek, sooveneer, speek, speer, speecies, sfeer, squeek, squeel, squeemish, stampeed, steem, strateegic, streek, streem, supeerier, supreem, sweed, tambureen, tangereen, teech, teek, teer/tair, teese, teedious, theeater, theem, theeory, theece, theef, theev, teer, torpeedo, trampoleen, trapeese, treecle, treeson, treet, treety, uneek, vaseleen, veel, veehicle, Veenus, ween, weery, weesel, weeve, weer, weerd, weet, weeld, reeth, yeer, yeest, yeeld, zeel, zeero|
Many of the different spellings for /ee/ cause reading difficulties as well.
|ea: treat – threat, great; ear – earn, bear, heart; e-e: here – there; ie: fiend – friend, sieve, diet; ei: seize – reindeer, leisure, eider; i-e: machine – refine, imagine; eo: people – leopard, leotard; ey: key – they; i: ski – hi; is: debris – pelvis.|
er /ur / ir / ear … – (berth, burst, bird, earn, worth) – [71 er, 70 ur, 39 ir, 23 assorted].
The 203 words with a stressed /er/sound have no main spelling.
This means that no respelt words with this sound look right, as shown below. The different spellings pose no reading difficulties, apart from the 11 wors with ear (e.g. early, ear, bear). This makes this irregularity a less serious educational handicap and in less urgent need of repair.
|Berth/birth, fern, her, herb, herd, jerk, nerve, perch, serve, stern, swerve, term, verb, verge, verse, were.|
Advertisement, alert, alternative, anniversary, assert, certain, commercial, concern, confer, conserve, conversion, deserve, dessert, detergent, determine, emerge, eternal, exert, external, fertile, germinate, hermit, impertinent, insert, interpret, jersey, kernel, merchant, mercury, mercy, observe, perfect, perfume, permanent, permit, person, pertinent, preserve, refer, reserve, reverse, sermon, serpent, terminate, termite, thermal, transferx2, universal, university, verdict, vermin, version, versus, vertical. Bler, berden, berglar, bergle, berly, bern, berr, berst, cherch, chern, kerfew, kerl, kerlew, kerse, kert, kerve, disterb, exkersion, fer, fernish, ferry, ferther, gergle, herdle, herl, hert, hertle, incersion, lerch, lerk, merder, mermer, nastertium, nerse, nersery, occer, perchase, perple, perpose, perr, perse, retern, sler, sper, spern, spert, sterdy, serf, serface, serge, sergeon, sergery, sername, serplus, servey, Thersday, topsy-tervy, terban, terbine, terf, terkey, termoil, tern, ternip, terquoise, tertle, erban, erchin, erge, ern, yert. Berch, berd, berth, cherp, cercle, cercuit, cercular, cercumstances, cercus, conferm, dert, encercle, fer, ferm, ferst, flert, gerder, gerdle, gerl, merth, sherk, shert, ser, skermish, skert, smerk, squerm, squert, ster, swerl, therd, therst, therteen, therty, twerl, vertually, vertue, wherl, wherring. Erl, erly, ern, ernest, erth, herd, lern, perl, reherse, serch, yern. Werd, werk, werld, werm, werse, wership, werst, werth. Aterny, kertecy, jernal, jerny.
|Burth, furn, hur, hurb, hurd, jurk, nurve, purch, surve, sturn, swurve, turm, vurb, vurge, vurse, wur.|
Advurtisement, alurt, alturnative, annivursary, assurt, surtain, commurcial, consurn, confur, consurve, convursion, desurve, dessurt, deturgent, deturmin, emurge, eturnal, exurt, exturnal, furtile, jurminate, hurmit, impurtinent, insurt, inturpret, jursy, kurnel, murchant, murcury, murcy, obsurve, purfect, purfume, purmanent, purmit, purson, purtinent, presurve, refur, resurve, revurse, surmon, surpent, turminate, turmite, thurmal, transfer(n), to transfur, univursal, univursity, vurdict, vurmin, vursion, vursus, vurtical. Blur, burden, burglar, burgle, burly, burn, burr, burst, church, churn, curfew, curl, curlew, curse, curt, curve, disturb, excursion, fur, furnish, furry, further, gurgle, hurdle, hurl, hurt, hurtle, incursion, lurch, lurk, murder, murmur, nasturtium, nurse, nursery, occur, purchase, purple, purpose, purr, purse, return, slur, spur, spurn, spurt, sturdy, surf, surface, surge, surgeon, surgery, surname, surplus, survey, Thursday, topsy-turvy, turban, turbine, turf, turkey, turmoil, turn, turnip, turquoise, turtle, urban, urchin, urge, urn, yurt. Burch, burd, burth, churp, surcle, surcuit, surcular, surcumstances, surcus, confurm, durt, ensurcle, fur, furm, furst, flurt, gurder, gurdle, gurl, murth, shurk, shurt, sur, scurmish, skurt, smurk, squurm, squurt, stur, swurl, thurd, thurst, thurteen, thurty, twurl, vurtually, vurtue, whurl, whurring. Url, urly, urn, urnest, urth, hurd, lurn, purl, rehurse, surch, yurn. Wurd, wurk, wurld, wurm, wurse, wurship, wurst, wurth. Aturny, curtecy, jurnal, jurny.
|firn, hir, hirb, hird, jirk, nirve, pirch, sirve, stirn, swirve, tirm, virb, virge, virse, wir. Advirtisement, alirt, altirnative, annivirsary, assirt, cirtain, commircial, consirn, confir, consirve, convirsion, desirve, dessirt, detirgent, detirmin, emirge, etirnal, exirt, extirnal, firtile, girminate, hirmit, …. Birch, bird, birth, chirp, circle, circuit, circular, circumstances, circus, confirm, dirt, encircle, fir, firm, first, flirt, girder, girdle, girl, mirth, shirk, shirt, sir, skirmish, skirt, smirk, squirm, squirt, stir, swirl, third, thirst, thirteen, thirty, twirl, virtually, virtue, whirl, whirring. Earl, early, earn, earnest, earth, heard/herd, learn, pearl, rehearse, search, yearn. Word, work, world, worm, worse, worship, worst, worth. Attorney. Courtesy, journal, journey.|
F – (fun – phonto) – (580 – 44)
| Phantom, pharaoh, phase, pheasant, phenomenon, philosophy, physics, physiological, phone, photograph, phrase;|
alphabet, amphibian, asphyxiate, apostrophe, catastrophe, cellophane, decipher, dolphin, elephant, emphasise, nephew, orphan, pamphlet, prophet, sapphire, siphon, sophisticated, sphere, symphony, trophy, typhoon;
Graph, Joseph, nymph, triumph. Laugh, draught.
Cough, trough, enough, rough, sloughx2, tough.
|Fantom, faro, fase, fezzent, fenommenon, filossofy, fizzics, fisiological, fone, fotograf, frase;|
alfabet, amfibian, asfixiate, apostrofy, catastrofy, sellofane, decifer, dolfin, ellefent, emfacise, neffue, orfen, pamflet, proffet, saffire, sifon, sofisticated, sfeer, simfony, trofy, tifoon; Graf, Josef, nimf, triumf. Laf, draft. Cof, trof, enuff, ruf, slow/sluf, tuf.
G – (garden; get, gift) – 12 words have extra letters after g to show that it should not be pronounced
/j/beore e or i, as in ‘gentle giant’, but as in ‘garden’.
|Gherkin; spaghetti. Guess, guest, |
Guillotine, guilt, guinea-pig, guitar, disguise, guide; dinghy, guy.
|gerkin; spagetti, ges, gest, |
gilloteen, gilt, ginny-pig, gitar, disgise, gide; dinghy, gy,
They don’t really need them, as 25 words with a hard g get by without extra letters:
Gear, geese, get, geyser, anger, eager, finger, hunger, linger, tiger, hamburger, forget, target.
Giddy, giggle, gild, gills, gilt, girder, girdle, girl, give; begin, corgi, gymkhana.
15 words have completely surplus letters after g (before a and o)
|Ghastly, guarantee, guard, ghost, ghoulish,yogurt/yoghurt.|
Catalogue, dialogue, epilogue, synagogue. Colleague, fatigue, league. Meringue, tongue.
|gastly, garantee, gard, goast, goolish, yoggurt(UK), yogurt (US)|
cattalog, dialog, eppilog, sinnagog, colleeg, fateeg, leeg, merang, tung
-ge, -gi– – (age, engine, revenge) – are the main spellings for a / j/-sound inside words and in endings, except in:
|Adjective, inject, object, objection, project, reject, subject. Majesty, majestic.||As those irregular spellings are helpful to readers, they could be left as exceptions.|
H – (hot, house) – with just 6 exceptions:
|Who, whom, whose, whooping. Hole/whole, holy/wholly.||hoo, hoom, hoose, hooping, hole, holy|
I – (sit – system) – (421 – 53) – exceptions mainly with y.
Some lack consonant doubling as well (synonym) and have other irregularities (cylinder).
| Abyss, crypt, crystal, cyclical, cygnet, cymbals, cyst, eucalyptus, gym, hymn, hypnotise, lynch, lynx, mystery, myth, Olympics, rhythm, syllable, symbol/cymbal, symmetry, sympathy, symptom, synchronise, syndicatex2, syndrome, synthesis, system. Without doubled consonants (cf symmetry)|
Chrysalis, cylinder, cynical, lyric, physics, synagogue, synonym, syrup, typical, tyranny. Build, built, busy, English, pretty, sieve, vineyard, women.
| Abiss, cript, cristal, siclical, signet, simbals, sist, ucaliptus, jim, him, hipnotise, linch, linx, mistery, mith, Olimpics, rithm, sillable, simble, simmetry, simpathy, simptom, sincronise, a sindicat/to sindicate, sindrome, sinthesis, sistem. |
Chrissalis, sillinder, sinnical, lirric, fizzics, sinnagog, sinnonim, sirrup, tippical, tirrany. Bild, bilt, bizzy, Inglish, pritty, siv, vinyard, wimmen.
i-e – (bite – bright) – [278 – 76]
|I /eye. Bite/bight(bay), knight/night, lite/light, mite/might, rite/right/write, slight/sleight(of hand), sight/site/cite,|
alight, blight, bright, delight, fight, flight, fright, frighten, lightning, mighty, tight.
Bible, bridle, disciple, idle, rifle, stifle, trifle. (cf. libel, idol – biblical).
Climb/clime, rhyme/rime, style/stile, tire/tyre, asylum, cycle, cypress, dyke, dynamic, dynamite, dynamo, hyacinth, hydrangea, hydrogen, hyena, hypothesis, nylon, paralyse, psychology, pylon, thyroid, type, tyrant.
Choir, eider-down, (Fahrenheit), island; kaleidoscope, ninth, resign, sign. Either, neither Hygrometer (seems better than higerometer), also python, scythe; y for i before blended consonants would also improve these: Behind, bind, blind, find, grind, hind, kind, mind, pint, rind, wind x2; Child, mild, wild, whilst. (cf. children, mildew, wilderness) [In the 16th C i and y were used randomly.]
bite, nite, lite, mite, rite, slite, site,
alite, blite, brite, delite, fite, flite, frite, friten, litening, mity, tite,
bibel, bridel, dicipel, idel, rifel, stifel, trifel, Clime, rime, stile, tire, asilum, sikel, siperes, dike, dinammic, dinamite, dinamo, hiacinth, hiderangea, hiderogen, hiena, hipothesis, nilon, parralise, sicollogy, pilon, thiroid, tipe, tirent, quier, ider-doun, Farrenhite, iland, kalidoscope, nineth, resine, sine, ither, nither (UK pronunciation), eether, neether (US),
Behynd, bynd, blynd, fynd, grynd, hynd, kynd, mynd, pynt, rynd, wind/wynd, chyld, myld, wyld, wylst,
J – (jam, job, jug) – Before a, o and u the spelling is completely regular,
but less predictable before e, i and y:
Jelly, jest, jet, jettison, jetty, jealous, jerk, jersey; jeans, jeep, jeer, Jew, jewel. Jiffy, jig, jigsaw, jilt, jingle. Jive.
|Gem, general, generation, generous, genie, genius, gentle, genuine, geography, geranium, germ, gesture.|
Gin, ginger, gipsy/gypsy, giraffe, gym, gyp. Giant, gyroscope.
|Jem, jenneral, jeneration, jennerous, jeeny, jeenius, jentle, jennuin, jeografy, jeranium, jerm, jesture. Jin, jinjer, jipsy, jiraf, jim, jip. Jient, jiroscope.|
K – (take – ache) – [236 – 22] – The main spelling for the /k/ sound is c (see C above).
K is used: 1) before e and i (make, kite), 2) after long vowels (speak) and
3) after consonants (milk, ankle), except:
|1) Chemical, orchestra; ache, opaque;|
architect, bronchial, orchid;
marquee, mosquito, quay/key.
2) antique, boutique, technique, unique.
3) Circle, conker/conquer, monarch, uncle,
disk/disc, mollusc, mosque, picturesque, grotesque.
|Kemmical, orkestra, ake, opake,|
arkitect, bronkial, orkid,
markee, moskeeto, kee,
anteek, booteek, tecneek, uneek,
sirkle, conker, monnark, unkle,
disk, mollusk, mosk, picturesk, grotesk.
L – (lamp – llama) – [1,945 – 1] – lahma
M – (mum – crumb) – [1,129 – 17]
| Lamb, limb, bomb, aplomb, crumb, dumb, numb, plum/plumb, plumber, thumb, succumb.|
Autumn, column, dam/damn, condemn, him/hymn, solemn.
|Lam, lim, bom, aplom, crum, dum, num, plum, plummer, thum, sucum.|
Autum, collum, dam, condem, him, sollem.
N – (nun, boffin – knuckle, famine ) – [2,312 – 23]
|Need/knead, new/knew, nit/knit, night/knight, no/know, nob/knob, not/knot;|
knack, knave, knee, kneel, knife, knobbly, knock, knuckle.
Gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome. Foreign, sovereign. Pneumonia, pneumatic.
Determine, discipline, famine, feminine, genuine, heroine, imagine, masculine, medicine. Gone, shone; scone (pronounced ‘scon’ and ‘scone’).
|Need, nue, nit, nite, no, nob, not, |
nack, nave, nee, neel, nife, nobbly, nock, nuckle,
nash, nat, naw, nome, forren, sovren, numonia, numattic,
determin, dissiplin, fammin, femminin, gennuin, herroin, imadgin, masculin, meddicin, gon, shon, scone
O – (on – swan) – [357 – 33] – mainly after w and qu:
|Swallow, swamp, swan, swap, waft, wand, wander, want/wont, wanton, warrant, warren, warrior, was, wash, wasp, watch, Watt/what, wattle.|
Quality, quadrangle, quantity, quarantine, quarry, squabble, squad, squander, squash, squat. Cough, trough; laurel, sausage.
|Swollow, swomp, swon, swop, woft, wond, wonder, wont, wonton, worrent, worren, worrier, wos, wosh, wosp, woch, wot, wottle, |
quollity, quodrangle, quontity, quorranteen, quorry, squobble, squod, squonder, squosh, squot, cof, trof, lorrle, sossage.
o – e, -o – (note, no – boat,toe) – [190 – 167]
In more recently imported English words the long /o/ soundis speltmainly with an ‘open’ o,
(vote, pro, solo), but in older everyday words the spellings are highly unpredictable,
but some cause no reading difficulties (boast, bold, bolt) and could remain unchanged.
|Boat, cloak, coal, coat, croak, float, foal, foam, gloat, goal, goat, groan, load, loaf, loan/lone, moan, oaf, oak, oats, poach, road, roam, shoal, soak, soap, stoat, throat, toad, Approach, broach/brooch, boast, coach, coast, coastal, coaster, coax, cockroach, loathe, poach, roast, toast. Knoll, poll/pole, roll/role, scroll, stroll, toll, troll, swollen, wholly/holy.|
Control, enrol, patrol.
Bold, cold, fold, gold, hold, old, scold, sold, solder, soldier, told.
Folk, yolk/yoke. Holster. Bolt, colt, dolt, jolt, revolt. Only. Gross.
Both, sloth. Host, most, post, postal, poster.
Mould, moult, soul/sole, shoulder, smoulder.
Goes. Mauve. Noble.
Blown, bowl, grown, growth, known, moan/mown, own, shown, sown/sewn, thrown/throne.
Blow, bowx2, crow, flow, glow, grow, know/no, low, mow, rowx2, show, slow, snow, so/sew/sowx2, stow, throw, tow.
Arrow, barrow, bellow, below, billow, burrow, elbow, fellow, follow, gallow, hollow, marrow, narrow, pillow, shadow, shallow, swallow, sorrow, sparrow, tomorrow, wallow, widow, willow, window, yellow.
Doe, floe, foe, hoe, roe, sloe, toe, woe.
Oh/owe. So/sew. Dough, though.
Bungalow. Cocoa. Oboe. Pharaoh. Depot.
|bote, cloke, cole, cote, croke, flote, fole, fome, glote, gole, gote, grone, lode, lofe, lone, mone, ofe, oke, otes, rode, rome, shole, soke, sope, stote, throte, tode, broach, nole, pole, role, scrole, strole, tole, trole, swolen, holy, |
controle, enrole, patrole,
bold, cold, fold, gold, hold, old, scold, sold, solder, soldier, told,
foke, yoke, holster, bolt, colt, dolt, jolt, revolt, onely, groce,
boath, sloath, hoast, moast, poast, poastal, poaster,
mold, molt, sole, sholder, smolder, gose, move, nobel, blone, bole, grone, groath, knone, mone, one, shone, sone, throne, blo, bo/bow, cro, flo, glo, gro, no, lo, mo, ro/rou, sho, slo, sno, so, sou, sto, thro, to,
arro, barro, bello, belo, billo, burro, elbo, fello, follo, gallo, hollo, marro, narro, pillo, shaddo, shallo, swollo, sorro, sparro, tomorro, wollo, widdo, willo, windo, yello, do, flo, fo, ho, ro, slo, to, wo,
o, so, do, tho,
bungalo, coco, obo, faro, depo,
Older words with open o: Ago, also, fro, go, hello, no.
Alone, arose, bone, bony, broke, choke, chose, chosen, close, clothes, clover, code, cone, cope, cove, dole, dome, dose, doze, drone, drove, froze, frozen, grocer, grope, hole/whole, holy, home, hope, hose, joke, lone, mole, nose, open, over, poke, pony, pope, primrose, rode, rope, rose, scope, slope, smoke, spoke, stoke, stole, stolen, stone, strode, stroke, tadpole, throne, tone, woke, wove, wrote, yodel, yoke.
More recently imported words with open o:
Albino, armadillo, banjo, bingo, buffalo, cargo, cello, disco, domino, duo, dynamo, echo, Eskimo, flamingo, halo, hero, judo, kimono, motto, panto, piano, piccolo, Pluto, polo, potato, pro, pseudo, radio, ratio, solo, soprano, studio, tango, tobacco, tomato, tornado, torpedo, trio, video, volcano, zero.
Alcove, associated, bulldoze, crochet, chrome, commotion, component, compose, casserole, devoted, diploma, dispose, elope, explode, expose, global, heroic, impose, Joseph, jovial, kimono, local, located, lotion, mobile, mode, moment, motel, motive, node, nomad, note, notice, oboe, ocean, October, omen, opal, oppose, opponent, oval, phone, poem, polar, pose, postpone, potion, proboscis, process, programme, promote, proposal, protest, quote, robe, remote, Roman, rover, slogan, sober, sociable, social, socialism, socialist, soda, sofa, solar, suppose, token, total, trombone, utopia, vocal, vote, yodel, zodiac, zone.
Oi, -oy – (spoil, ploy – oyster, buoy) – [29, 12 – 4,1]
|Loyal, (loyalty), oyster, royal, (royalty), voyage.|
|Loial, (loialty), oister, roial, (roialty), voiage.|
OO, -oo – (food, too – rude, do) – [94 – 103] – with totally unpredictable spellings.
|Brutal, brute, crucial, crude, fluent, fluid, fluke, flute, frugal, glucose, intrude, jubilant, July, June, Jupiter, jury, juvenile, lubricate, ludo, ludicrous, lukewarm, luminous, lunar, lunatic, plural, prune, recluse, ruby, rude, ruin, rule, rural, rumour, secluded, truant, truce, truly, truth, Zulu. Bruise, cruise, sluice; fruit, recruit. Acoustic, bivouac, boutique, coupon, group, recoup, route/root, soup, toucan, tourist, troupe, wound, youth.|
Lose, move, prove.
Tomb, womb. Gruesome. Sleuth. Manoeuvre. Shrewd, strewn.
Blew/blue, flew/flue/flu, threw/through, brew, crew, drew, grew, screw, shrew, slew, strew, cashew.
Clue, glue, rue, true, accrue, construe. Gnu, guru.
Do, who, lasso. Canoe.
|brootal, broot, croocial, crood, flooent, flooid, flook, floot, froogal, gloocose, introod, joobilent, July, June, Jupiter, joory, joovenile, loobricate, loodo, loodicrous, lookwarm, loominous, looner, loonatic, plooral, proon, reclooce, rooby, rood, rooin, rool, rooral, roomer, seclooded, trooent, trooce, trooly, trooth, Zooloo, |
broose, croose, slooce, froot, recroot, acoostic, bivooac, booteek, coopon, groop, recoop, root, soop, toocan, toorist, troop, woond, yooth, looz, moov, proov,
groosum, slooth, manoover, shrood, stroon, bloo, floo, throo, broo, croo, droo, groo, scroo, shroo, sloo, stroo, cashoo,
cloo, gloo, roo, troo, acroo, constroo, noo, gooroo, doo, hoo, lasoo, canoo,
Long /oo/ spelt oo:
Baboon, balloon, bloom, boom, boon, boost, boot, brood, broom, cartoon, choose, cocoon, cool, doom, droop, food, fool, gloom, goose, groom, groove, harpoon, hoof, hooligan, hoop, hoot, lagoon, loom, loop, loose, loosen, loot, macaroon, maroon, mood, moon, moor, moot, mushroom, noodle, noon, noose, pontoon, poodle, pool, poo, poop, poor, proof, roof, room, root, saloon, school, schooner, scoop, scoot, scooter, shoot, smooth, snooker, soon, soothe, spoof, spook, spool, spoon, stool, stoop, swoon, swoop, tool, tooth, troop, whoop, zoom.
Boo, coo, goo, loo, moo, woo, zoo, bamboo, cockatoo, hullabaloo, igloo, kangaroo, shampoo, tattoo, voodoo, yahoo.
Short oo (foot – put) – [15 – 21] – has no spelling of its own. All spellings of it are more common for other sounds (good – food, should – shoulder, full – dull), so there is no obvious way of improving it.
|Good, hood, stood, wood, book, brook, cook, hook, look, rook, shook, took, wool, whoosh, foot. |
Cuckoo. Bull, full, pull, bullet, bullion. Bush, cushion, push, shush. Put, butcher, pudding, pussy, sugar. Could, should, would. Wolf, woman. Courier.
Or – (lord – board) – [188 – 16] – mostly regular inside words.
|Board/bored, course/coarse, hoard/horde, horse/hoarse, court, resource, source, tournament. |
Quart, quarter. Warm, warn/worn, wart. War/wore, warble, ward (award, reward), wardrobe, warm, warn/worn, warp, wart, dwarf.
|Bord, bored, corce, hord, horce, cort, resorce, sorce, tornament, quort, quorter, worm, worn, wort. Wor, worble, word (aword, reword), wordrobe, worm, worn, worp, wort, dworf.|
In endings very unpredictable: more – nor, four, more – [22 – 20 ]
|For/four, (fourth, fourteen, forty), nor, or/oar. |
Door, floor, moor, poor/pour, tour/tor, your.
Boar/bore, roar, soar. Abhor.
Chore, core, fore, gore, more, ore, pore, score, shore, snore, sore, store, tore, swore,
adore, ashore, before, carnivore, folklore, ignore, implore.
|For, forth, forteen, nor, or, dor, flor, mor, por, tor, yor, bor, ror, sor, abor, chor, cor, for, gor, mor, or, por, scor, shor, snor, sor, stor, tor, swor, ador, ashor, befor, carnivor, fokelor, ignor, implor.|
In standard UK English the regular –aw endings have the same sound as –ore:
Awe, claw, draw, flaw, gnaw, jaw, saw, straw, thaw, law, paw, raw.
Ou, -ow – (sound, now – brown, bough) – mainly ou inside words and -ow at the end,
with a few exceptions.
|Flour/flower, our/hour, power, shower, tower. Brown, clown, crown, down, drown, frown, gown, town. |
Crowd, powder. Coward.
Fowl/foul , growl, howl, owl, prowl, scowl, towel.
Browse, drowse. Brow, cow, how, now, vow, wow, allow, miaow, Bough/bowx2, rowx2, sowx2, sloughx2, plough, thou.
|flour, our, pouer, shouer, touer, broun, cloun, croun, doun, droun, froun, goun, toun, |
croud, pouder, couerd,
foul, groul, houl, oul, proul, scoul, touel, brouse, drouse,
bow/bo, row/ro, sow/so, slow/sluf, plow, thou,
In early English, the letter v spelt both the short /u/ and /v/ sounds. Later v and u were used interchangeably. Early printers deliberately misspelt many a sinlge u with w by doubling a v.
Qu – (quick – acquit) – [78 – 4]
|Acquaint, acquire, acquit. Choir.||Aquaint, aquire, aquit. Quire.|
R – (run – wrong, rhubarb) – [1,670 – 27]
|Wrangle, rap/wrap, wrath, wreck, wren, wrench, wrestle, wretch, wreak/reek, wreath, wriggle, ring/wring, wrinkle, wrist, written, |
right/rite/write, writhe, wrong, wrote/rote, rung/wrung, rye/wry.
Rhythm, rhyme/rime, rhinoceros, rhododendron, rhubarb, rheumatism.
|rangle, rap, rath(US)/roth(UK), reck, ren, rench, ressle, rech, reek, reeth, riggle, ring, rinkle, rist, ritten, |
rite, rithe, rong, rote, rung, ry.
Rithm, rime, rinosserus, rododendron, roobarb, rumatism.
S – (set, sit) – /s/ before e, i and y at the beginning of words – [70 s – 30 c, 5 sc).
|Sell/cell, seller/cellar, sent/cent/scent|
Celebrate, celery, cellophane, cement, cemetery, centigrade, central, centre, entury, certain, certificatex2, ceremony.
Seen/scene, scenery. Cease, cedar, ceiling, cereal.
Cigar, cigarette, cinder, cinema, circle, circuit, circular, circulate, circumference, circumstance, circus,
cistern, citizen, citrus, city, civic, civil, civilian, civilisation, civilise. Cygnet/signet. Scissors.
Cider, site/cite/sight. Cycle. Science, scythe.
|Sell, seller, sent, |
Sellebrate, sellery, sellofane, sement, semmetery, sentigrade, sentral, senter, sentury, serten, sertificat(n)/sertificate(v), serremony.
Seen, seenery. Seece, seedar, seeling, seereal.
Sigar, sigaret, sinder, sinnema, sircle, sirkit, sirculer, sirculate, sircumference, sircumstance, sircus, sistern, sittizen, sitrus, sitty, sivvic, sivvil, sivillian, sivilisation, sivvilise. Signet. Sizzers.
Sider, site. Sikel. Sience, sithe.
(Concern – consent) – inside words ce and ci are the main spellings – [70 – 36]
|Absent, abscess, advertisement, arsenic, ascend, ascertain, consent, consequence, conservative, condescend, descend, descent, insect, insert, morsel, persevere. |
Analysis, basic, basin, consider, consist, crisis, disciple, discipline, emphasis, insist, oasis, persistent, responsible, tonsil, university, utensil. Capsize, prehensile. proboscis.
|abcent, abces, adverticement, arcenic, acend, acertain, concent, concequence, concervative, condecend, decend, decent, incect, incert, morcel, perceveer, |
anallicis, bacic, bacin, concider, concist, cricis, deciple, diciplin, emfacis, incist, oacis, percistent, responcible, toncil, univercity, utencil, capcize, prehencile, probocis,
With ce and ci:
Ancestors, cancel, cancer, concentrate, concept, conception, concern, concert, December, decent, grocer, innocent, license, licentious, magnificent, necessity, parcel, percent, perception, pincer, porcelain, princess, process, procession, reception, recent, recess, rhinoceros, saucer.
Conceal. Conceit, conceive, deceit, deceive, receipt, receive.
Facetious, precede, procedure. Proceed, proceedings, proceeds. Plasticine.
Council/counsel, criticism, deciduous, decision, facilities, hyacinth, incident, medicine, narcissus, Pacific, participation, pencil, precision, principal, principle, specific, stencil.
Coincide, decide, decisive, decipher, docile, exercise, precise, recite, suicide; society.
In unstressed endings, the spelling of the /s/-sound and the vowel before it are both unpredictable, (practice – promise, tennis, fortress).
The –is ending is the most logical: axis, bronchitis, chrysalis, crisis, emphasis, hypothesis, iris, oasis pelvis, proboscis, synthesis, tennis, trellis, tonsillitis; atlas, canvas, Christmas, pampas, pyjamas.
| A practice/to practise (in UK only), apprentice, armistice, coppice, crevice, justice, notice, novice, office, precipice, service. Premise, promise. Menace, necklace, palace, purchace, surface, terrace. |
Carcass, compass, embarrass, trespass.
Abscess, access, congress, cypress, fortress, mattress, process, progressx2, recess, harness, witness. Purpose, tortoise. Lettuce.
|Practis, apprentis, armistis, coppis, crevvis, justis, notis, novvis, offis, precipis, servis. Premmis, prommis. Mennas, necklas, pallas, purchas, surfas, terras. |
Carcas, compas, embarras, trespas.
Abces, axes, congres, ciperes, fortres, matres, proces, progress(n), progress(v), reces, harnes, witnes. Purpos, tortois. Lettis.
-ce (face, ice, fence – base, precise, dense) – final s-sound– [153 – 56]
(-se is the main spelling for /z/ endings, e.g. phrase, rise, chose)
| Base, case, chase. |
Cease, crease, grease, increase, release, geese, these.
Concise, precise. Dose. Goose, loose, noose, mouse.
Close x2, house x2, excuse x2, use x2.
[too cloce to close…, no uce, to use]
|Bace, cace, chace. Ceece, creece, greece, increece, releece, geece, theece. Concice, precice. Doce. Gooce, looce, nooce, mouce. Cloce/close, houce/house, excuce/excuse, uce/use (e.g. too cloce to close)|
-ce – (fence, force, else) is also the main spelling for a final s-sound after consonants,
with 35 exceptions:
|Dense, expanse, expense, immense, intense, license, nonsense, response, rinse, sense, suspense, tense. Else, pulse, impulse. |
Collapse, copse, corpse, eclipse, elapse, glimpse, lapse. Coarse/course, hoarse/ horse, curse, gorse, nurse, purse, rehearse, reverse, universe, verse, worse.
|Dence, expance, expence, imence, intence, licence, nonsence, responce, rince, sence, suspence, tence. Elce, pulce, impulce. |
Colapce, copce, corpce, eclipce, elapce, glimpce, lapce. Corce, horce, curce, gorce, nurce, purce, reherce, reverce, univerce, verce, werce.
-s- – (nasal) – Inside words, between vowels, s in themain spelling for the z-sound, except:
|Bazaar, blazer, brazen, frozen gazelle, hazel, horizon, lozenge, magazine, razor, tweezers. Desert x2.||Basaar, blaser, brasen, frose, gasell, hasel, horison, losenge, magaseen, raser, tweesers. A dezzert, to desert.|
With s for medial /z/:
Acquisition, busy, chisel, chrysanthemum, closet, cousin, daisy, deposit, deserve, design, designate, desire, desolate, diesel, easel, easy, episode, exquisite, fuselage, geyser, hesitate, Joseph, miser, miserable, mosaic, museum, music, nasal, opposite, partisan, peasant, pheasant, physical, physiological, pleasant, poison, position, positive, presence, present, presentation, preserve, president, presumably, prison, proposal, proposition, raisin, realisation, reason, resemble, resentment, reserve, reservoir, residence, resign, resolution, resolve, resort, result, resume, risen, rosette, thousand, treason, visible, visit, weasel.
-se – (rise, wise – size) – main spelling for a z-sound in endings – [205 – 26],
|Blaze, craze, crazy, gaze, graze, haze, laze, lazy, maze, raze, amaze. |
Breeze, freeze, sneeze, squeeze, wheeze. Trapeze. Seize.
Prize, size, capsize.
Doze, froze, bulldoze. Ooze, booze.
|Blase, crase, crasy, gase, grase, hase, lase, lasy, mase, rase, amase. |
Breese, freese, sneese, squeese, weese. Trapeese. Seese.
Prise, sise, capcise.
Dose, frose, bulldose. ose, boose.
In US also: Advertize, agonize, apologize, authorize, baptize, characterize, civilize, computerize, emphasize, fertilize, hypnotize, idolize, memorize, merchandize, organize, realize, recognize, sterilize, synchronize, tantalize. – In UK English they are spelt with -ise.
Sh – (ship, fish – chivalrous, avalanche) – at the beginning or end of words [166 – 14]
|Chalet, champagne, chandelier, charade, |
chef, chivalrous, chute.
Sugar, sure (insure).
Moustache, avalanche, microfiche; liquorice.
|Shallay, shampain, shandeleer, sharade, |
shef, shivvalrous, shute.
Shugger, shure (inshure),
Mustash, avalansh, microfeesh; lickorish,
In the middle of words, the /sh/ sound is spelt very irregulary.
| Bishop, cashew, mushroom, usher, marshal. Ancient, appreciate, efficient, sufficient, associate, species. Assure, pressure, issue, tissue. |
Crochetx2, machine, parachute.
Conscience, fascism. Patient.
| Ainshent, appreeshiate, efishent, sufishent, asoshiate, speeshes. Ashure, preshure, ishue, tishue. |
Crochet/croshay, masheen, parrashoot.
Conshence, fashism. Pashent.
-si-, -su– – (vision, exposure) – for relatively uncommon zh-sound:
Asia, conclusion, confusion, decision, diffusion, explosion, division, Indonesia, illusion, invasion, occasion, precision, provision, supervision, vision, (television),
Casual, usual, exposure, leisure, measure, pleasure, treasure.
With very few exceptions:
|Azure, bourgeois, fissure.||Asure, borjua, fisure.|
T – (top, pot) – very regular in the stem of words [1,398 – 5]
|Two/too, pterodactyl; debt, doubt, subtle.||too, terodactil; det, dout, suttle.|
-tch – (itch) – for /ch/-sound after short vowels. – See Ch.
th – (this thing) – no other spellings for either of the two sounds.
It would be easy to add a new spelling for one of the two sounds (perhaps dh – dhin, dhing). But as the lack of different spellings for them does not appear to cause many problems, this is not an urgent matter.
-ti- -main spelling for /sh/-sound inside endings (palatial, ignition, ambitious, convention),
but with exceptions: facial, mission, delicious, extension– [151 – 72]
|Facial, glacial, racial, social, crucial, financial, commercial, controversial.|
Artificial, beneficial, judicial, official, sacrificial, special, superficial.
Auspicious, avaricious, delicious, judicious, malicious, officious, pernicious, suspicious, vicious.
Pugnacious, vivacious, audacious, rapacious, spacious, tenacious, voracious.
Atrocious, ferocious, precocious. Precious.
Conscious, anxious. Luscious.
Admission, commission, emission, mission, permission, transmission, fission.
Discussion, percussion. Cushion.
Comprehension, condescension, dimension, expansion, extension, mansion, pension,
Aspersion, conversion, dispersion, diversion, immersion, inversion, subversion, version, excursion, incursion. Coercion. Ration. Fashion. Passion. ocean.
|Fatial, glatial, ratial, sotial, crutial, finantial, commertial, controvertial.|
Artifitial, benefitial, juditial, ofitial, sacrifitial, spetial, superfitial.
Auspitious, avaritious, delitious, juditious, malitious, ofitious, pernitious, suspitious, vitious.
Pugnatious, vivatious, audatious, rapatious, spatious, tenatious, voratious.
Atrotious, ferotious, precotious. Pretious.
Contious, anctious. Lushous. Admition, commition, emition, mition, permition, transmition, fision.
Suspition. Discution, percution. Cution.
Comprehention, condecention, dimention, expantion, extention, mantion, pention,
Aspertion, convertion, dispertion, divertion, immertion, invertion, subvertion, vertion, excurtion, incurtion. Coertion. Ration, fation, pation, otian.
U – (run – done) – [308 – 68]
Next to m, n and v, the short/u/ sound is often spelt o,
* and often without a doubled consonant after it too:
|Monday, money*, monger, mongrel, monk, monkey, month, mother, smother.|
Come, some/sum. Comfort, company, compass, pommel, stomach*. Nothing. Son/sun, ton. Among, front, tongue, sponge.
Done, none/nun. Honey*, onion*.
Won/one, wonder. Once. Above, cover*, covet*, covey*, covenant*, dove, glove, govern*, love, oven*, shove, shovel*, slovenly*.
Country, nourish*, young. Enough.
|Munday, munny, munger, mungrel, munk, munky, munth, muther, smuther.|
Cum, sum. Cumfort, cumpany, cumpas, pummel, stummac. Nuthing. Sun, tun. Amung, frunt, tung, spunge.
Dun, nun. Hunny, unnion.
Wun, wunder. Wunce.
Abuv, cuvver, cuvvet, cuvvy, cuvvenant, duv, gluv, guvvern, luv, uvven, shuv, shuvvle, sluvvenly.
Cuntry, nurrish, yung. Enuff.
A few other words have irregular spellings for the short u-sound, not next to m, n or v:
|Double*, trouble. Blood, flood. Rough, slough, tough. Cousin*, dozen*.|
Colour*, does. Southern. Hiccough [hickup].
Courage*, thorough*. Worry. Touch. Couple*. Other, brother.
|Dubble, trubble. Blud, flud. Ruf, sluf, tuf. Cuzzen, duzzen.|
Culler, dus. Suthern. Hickup.
Currage, thurru. Wurry. Tuch. Cupple. Uther, bruther.
u – e, -ue – (use, tuba; due) – with few exceptions in the stem of words – [137 – 26]
feud, feudal, jewel
lewd, neutral, newt, nuclear,
beauty, nuisance, pewter, pneumatic, pseudo,
sewage, steward, suicide, suitable, suitcase,
juice, Tuesday, you/ewe/yew, youth,
fude, fudal, juel
lude, nuteral, nute, nukelear,
buty, nusance, puter, numatic, sudo,
suage, stuard, sucide, sutable, sutecase,
juce, Tuseday, u, yooth,
In endings, less predictable – [18 – 19]
Argue, avenue, barbecue, continue, imbue, issue, pursue, rescue, revenue, statue, subdue, sue, tissue,
value, devalue, venue, virtue.
Chew, few, Jew, knew/new, pew, spew, stew.
Askew, curfew, curlew, mildew, nephew.
View, interview, review. Emu, menu.
|Cue, due, |
Chue, fue, Jue, nue, pue, spue, stue.
Askue, curfue, curlue, mildue, neffue.
Vue, intervue, revue. Emue, mennue.
W – (went, with – when, whip) – [216 – 31]
|Whack, whale, wharf, what.|
Whelk, when, where/wear, whether/weather, whey, overwhelm. Wheedle, wheel, wheeze. Whiff, whimper, whip, whirl, whirring, whisk, whiskers, whisky/whiskey, whisper, which, whistle, whiz. While, whilst, wine/whine, white, why. Whoosh.
|Wack, wale, worf, wot.|
Welk, wen, wair, wether, way, overwelm. Weedle, weel, weese. Wif, wimper, wip, wirl, wirring, wisk, wiskers, wisky, wisper, wich, wissle, wiz. Wile, wilest, wine, wite, wy. Woosh.
X – (exit, fix) – main spelling for the ks-sound – [98 – 15]
|Accent, accept, access, accelerate, accident. |
Eccentric. Success, succeed, succinct.
Excellent, except, excess, exceed, excite. Exhibition.
|Axent, axept, axes, axellerate, axident. |
Exentric, suxess, suxeed, suxinct.
Exellent, exept, exess, exeed, exite. Exibition.
In a few words x is pronounced gz:
|Anxiety, exact, exaggerate, examine, example, exasperate, exert, exist, exhaust.||Angziety, egzact, egzadgerate, egzammin, egzample, egzasperate, egzert, egzist, egzaust.|
–y – (baby, boldly) – main spelling for an unstressed final /ee/-sound – [475 – 39]
|Abbey, alley, attorney, bogey, chimney, chutney, cockney, covey, donkey, hockey, holey, honey, jersey, jockey, journey, kidney, medley, money, monkey, parsley, pulley, story/storey, trolley, turkey, valley, volley, whisky/whiskey (US). |
Brownie, budgie, caddie, collie, cookie, eerie, genie, movie, pixie, prairie, wheelie.
|Abby, ally, attorny, bogy, chimny, chutny, cocny, cuvvy, donky, hocky, holy, hunny, jersy, jocky, jurny, kidny, medly, munny, munky, parsly, pully, story, trolly, turky, vally, volly, wisky. Brouny, budgy, caddy, colly, cooky, eery, jeeny, moovy, pixy, prairy, weely .|
-y – (fly) – is also the most frequent but unpredictable spelling for a stressed final ie-sound – [16 – 14]:
Cry, dry, fly, fry, my, ply, pry, shy, sky, sly, spy, sty, thy, try, why, wry.
|By/buy/bye, die/dye, lie, pie, tie, vie. High, nigh, sigh, thigh. Rye. Guy.||By, Dy, ly, py, ty, vy. Hy, ny, sy, thy. Ry. Gy.|
It creates reading problems in 7 longer words:
Ally, apply, deny, supply, magnify, multiply, rely, verify – (Cf. tally, subtly, puffy…).
They would be better as: allye, aplye, denye, relye, suplye, magnifye, multiplye, verrifye.
Z – (zap, rise) –[16- 1] for an initial /z/ sound:
Zany, zap, zeal, zebra, zenith, zero, zest, zigzag, zinc, zip, zither, zodiac, zone, zoo, zoom, Zulu.
In the middle of words the main spelling for the z-sound is s (desire, result) and in
endings –se (rise). – See –s- and –se.
2) Unstressed vowel problems
Only stressed English vowels can be heard clearly, and most English words have just one of them
(butter, describe, understand). The unstressed vowels range from fairly audible (bicycle) to almost nonexistent.
They occur mainly in endings and prefixes, and their spellings are very irregular:
laughable – compatible, primary – mistery – factory, madden – abandon – urban – villain,
confidence – guidance, competent – distant, fitter – actor;
deserve – disaster; indulge – endager.
Because their spellings take much learning, and because it helps to exaggerate their pronunciation while doing so, many people end up thinking that they can detect differences in their pronunciation and would find their altered appearance shocking. In ordinary speech, all unstressed vowels sound much the same.
They cause no reading difficulties. Standardising them would therefore not make learning to read English any easier, only to spell. They are therefore perhaps in less urgent need of reform, despite creating much pointless memorisation of spellings.
–able/ –ible – [33 – 17] – (doable – feasible)
|Audible, compatible, edible, feasible, flexible, horrible, incredible, invisible, permissible, possible, responsible, sensible, terrible, visible, eligible, legible, illegible, tangible.||Audable, compatable, edable, feesable, flexable, horrable, incredable, invisable, permissable, possable, responsable, sensable, terrable, visable,|
-al/ –el/ –ol (oval – gravel – devil) – [213 – 31]
|Caramel, cockerel, colonel, cruel, diesel, drivel, duel, easel, fuel, gravel, hazel, hostel, jewel, label, novel, spaniel, towel, vowel, weasel.|
Civil, devil, evil, pupil.
Capitol, carol, cholesterol, idol, parasol, petrol, pistol, symbol/cymbal.
|Caramal, cockeral, curnal, crual, diesal, drivval, dual, eesal, fual, gravval, hazal, hostal, jewal, labal, novval, spannial, towal, vowal, weasal.|
Civval, devval, eval, pupal.
Cappital, carral, colesteral, idal, parrasal, petral, pistal, simble.
-le – (dangle, apple – channel, morsel) – [175 – 27] – -le is the main spelling for a final l-sound after several consonants, except:
|Kernel, kestrel, mongrel, satchel, scoundrel. |
Council/counsel, morsel, parcel,
pencil, stencil, tonsil, utensil. Channel, flannel, funnel, kennel, pommel, pummel, tunnel, barrel, quarrel, squirrel, tassel, vessel, muscle/mussel.
|Kernle, kestrle, mongrle, satchle, scoundrle. |
Counsle, morsle, parsle,
pensle, stensle, tonsle, utensle. Channle, flannle, funnle, kennle, pommle, pummle, tunnle, barrle, quorrle, squirrle, tassle, vessle, mussle.
–ary / -ery / -ory / -ry – (37 –ary / 58 others)- utterly unpredictable.
‘Carpentry, chemistry, etc.’ suggest that the vowels before –ry are nearly all redundant.
Adversary, anniversary, arbitrary, aviary, boundary, burglary, commentary, contemporary, contrary, diary, dictionary, elementary, estuary, February, January, library, literary, military, monetary, necessary, ordinary, planetary, preliminary, primary, pulmonary, reactionary, revolutionary, salary, secondary, secretary, solitary, stationary, summary, temporary, veterinary, vocabulary, voluntary.
|Archery, artery, artillery, blustery, celery, cemetery, colliery, crockery, delivery, discovery, drudgery, every, gallery, jewellery, lottery, machinery, monastery, mystery, nursery, pottery, recovery, robbery, scenery, stationery/stationary, surgery. |
Category, dormitory, factory, history,inventory, ivory, laboratory, memory, observatory, satisfactory, territory, theory.
Century, injury, luxury, Mercury, mercury, treasury. Savoury. Carpentry, chemistry, country, entry, gantry, industry, infantry, paltry, pantry, pastry, poetry, poultry, symmetry, tapestry.
|Archary, artary, artillary, blustary, sellary, semmetary, colliary, crockary, delivary, discovary, drudgery, evry, gallary, jewellary, lottary, masheenary, monastary, mistary, nursary, pottary, recovary, robbary, seenary, stationary, surgery. |
Categary, dormitary, factary, histary, inventary, ivary, laboratary, memmary, observatary, satisfactary, territary, theary.
Century, injury, luxury, Mercury, mercury, treasury. Savoury. Carpentry, chemistry, country, entry, gantry, industry, infantry, paultry, pantry, pastery, poetry, poultry, symmetry, tapestry.
-en / -on / -an /-ain /-in – (fasten, certain, apron…) – [74 – 132] – unpredictable:
With –en: Abdomen, alien, awaken, barren, batten/baton, bitten, bracken, brazen, brighten, chicken, children, chosen, christen, citizen, delicatessen, dozen, driven, eleven, even, fallen, forgotten, frighten, frozen, garden, given, glisten, golden, happen, heathen, heaven, hidden, hydrogen, kindergarten, kitchen, kitten, laden, lessen/lesson, lichen, listen, loosen, madden, mitten, often, omen, open, oven, oxygen, pollen, raven, ridden, ripen, risen, rotten, sadden, seven, sharpen, sodden, specimen, spoken, stamen, stolen, strengthen, sudden, sullen, swollen, taken, threaten, token, vixen, warren, women, wooden, woollen, written.
| Abandon, apron, bacon, badminton, baron/barren, beacon, beckon, bison, carbon, carton, cauldron, common, comparison, cordon, cotton, coupon, crayon, crimson, damson, demon, dragon, electron, flagon, gallon, heron, horizon, iron, jettison, lemon, mason, matron, melon, mutton, nylon, octagon, pardon, pentagon, person, phenomenon, piston, poison, prison, pylon, python, reason, reckon, ribbon, salmon, salon, Saxon, season, sermon, siphon, skeleton, summon, talon, treason, venison, wagon, wanton, weapon. Chameleon, dungeon, luncheon, pigeon, surgeon, truncheon. |
Alsatian, amphibian, cardigan, Christian, civilian, comedian, Dalmatian, historian, hooligan, Indonesian, magician, metropolitan, musician, ocean, optician, organ, orphan, partisan, pedestrian, pelican, republican, Roman, rowan, ruffian, slogan, suburban, tartan, toucan, turban, urban, utopian, vegetarian, veteran, woman.
Bargain, captain, certain, fountain, mountain, porcelain, villain.
The -in endings are perhaps a little different?
Aspirin, basin, bulletin, cabin, catkin, coffin, cousin, dolphin, gherkin, goblin, javelin, origin, paraffin, penguin, pumpkin, raisin, robin, satin, sequin, tarpaulin, urchin, vermin.
|Abanden, apren, bacon, badminton, barren, beacon, becken, bisen, carben, carten, cauldren, commen, comparisen, corden, cotten, coopen, crayen, crimsen, damsen, deemen, draggen, electren, flaggen, gallen, herren, horizen, iren, jettisen, lemmen, masen, matren, mellen, mutten, nylen, octagen, parden, pentagen, persen, fenommenen, pisten, poisen, prizzen, pilen, pithen, reesen, recken, ribben, sammen, sallen, Saxen, seesen, sermen, siphen, skelleten, summen, tallen, treesen, vennisen, waggen, wonten, weppen. Cameelen, dungen, lunchen, pigen, surgen, trunchen. Alsatien, amphibien, cardigan, Cristien, civillien, comeedien, Dalmatien, historien, hooligan, Indonesien, magicien, metropolliten, musicien, ocean, opticien, organ, orfen, partisen, pedestrien, pelican, republican, Romen, rowen, ruffien, slogan, suburben, tarten, toucan, turben, urben, utopien, vegetarien, vetteren, woman.|
Bargan, capten, serten, founten, mounten, porcelen, villen.
Aspirin, basin, bulletin, cabin, catkin, coffin, cousin, dolphin, gherkin, goblin, javelin, origin, paraffin, penguin, pumpkin, raisin, robin, satin, sequin, tarpaulin, urchin, vermin.
-ence/-ance – (commence / ambulance) – [33 – 26]:
With –ence: Absence, adolescence, circumference, commence, competence, conference, confidence, consequence, difference, essence, evidence, existence, experience, independence, indifference, influence, innocence, insolence, intelligence, interference, licence, occurrence, offence, presence, providence, reference, science, sentence, sequence, silence, violence, conscience, patience.
|Abundance, acceptance, accordance, alliance, allowance, ambulance, appearance, appliance, assurance, balance, distance, endurance, finance, fragrance, guidance, ignorance, importance, instance, insurance, maintenance, nuisance, performance, resistance, substance, vengeance, significance,||Abundence, acceptence, acordence, alience, alowence, ambulence, apeerence, aplience, ashurence, ballence, distence, endurence, finence, fragrence, guidence, ignorence, importence, instence, inshurence, maintenence, nusence, performence, resistence, substence, vengence, significance,|
-ent / -ant – (competent/ protestant) – [107 – 35]
|Assistant, brilliant, covenant, defiant, distant, elephant, fragrant, gallant, giant, ignorant, important, infant, instant, jubilant, lieutenant(UK/US differences) merchant, pageant, peasant, pheasant, pleasant, protestant, relevant, remnant, restaurant, sergeant, sextant, truant, tyrant, valiant, warrant.|
Applicant, descant, significant, vacant. Extravagant,
|Assistent, brillient, covvenent, defient, distent, ellefent, fragrent, gallent, gient, ignorent, importent, infent, instent, jubilent, lieutenant, merchent, padgent, pezzent, fezzent, plezzent, protestent, rellevent, remnent, restaurant, sergent, sextent, truent, tirent, valient, worrent.|
Applicant, descant, significant, vacant. Extravagant,
-er /-or /-our… – (after, actor, nectar, armour; butcher, culture) – [315 – 170]
In US English 7 words which have –re endings in the UK have already been modernised.
Additionally, 18 British –our endings have been shortened to –or (labour – labor) in US, but these still need to be learned as exceptions from the –er pattern, just like the other 75 words which end in –or.
|Centre, fibre, ogre, sabre, theatre, kilometre (UK) Metre/meter (UK) With -or in US, -our in UK: Armour, behaviour, colour, favour, flavour, glamour, harbour, honour, humour, labour, neighbour, odour, parlour, rumour, saviour, savour, splendour, tumour.||Center, fiber, oger, saber, theater, kilometre (US) Meter (US) Armer, behavier, culler, faver, flaver, glammer, harber, onner, humer, laber, naber, oder, parler, rumer, savier, saver, splender, tumer.|
|Actor, advisor, alligator, ambassador, ancestor, anchor, assessor, author, boaconstrictor, calculator, castor, conductor, conveyor, corridor, decorator, demonstrator, director, doctor, editor, elevator, emperor, equator, error, escalator, factor, gladiator, governor, indicator, interior, inventor, investor, junior, juror, legislator, liquor, major, manor, mayor, minor, mirror, monitor, motor, navigator, operator, orator, prior, professor, proprietor, radiator, razor, rector, refrigerator, respirator, rotor, scissors, senator, senior, sensors, solicitor, spectator, sponsor, successor, superior, supervisor, surveyor, survivor, tailor, tenor, terror, tractor, traitor, tutor, victor, visitor, warrior. Angular, burglar, caterpillar, cellar, circular, collar, dollar, familiar, rammar, jaguar, liar, lunar, muscular, nectar, particular, peculiar, pillar, polar, poplar, popular, regular, scholar, secular, similar, solar, spectacular, sugar, vicar, vulgar. Answer, chauffeur, jodhpurs, martyr. Conjure, exposure, injure, leisure, measure, pleasure, treasure, procedure. Adventure, agriculture, architecture, capture, caricature, creature, culture, departure, expenditure, feature, fracture, furniture, future, gesture, lecture, legislature, literature, manufacture, miniature, mixture, nature, picture, puncture, scripture, signature, structure, temperature, torture, venture, vulture. In UK English the –a ending in the following 64 words is pronounced much like an –er one too.|
Algebra, antenna, area, arena, armada, asthma, banana, cafeteria, camera, capita, china, cinema, cobra, dahlia, data, dilemma, diploma, drama, era, extra, formula, gala, gondola, gorilla, gymkhana, hydrangea, hyena, idea, larva, lava, llama, malaria, militia, nebula, opera, orchestra, panda, panorama, peninsula, piazza, piranha, pizza, pneumonia, propaganda, pupa, quota, regatta, replica, soda, sofa, stigma, tarantula, tiara, tuba, tundra, umbrella, utopia, vanilla, veranda, via, villa, yoga, zebra. Cheetah.
|Acter, adviser, alligater, ambassader, ancester, anker, assesser, auther, boaconstricter, calculater, caster, conducter, convayer, corrider, decorater, demonstrater, directer, docter, editer, ellevater, emperer, equater, errer, escalater, facter, gladiater, governer, indicater, inteerier, inventer, invester, junier, jurer, legislater, licker, majer, manner, mayer, miner, mirrer, monniter, moter, navvigater, opperater, orrater, prier, professer, proprieter, radiater, razer, recter, refrigerater, respirater, roter, sizzers, sennater, seenier, sensers, solissiter, spectater, sponser, suxesser, superier, superviser, survayer, surviver, tailer, tenner, terrer, tracter, traiter, tuter, victer, visiter, worrier. Anguler, burgler, catterpiller, celler, circuler, coller, doller, famillier, grammer, jaguer, lier, luner, musculer, necter, partickuler, peculier, piller, poler, popler, poppuler, regguler, scoller, seckuler, simmiler, soler, spectackuler, shugger, vicker, vulger. Anser, shofer, joppers, marter. Conjer, exposure, injer, lesure, mesure, plesure, tresure, proceedure. Cf: Butcher, catcher, pitcher. Advencher, agriculcher, architeccher, capcher, carricacher, creecher, culcher, deparcher, expendicher, feecher, fraccher, furnicher, fucher, jescher, leccher, legislacher, litteracher, manufaccher, miniacher, mixcher, nacher, piccher, punccher, scripcher, signacher, struccher, temperacher, torcher, vencher, vulcher. Respelling them with –er would not suit US English and would seem odd in UK English too, e.g. algebrer, antenner, airer, armader… They had probably best remain irregular for another few centuries.|
De– / di- – (devise, divide) – as unstressed prefix – ( 56 de-, 28 di-):
|Dictate, diffusion, dilapidated, dilemma, diploma, diplomatic, disappear, disaster, discharge, disciple, discover, discuss, disease, disguise, disgust, dismantle, dismay, displace, display, dispose, dispute, distinct, distribute, disturb, divide, divine, divorce.||Dectate, defusion, delappidated, delemma, deploma, deplomatic, desapeer, desaster, descharge, deciple, descover, descuss, deseese, desguise, desgust, desmantle, desmay, desplace, desplay, despose, despute, destinct, destribute, , desturb, devide, devine, devorce.|
decide (decision, decisive), deciduous, decipher, declare, decline, deduct, defeat, defect, defend, defiant, define, degree, delay, delicious, delight, deliver, demand, democratic, demolish, deny, depart, department, depend, deport, deposit, depress, derive, descend, describe, deserve, design, despair, despatch, despise, despite, destination, destroy, detach, detain, detect, detention, detergent, determine, detest, devalue, develop, devise, devote, devour.
In– / en– – (increase, enquire) – [73 – 30]
Some people make an effort to pronounce the unstressed en– prefix as en– rather than in-, but in most people’s normal speech they sound the same: infect, enforce, inject, enjoy, intrude, entertain…
|Enable, enamel, encamp, enchant, encircle, enclose, encounter, encourage, encrusted, endanger, endeavour, endure, engage, enforce, engrave, engulf, enjoy, enlarge, enlist, enquire, enrage, enrol, entangle, entertain, enthusiastic, entire, entitled, environment.||Inable, inammel, incamp, inchant, insircle, inclose, incounter, incourage, incrusted, indanger, indevvour, indure, ingage, inforce, ingrave, ingulf, injoy, inlarge, inlist, inquire, inrage, inrol, intangle, intertain, inthusiastic, intire, intitled, invironment.|
3) Irregularly doubled consonants
When the 226 one-syllable words in the box below
|Bag, bat, can, cap, cat, chat, clam, clan, clap, crab, dab, dam, drab, drag, fad, fan, fat, flap, flat, gag, glad, grab, ham, hat, scrap, scan, sap, sag, sad, rat, rap, ram, plan, pat, pan , pad, nag, mat, map, mad, lap, lag, jam, jab, slam, slap, snap, span, stab, strap, tag, tan, tap, trap, wag, wrap, yap, zap, bed, beg, bet, fret, get, hem, jet, leg, let, net, peg, pen, red, set, stem, step, trek, vet, web, wet, bid, big, bin, bit, brim, chip, clip, crib, dig, dim, dip, drip, fit, flip, flit, grim, grin, grip, grit, hip, hit, jig, kid, lid, lip, pig, pin, pip, quit, quiz, rib, rid, rig, rim, rip, shin, ship, sin, sit, skid, skim, skin, skip, slim, slip, slit, snip, spin, spit, split, strip, swim, thin, tin, tip, trim, trip, twig, twin, whiz, win, wit, zip, blot, bob, bog, chop, cop, crop, dog, don, dot, drop, flog, flop, fog, grog, hog, hop, hot, job, jog, jot, knot, lob, log, lop, mob, mop, nod, plod, plot, pod, pot, prod, prop, rob, rot, shop, slog, snob, sob, spot, stop, throb, top, tot, trot, but, club, cub, cup, cut, drug, drum, fun, glum, grub, gun, hug, hum, jug, jut, lug, mud, mug, nut, plug, plum, run, scrub, shrub, shrug, shun, shut, slug, slum, strum, strut, stud, stun, sum, sun, thud, thug, tug, up.|
are made longer with suffixes like –ed, -er, –ing or –y, their last consonant gets doubled
to show that their vowel is short rather than long:
batted, batting, bitty – bated, bating, biting.
At least 503 root words of more than one syllable (listed at the end of this section) also have doubled consonants (or ck, dg) to show that their main vowel is short rather than long:
e.g. fatten, teddy, dinner, popper, supper, pocket, fridge –
cf. fatal, tedious, diner, pope, super, poker, oblige.
But in the 7,000 most used English words which I examined
575 words are without doubling (habit, study – c.f. rabbit, muddy) and
219 wordshave needlessly doubled consonants (e.g. arrive – cf. arise).
This makes English consonant doubling almost completely unsystematic.
Of the 575 words of more than one syllable which do not indicate their short, stressed vowels:
328 have no other irregularities apart from their undoubled consonants
(e.g. body, copy, study – cf. shoddy, poppy, muddy),
73 do not use ck, dg, ss and zz
(e.g. placard, agile, acid, scissors – c.f. packet, badger, massive, blizzard) and 174 words have assorted other irregularities as well
(e.g. women, foreign – cf. swimmer; sorry, flatten).
328 words which merely lack consonant doubling:
|ability, abolish, abominable, academic, academy, agony, aluminium, America, animal, apologise, aquatic, Arab, arable, arid, asparagus, astonish, astrology, astronomy, athletic, atom, atomic, authority, avenue, average, banish, banister, barometer, baton, benefit, bilious, body, botany, brigand, British, cabin, cabinet, calamity, camera, canopy, capita, capital, caramel, caravan, carol, catapult, category, cavalry, cavern, cavity, chariot, charity, cherish, clarity, clever, clinical, colony, comedy, comet, comic, comparison, conifer, conspiracy, continue, copy, coral, credit, criminal, critic, critical, damage, deciduous, dedicate, delicacy, deliver, deluge, democrat, demolish, deputy, derelict, develop, devil, dilapidated, diplomatic, distribute, dominate, domino, dragon, drivel, driven, economic, economy, edit, educate, electronic, element, eleven, eligible, eliminate, emerald, emigrate, empirical, enamel, enemy, energy, epic, epidemic, episode, equivalent, ever, evidence, experiment, fabulous, facilities, family, famished, federal, felon, finish, flagon, florist, forest, galaxy, garage(UK), given, glamour, granary, gratitude, gravity, habit, havoc, hazard, helicopter, herald, heritage, heroin, heron, hexagonal, hideous, historic, holiday, horoscope, hovel, hover, idiot, image, inhabit, inherent, inherited, italic, jaguar, January, javelin, lateral, latitude, lavender, lemon, leper, liberal, liberty, lily, limit, linear, literal, literary, lizard, lozenge, madam, magnetic, magnificent, majority, manage, manual, manuscript, mathematics, medal, medical, melody, melon, memorise, memory, menu, merit, metal, metropolitan, military, mineral, minimal, minimum, minister, minority, miracle, modern, modest, monitor, monotonous, monument, moral, morality, navigate, nebula, never, numerical, obliterate, opera, operate, opinion, orange, organic, origin, Pacific, palace, panic, parasol, parish, pathetic, pelican, penalty, penetrate, peril, periscope, perish, petal, pity, planet, platinum, poetic, policy, polish, political, politics, popular, popularity, poverty, preliminary, premier, primarily, priority, privilege, probability, probable, product, profit, prohibit, prominent, proper, property, prosecute, proverb, providence, punish, quiver, radical, radish, rapid, ravenous, reality, reference, refuge, relic, remedy, reverend, ridicule, river, rivet, robin, salad, salary, salon, satin, saturate, Saturn, savage, scavenge, semi, seven, shiver, shrivel, significant, sincerity, sinister, skeleton, snivel, solid, solitary, spaniel, specific, spinach, spirit, static, sterilise, strategy, strenuous, study, supersonic, talent, talon, tapestry, telescope, television, tepid, tetanus, theology, therapist, thermometer, timid, tolerate, tonic, topic, transparent, tribute, tropics, valentine, valid, value, vanish, ventriloquist, very, video, vigorous, vinegar, vitality, volume, voluntary, vomit, wagon, wizard, wizened, yeti.||abillity, abollish, abomminable, academmic, acaddemy, aggony, aluminnium, Amerrica, annimal, apollogise, aquattic, Arrab, arrable, arrid, asparragus, astonnish, astrollogy, astronnomy, athlettic, attom, atommic, authorrity, avvenue, avverage, bannish, bannister, barommeter, batton, bennefit, billious, boddy, bottany, briggand, Brittish, cabbin, cabbinet, calammity, cammera, cannopy, cappita, cappital, carramel, carravan, carrol, cattapult, cattegory, cavvalry, cavvern, cavvity, charriot, charrity, cherrish, clarrity, clevver, clinnical, collony, commedy, commet, commic, comparrison, connifer, conspirracy, continnue, coppy, corral, creddit, crimminal, crittic, crittical, dammage, decidduous, deddicate, dellicacy, delivver, delluge, demmocrat, demollish, depputy, derrelict, devellop, devvil, dilappidated, diplomattic, distribbute, domminate, dommino, draggon, drivvel, drivven, econommic, econnomy, eddit, edducate, electronnic, ellement, elevven, elligible, elimminate, emmerald, emmigrate, empirrical, enammel, ennemy, ennergy, eppic, epidemmic, eppisode, equivvalent, evver, evvidence, experriment, fabbulous, facillities, fammily, fammished, fedderal, fellon, finnish, flaggon, florrist, forrest, gallaxy, garrage(UK), givven, glammour, grannary, grattitude, gravvity, habbit, havvoc, hazzard, hellicopter, herrald, herritage, herroin, herron, hexaggonal, hiddeous, historric, holliday, horroscope, hovvel, hovver, iddiot, immage, inhabbit, inherrent, inherrited, itallic, jagguar, Jannuary, javvelin, latteral, lattitude, lavvender, lemmon, lepper, libberal, libberty, lilly, limmit, linnear, litteral, litterary, lizzard, lozzenge, maddam, magnettic, magnifficent, majorrity, mannage, mannual, mannuscript, mathemattics, meddal, meddical, mellody, mellon, memmorise, memmory, mennu, merrit, mettal, metropollitan, millitary, minneral, minnimal, minnimum, minnister, minorrity, mirracle, moddern, moddest, monnitor, monottonous, monnument, morral, morallity, navvigate, nebbula, nevver, numerrical, oblitterate, oppera, opperate, opinnion, orrange, organnic, orrigin, Paciffic, pallace, pannic, parrasol, parrish, pathettic, pellican, pennalty, pennetrate, perril, perriscope, perrish, pettal, pitty, plannet, plattinum, poettic, pollicy, pollish, polittical, pollitics, poppular, popularrity, povverty, prelimminary, premmier, primarrily, priorrity, privvilege, probabillity, probbable, prodduct, proffit, prohibbit, promminent, propper, propperty, prossecute, provverb, provvidence, punnish, quivver, raddical, raddish, rappid, ravvenous, reallity, refference, reffuge, rellic, remmedy, revverend, riddicule, rivver, rivvet, robbin, sallad, sallary, sallon, sattin, satturate, Satturn, savvage, scavvenge, semmi, sevven, shivver, shrivvel, signifficant, incerrity, sinnister, skelleton, snivvel, sollid, sollitary, spanniel, speciffic, spinnach, spirrit, stattic, sterrilise, strattegy, strennuous, studdy, supersonnic, tallent, tallon, tappestry, tellescope, tellevision, teppid, tettanus, theollogy, therrapist, thermommeter, timmid, tollerate, tonnic, toppic, transparrent, tribbute, troppics, vallentine, vallid, vallue, vannish, ventrilloquist, verry, viddeo, viggorous, vinnegar, vitallity, vollume, volluntary, vommit, waggon, wizzard, wizzened, yetti.|
73 words do not use ck, dg, ss or zz after their short stressed vowel
– unlike ‘beckon, badger, passive, buzzard’.
|crocodile, decade, decorate, document, executive, faculty, placard, recognise, recordx2, ridiculous, secondx2, secondary, secular, vacuum, broccoli, hiccup, occupy, piccolo, succulent, tobacco, echo, mechanism, chequered, lacquer, liquor, liquorice, agile, digit, exaggerate, frigid, legend, legislate, logic, magic, original, refrigerate, regiment, register, rigid, tragic, vegetable, acid, anticipate, capacity, decimal, electricity, explicit, glacier(UK), municipal, pacifist, participate, precipice, publicity, simplicity, specimen, velocity, adolescent, convalescent, crescent, fascinate, closet, deposit, desert, hesitate, miserable, positive, presence, present, president, prison, resident, risen, visit.||crockodile, deckade, deckorate, dockument, execkutive, fackulty, plackard, reckognise, reckord(n), record(v), ridickulous, seckond(n),second(v), seckondary, seckular, vackuum, brockoly, hickup, ockupye, pickolo, suckulent, tobacko, ecko, meckanism, checkered, lacker, lickor, lickorish, adgile, didgit, exadgerate, fridgid, ledgend, ledgislate, lodgic, madgic, oridginal, refridgerate, redgiment, redgister, ridgid, tradgic, vedgetable, assid, antissipate, capassity, dessimal, electrissity, explissit, glassier(UK), munissipal, passifist, partissipate, pressipice, publissity, simplissity, spessimen, velossity, adolessent, convalessent, cressent, fassinate, clozzet, depozzit, dezzert, hezzitate, mizzerable, pozzitive, prezzence, prezzent, prezzident, prizzon, rezzident, rizzen, vizzit.|
55 words are without doubled consonants after irregularly spelt short vowels
|heaven, heavy, jealous, meadow, ready, (already), steady, threaten, weapon, zealous, peasant, pheasant, pleasant, jeopardy, leopard, any, many, berry/bury, burial, heifer, colour(UK)/color(US), courage, cousin, covenant, cover, covet, dozen, flourish, govern, honey, money, monetary, nourish, onion, oven, shovel, slovenly, stomach, somersault, thorough, chrysalis, cylinder, cynical, synagogue, synonym, syrup, lyric, tyranny, typical, physics, physical, busy, women, laurel, sausage||hevven, hevvy, jellous, meddow, reddy (alreddy), steddy, thretten, weppon, zellous, pezzent, fezzent, plezzent, jeppardy, leppard, enny, menny, berry, berrial, heffer, culler, currage, cuzzen, cuvvenant, cuvver, cuvvet, duzzen, flurrish, guvvern, hunny, munny, munnetary, nurrish, unnion, uvven, shuvvle, sluvvenly, stummac, summersault, thurru, chrissalis, cillinder, cinnical, sinnagog, sinnonim, sirrup, lirric, tirrany, tippical, fizzics, fizzical, bizzy, wimmen, lorrel, sossage|
34 words do not have doubling in endings, as in ‘apple, little, etc.’
|couple, double, trouble, apostle, bristle, bustle, camel, chapel, chisel, drivel, enamel, gravel, gristle, grovel, hovel, hustle, jostle, level, model, muscle/mussel, novel, panel, rustle, shrivel, snivel, subtle, swivel, thistle, travel, treble, trestle, triple, whistle, wrestle||cupple, dubble, trubble, apossle, brissle, bussle, cammle, chapple, chizzle, drivvle, enammle, gravvle, grissle, grovvle, hovvle, hussle, jossle, levvle, moddle, mussle, novvle, pannle, russle, shrivvle, snivvle, suttle, swivvle, thissle, travvle, trebble, tressle, tripple, wissle, ressle|
85 words have assorted additional irregularities:
|adequate, comparative, feminine, frigate, heroine, minute(x2), negative, olive, palate/palette/pallet, primitive, relative, senate, amateur, camouflage, catalogue, cemetery, column, foreign, honest, honour, monarch, monastery, shadow, sheriff, scissors, solemn, widow, premise, promise, menace, novice, analysis, anonymous, anorak, beret, cabaret, café, chalet, calendar, caterpillar, chemical, chemistry, civil,dynamic, elephant, endeavour, laminate(x2), lieutenant, moderate(x2), pacify, platypus, plumber, polythene, qualify, quality, quarantine, rebel(x2), refuse(x2), regular, salmon, Saturday, separate(x2), similar, simile, sugar, tenor/tenner, valiant, venison, verify, camel, chapel, model, panel, subtle, gravel, grovel, level, novel, swivel, travel, detach||addequat, comparrativ, femminin, friggat, herroin, minnit(n,v), minute(adj) neggativ, olliv, pallet, primmitiv, rellativ, sennat, ammatur, cammuflage, cattalog, semmetry, collum, forren, onnest, onner, monnark, monnastry, shaddo, sherrif, sizzers, sollem, widdo, premmis, prommis, mennis, novvis, anallisis, anonnimous, annorac, berray, cabbaray, caffay, challay, callender, catterpiler, kemmical, kemmistry, sivvil,dinammic, ellefent, endevver, lamminate(v), lamminat(adj), leftennent(UK), lutennent(US), modderate(vb), modderat(adj) passifye, plattipus, plummer, pollytheen, quollifye, quollity, quarranteen, rebble(n), rebel(vb), reffuse (n), refuse(vb), regguler, sammon, Satterday, sepparate(vb), sepparat(adj), simmiler, simmily, shugger, tenner, vallient, vennisen, verrifye, cammle, chapple, moddle, pannle, suttle, gravvle, grovvle, levvle, novvle, swivvle, travvle, detatch (cf dispatch)|
219 words have surplus consonant doubling – not after a short, stressed vowel.
Some of them have other irregularities as well (affectionate, excellent), including missing doubling (satellite).
|abbreviate, accompany, accomplish, accord, accordance, accordion, account, accrue, accumulate, accuse, accustom, occur, occurrence, cockerel, cocktail, mackerel, add/ad, odd, address(uk), affair, affect, affection, affectionate, affluent, afford, chauffeur, differential, diffusion, effect, efficient, effluent, effusive, giraffe, graffiti, offence, offend, offensive, official, officious, paraffin, sheriff, sufficient, aggravate, aggressive, egg, alliance, allotment, allow, allowance, allowed/aloud, ballistic, balloon, bull, bulldoze, cell/sell, collage, collapse, collect, collection, collide, constellation, controlled, excellent, hello, illegal, illegible, illiterate, illuminate, illusion, illustration, installation, intellectual, jewellery, llama, marvellous, parallel, pastille, roller, satellite, swollen, tonsillitis, traveller(UK), wholly, accommodation, ammunition, command, commemorate, commence, commission, commit, commodities, commotion, communication, communion, community, commuter, immaculate, immediate, immense, immersion, immortal, immune, programme, programmer, recommend, anniversary, announce, annoy, annul, connect, Finn/fin, inn, mayonnaise, personnel, questionnaire, savannah, tyranny, appal, apparatus, apparent, appendix, applaud, applause, appliance, apply, appoint, appreciate, apprehensive, apprentice, approach, appropriate(adj), appropriate(vb), approve, approximate(adj), approximate(vb), hippopotamus, opportunity, oppose, sapphire, supply, support, suppose, arrange, array, arrest, arrive, barricade, correct, correlation, correspond, curriculum, err, erratic, hurrah, interrupt, irregular, irrigation, purr, serrated, surrender, surreptitious, surround, terrific, torrential, verruca, abscess, assail, assassin, assassinate, assault, assemble, assert, assessment, assessor, assign, assist, assistant, associate(n), associate(vb), assort, assume, cassette, compass, congress, cypress, dessert, embassy, essential, fission, fortress, gross, guess, harness, lasso, mattress, moose/mousse, necessarily, necessary, possess, possessive, possibility, recess, witness, attach, attack, attain, attempt, attend, attention, attorney, attract, attribute, battalion, butt/but, cigarette, omelette, palette, silhouette, pizza||abreeviate, acumpany, acumplish, acord, acordence, acordion, acount, acrue, acumulate, acuse, acustom, ocurr, ocurrence, cocrel, coctail, macrle, ad, od, adress(uk), afair, afect, afection, afectionat, afluent, aford, shofer, diferential, difusion, efect, eficient, efluent, efusiv, giraf, grafeety, ofence, ofend, ofensiv, oficial, oficious, parrafin, sherrif, suficient, agravate, agressiv, eg, aliance, alotment, alow, alowence, aloud, balistic, baloon, bul, buldoze, sel, colage, colapse, colect, colection, colide, constelation, controled, exelent, helo, ileegal, iledgible, ilitterat, iluminate, ilusion, ilustration, instalation, intelectual, jewelry, lama, marvelous, parralel, pastil, roler, sattelite, swolen, toncilitis, travvler(UK), holy, acomodation, amunition, comand, comemmorate, comence, comission, comit, comoddities, comotion, comunication, comunion, comunity, comuter, imackulat, imeediat, imence, imersion, imortal, imune, program, programer, recomend, aniversary, anounce, anoy, anull, conect, Fin/fin, in, mayonaise, personell, questionair, savanna, tirrany, apaul, aparatus, aparrent, apendix, aplaud, aplause, aplience, aplye, apoint, apreeciate, aprehensiv, aprentice, aproach, apropriat(adj), apropriate(vb), aproove, aproximat(adj), aproximate(vb), hipopottamus, oportunity, opose, saffire, suplye, suport, supose, arainge, aray, arest, arive, baricade, corect, corelation, corespond, curickulum, er,erattic, hurah, interupt, iregguler, irigation, pur, serated, surender, sureptitious, suround, teriffic, torential, verooca, abces, asail, asassin, asassinate, asault, asemble, asert, asesment, asessor, asine, asist, asistent, asociat(n), asociate(vb), asort, asume, caset, cumpas, congres, siperes, desert, embacy, esential, fision, fortres, groce, ges, harnes, lasoo, matres, mooce, necesarrily, nessesary, posess, posessiv, posibillity, reeces, witnes, atatch, atack, atain, atempt, atend, atention, atorny, atract, atribute,batallion, but, sigaret, omlet, palet, silooet, peetsa|
In addition to the above, several dozen words have needlessly doubled -ff, -ll, -ss (puff, well, fuss
at the end of short words. They have many exceptions (if, us, rough, yes) and can also be confusing
(doll – roll – stole, shall – call – crawl).
503 words have systematic consonant doubling, or –ck and –dg,
after their short, stressed vowels:
|Adder, admission, allergy, alley, alligator, allocate, ally, ambassador, ammonite, annual, antenna, appetite, armadillo, arrow, artillery, asset, assurance, assure, attic, attitude, badger, baggage, ballast, ballet, ballot, banner, barren, barrier, barrister, barrow, batter, battery, beckon, beggar, bellow, belly, berry/bury, better, bicker, billiard, billion, billow, billy, bitten, bitter, bivvy, blizzard, blossom, bonnet, borrow, bottom, bracken, bracket, brilliant, bucket, budget, buffalo, buffer, buffet, bullet, bulletin, bullion, bully, bunny, burrow, butter, button, buzzard, cabbage, caddy, cannot, carrot, carry, casserole, cellar/seller, cello, cellophane, challenge, chatter, chicken, chivvy, chubby, chuffed, civvy, clammy, classic, clatter, clutter, cockroach, coffin, collar, college, colliery, colossal, comment, commentary, commerce, common, communism, communist, confetti, copper, coppice, corridor, cottage, cotton, cricket, crockery, cuckoo, current, daddy, daffodil, delicatessen, different, difficult, diffident, dilemma, dinner, divvy, dizzy, dodgems, dodgy, dollar, drudgery, dummy, eddy, effigy, effort, emission, error, essay, essence, fatty, fatty, fellow, finish/Finnish, fledgling, flicker, flipper, follow, forgotten, fossil, frilly, furrowed, furry, gallant, gallery, gallon, gallop, gallows, garret, giddy, glimmer, glitter, gorilla, gossip, grammar, granny, gutter, halfpenny, hammer, happen, happy, herring, hidden, hobby, hollow, holly, horrible, horror, hullabaloo, hurricane, hurry, illustrate, inflammable, inner, innocence, innocent, intelligent, irritable, issue, jabber, jacket, jagged, jelly, jettison, jetty, jiffy, jockey, jolly, kipper, kitten, ladder, latter, lesson/lessen, letter, lettuce, litter, Lizzy, lobby, locket, lollipop, lolly, lorry, lottery, luggage, lullaby, maggot, mallet, mammal, mammoth, manner/manor, marrow, marry, massacre, matter, merry, message, midget, milligrams, million, millipede, mirror, missile, mission, mitten, mollusc, motto, mummy, mutter, mutton, nanny, nappy, narcissus, narrow, navvy, necessity, necklace, nugget, offer, office, omission, otter, package, packet, pannier, parrot, passage, passenger, patter, pattern, pellet, pennant, penny, pepper, permissible, permission, pillar, pillow, pinnacle, pocket, podgy, pollen, pollinate, poppy, possible, potter, pottery, pretty, professor, pudding, pullover, punnet, puppet, puppy, pussyx2, putty, quarry, rabbit, racket, rally, rebellion, reckon, regatta, ribbon, rickety, ridden, rissole, robbery, rocket, rocky, rubber, rubbish, rudder, ruffian, rugged, rummage, Sabbath, savvy, scaffold, scatter, scraggy, scurry, sellotape, shabby, shallow, shatter, sherry, shoddy, shudder, shutter, silly, simmer, sitter, skipper, skivvy, slipper, sloppy, snigger, socket, sodden, soggy, sonnet, sorrow, sorry, spaghetti, spanner, sparrow, spinnaker, splutter, stagger, stallion, stammer, sticky, stirrup, stocking, stubborn, stubby, stutter, sucker, sudden, suffer, suffocate, suggest, sullen, summary/summery, summer, summit, summon, supper, swagger, swallow, syllable, symmetry, tatter, teddy, tennis, terrace, terrible, territory, terror, ticket, tissue, titter, tomorrow, torrent, traffic, transmission, trellis, trigger, tummy, turret, twitter, umbrella, uncanny, upper, utter, vanilla, villa, village, villain, wallaby, wallet, wallop, wallow, warrant, warren, warrior, watt, wedding, whirring, wicked, wicker, wicket, willow, worry, yellow. Abbey, barrack, bullock, embarrass, excessive, fissure, guerrilla, guillotine, hockey, massive, narrative, opposite, porridge, pressure, progressive, pulley, savannah, trolley, valley, volley, written.|
86 words with –ccle endings (a short vowel followed by doubled consonants and –le).
|Apple, babble, baffle, battle, bottle, bubble, buckle, cackle, cattle, chuckle, cobble, crackle, cripple, cuddle, dabble, dappled, dazzle, dribble, drizzle, fickle, fiddle, gabble, giggle, gobble, goggle, grapple, grizzle, guzzle, hassle, hobble, huddle, juggle, kettle, little, meddle, middle, muddle, muffle, muzzle, nettle, nibble, nozzle, nuzzle, paddle, pebble, peddle, pickle, pineapple, prickle, puddle, puzzle, quibble, raffle, rattle, riddle, ripple, rubble, ruffle, saddle, scribble, scuttle, settle, shuffle, sizzle, skittle, smuggle, sniffle, snuffle, snuggle, speckle, straggle, struggle, suckle, supple, tackle, throttle, tickle, tipple, toddle, topple, trickle, tussle, twiddle, wiggle, wobble.|