4 spelling rules your spell checker uses

1. Spelling words with "ei" and "ie"

When the sound is a long "e" (as in feed), write "i" before "e", except after "c". After "c" reverse the spelling ("ei"):

After other letters

believe, yield, reprieve

After c

ceiling, perceive, conceit

The problem with this rule is that it works only when "ei"/"ie" sounds like the "ee" in feet. If it has any other sound, you should write "ei" even after letters other than "c":

foreign, vein, freight

2. Spelling final "y" before a suffix

 When a word ends in "y" preceded by a consonant, you should usually change the "y" to "i" before adding the suffix:

curly becomes curlier

party becomes parties

thirty becomes thirties, thirtieth

However, if the suffix already begins with "i", keep the "y" (except before the suffix "-ize"):

thirty becomes thirtyish

fry becomes frying

agony becomes agonize

memory becomes memorize

When the ending "y" is preceded by a vowel ("a" "e" "i" "o" or "u"), "y" does not change to "i":

journey becomes journeying

trolley becomes trolleys

3. Final Silent "e"

If a word ends in a consonant followed by a silent "e", drop the "e" before endings beginning with a vowel, but keep the "e" before endings beginning with a consonant:

engage becomes engaging but engagement

care becomes caring but careful

fate becomes fatal but fateful

scarce becomes scarcity but scarcely



4. Spelling Words with Double Consonants


Double the final consonant before a suffix beginning with a vowel if both of the following are true: the consonant ends a stressed syllable or a one-syllable word, and the consonant is preceded by a single vowel:

drag becomes dragged

wet becomes wetter

occur becomes occurred, occurring

refer becomes referral, referring