Spelling rules

Spelling rules in English

We know how to write correct spelling but most of the time, we know not the spelling rules which will help you to know the system in English Language in regards to spelling rules. This article is just about some spelling rules which really help you know English better.  These spelling rules are very useful for you.

spelling rules
spelling rules

Usually, Sometimes, we know about mistakes but mostly confused with correction. Just check the below errors in English and ways to correct them properly

daily

(not dayly)

This is an exception to the -y rule.

See ADDING ENDINGS (iii).

dairy or diary?

We buy our cream at a local DAIRY.

Kate writes in her DIARY every day.

dangling participles

See PARTICIPLES.


dashes

Dashes are used widely in informal notes and letters.

(i) A dash can be used to attach an afterthought:

I should love to come – that’s if I can get the time off.

(ii) A dash can replace a colon before a list in informal writing:

The thieves took everything – video, television, cassettes, computer, camera, the lot.

(iii) A dash can precede a summary:

Video, television, cassettes, computer, camera – the thieves took the lot.


(iv) A pair of dashes can be used like a pair of commas or a pair of brackets around a parenthesis:

Geraldine is – as you know – very shy with strangers.

(v) A dash can mark a pause before the climax is reached:

There he was at the foot of the stairs – dead.

(vi) Dashes can indicate hesitation in speech:

I – er – don’t – um – know what – what to say.

(vii) Dashes can indicate missing letters or even missing words where propriety or discretion require it:

c 1 (ship of the desert)

Susan L— comes from Exeter.

He swore softly, ‘ it’.


data (plural) datum (singular)

Strictly speaking, DATA should be used with a plural verb:

The DATA have been collected by research students.

You will, however, increasingly see DATA used with a singular verb and this use has now become acceptable.

The DATA has been collected by research students.

dates

See NUMBERS for a discussion of how to set out dates.


deceased or diseased?

DECEASED means dead.

DISEASED means affected by illness or infection.

deceit

(not -ie)

See EI/IE SPELLING RULE.

deceive

decent or descent?

DECENT means fair, upright, reasonable.

DESCENT means act of coming down, ancestry.


decide

decided, deciding (not decied-)

deciet

Wrong spelling. See DECEIT.

decieve

Wrong spelling. See DECEIVE.

decision

decolletage

(not de-)

decrepit

(not -id)


defective or deficient?

DEFECTIVE means not working properly (a DEFECTIVE machine).

DEFICIENT means lacking something vital (a diet DEFICIENT in vitamin C).

defer

deferred, deferring, deference

See ADDING ENDINGS (iv).

deffinite

Wrong spelling. See DEFINITE.

deficient

See DEFECTIVE OR DEFICIENT?.

definate

Wrong spelling. See DEFINITE.

definite

(not -ff-, not -ate)


definitely

deisel

Wrong spelling. See DIESEL.

delapidated

Wrong spelling. See DILAPIDATED.

delusion

See ALLUSION, DELUSION OR ILLUSION?.

denouement/denouement

Both spellings are correct.


dependant or dependent?

The adjective (meaning reliant) is always -ent.

She is a widow with five DEPENDENT children.

I am absolutely DEPENDENT on a pension.

The noun (meaning someone who is dependent) has traditionally been spelt -ant. However, the American practice of writing either -ant or -ent for the noun has now spread here. Either spelling is now considered correct for the noun but be aware that some conservative readers would consider this slipshod.

She has five DEPENDANTS/DEPENDENTS,

descent

See DECENT OR DESCENT?.


 

describe

(not dis-)

description

(not -scrib-)

desease

Wrong spelling. See DISEASE.

desert or dessert?

A DESERT is sandy.

A DESSERT is a pudding.

desiccated

(not dess-)


desirable

(not desireable)

See ADDING ENDINGS (ii).

desperate

(not desparate)

The word is derived from spes (Latin word for hope). This may help you to remember the in the middle syllable.

dessert

See DESERT OR DESSERT?.

dessiccated

Wrong spelling. See DESICCATED.

destroy

destroyed, destroying (not dis-)

See ADDING ENDINGS (iii).

detached

(not detatched)


deter

deterred, deterring

See ADDING ENDINGS (iv).

deteriorate

(not deteriate, as it is often mispronounced)

deterrent

(not -ant)

develop

developed, developing (not -pp-)

development

(not developement)

device/devise

DEVICE is the noun.

A padlock is an intriguing DEVICE.

DEVISE is the verb.

Try to DEVISE a simple burglar alarm.

diagnosis (singular) diagnoses (plural)

See FOREIGN PLURALS.


diagnosis or prognosis?

DIAGNOSIS is the identification of an illness or a difficulty.

PROGNOSIS is the forecast of its likely development and effects.

diarrhoea

diary (singular) diaries (plural)

See PLURALS (iii).

See DAIRY OR DIARY?.

dictionary (singular) dictionaries (plural) (not -nn-)

See PLURALS (iii).

didn’t

(not did’nt)

See CONTRACTIONS.

diesel

(not deisel)

See EI/IE SPELLING RULE.

dietician/dietitian

Both spellings are correct.

differcult

Wrong spelling. See DIFFICULT.


difference

(not -ance)

different

(not -ant)

different from/to/than

‘Different from’ and ‘different to’ are now both

considered acceptable forms.

My tastes are DIFFERENT FROM yours.

My tastes are DIFFERENT TO yours.

Conservative users would, however, much prefer the preposition ‘from’ and this is widely used in formal contexts.

‘Different than’ is acceptable in American English but is not yet fully acceptable in British English.

difficult

(not differcult, not difficalt)

dilapidated

(not delapidated)

dilemma

This word is often used loosely to mean ‘a problem’.

Strictly speaking it means a difficult choice between two possibilities.

dinghy or dingy?

A DINGHY is a boat (plural – dinghies).

See PLURALS (iii).


DINGY means dull and drab.

dingo (singular) dingoes or dingos (plural)

dining or dinning?

dine + ing = dining (as in dining room)

din + ing = dinning (noise dinning in ears)

See ADDING ENDINGS (i) and (ii).

diphtheria

(not diptheria as it is often mispronounced)

diphthong

(not dipthong as it is often mispronounced)

direct speech

See INVERTED COMMAS.

disagreeable

dis + agree + able

disappear

dis + appear

disappearance

(not -ence)

disappoint

dis + appoint

disapprove

dis + approve

disassociate or dissociate?

Both are correct, but the second is more widely used and approved.

disaster

disastrous

(not disasterous, as it is often mispronounced)

disc or disk?

Use ‘disc’ except when referring to computer disks.


disciple

(not disiple)

discipline

discover or invent?

You DISCOVER something that has been there all the time unknown to you (e.g. a star).

You INVENT something if you create it for the first time (e.g. a time machine).

discreet or discrete?

You are DISCREET if you can keep secrets and behave diplomatically.

Subject areas are DISCRETE if they are quite separate and unrelated.

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