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The importance of Spelling in your English tests

The importance of Spelling

As you prepare for the PTE, IELTS, OET, TOEFL or for any other English test, it is key that you understand the importance of spelling while you are writing or typing your answers. 

Here are certain rules that you need to remember to ensure that you ace your spellings:

Rule # 1: ie or ei?

Ooh, this is one of the most common errors that people make while writing. In the PTE, you can view your scores in the Spelling section and that should give you a good measure of how you have fared in your Spelling and other aspects such as your Written Discourse.

REMEMBER: i before e except after c when the sound is ee”

You can watch a more detailed explanation in the video below:

Rule # 2: ie or ei? An extended explanation

What about words like neigh, sleigh, neighbour, eight, etc? Well, look no further, here’s what you need to be aware of.

REMEMBER: “If the sound is ay the spelling is ei”

Rule #3: Prefixes

What is a prefix?

The Oxford Dictionary defines prefix as “A word, letter, or number placed before another” and the meaning is pretty straightforward. So what do you have to remember? Let David explain in the video below:     

REMEMBER: If you add a prefix to a word the spelling does not change even if the last letter of the prefix and the first letter of the word are the same.

Rule # 4: the final e

Why does announce become announcement but if we add the -ing, it becomes announcing?! The letter ‘e’ disappears when you write announcing. Here is the explanation of the rule:

REMEMBER: Keep the final ‘e’ of the base word if adding a suffix beginning with a consonant but if you are adding a suffix beginning with a vowel then remove the ‘e’.

Rule # 5: Words ending with -y

There are two parts to this, when a word has a consonant before the ‘y’ and when the word has a vowel before the ‘y’.

Here are some examples of the scenario “if the word has a consonant before the ‘y’, change the ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add -ed, -er or -es” include:

marry — marries
fly — flier
carry – carried

On the other hand, here are some examples for “if the word has a vowel before the y keep the y when adding -ed or -ing” include:

employ — employed
annoy — annoying

REMEMBER: If the word has a consonant before the y, change the y to i and add -ed, -er or -es AND if the word has a consonant before the y, change the y to i and add -ed, -er or -es.

Rule # 6: Words ending with -o

Hmm, this is an interesting one! Why does potato become potatoes but studio becomes studios?!

You can check out a detailed explanation by Master Tutor David below:

REMEMBER: When forming a plural of a noun ending in o, add -es

Rule # 7: The -shen sound

How do you determine where to use -sion or -tion for a word? Also, music becomes musician which is neither ending with -sion or -tion! So how do you know which suffix needs to be used?

REMEMBER: It’s simple, you will always use -cian for a person and use the other two based on how the root word finishes.

You can subscribe to the E2 Words and Rules channel for more amazing videos to help you with your preparation. If you are looking to take the PTE, IELTS, OET or the TOEFL, sign up for a free trial with E2Language and get access to amazing content TODAY!

Videos made by David and written by Abhi

All Comments 3
  • conceive

  • Florence Heinrich says:

    That’s a great explanation! Although my pronunciation is correct 90% of the time, I often make mistakes in spelling. Just like you describe in this article. And the rules of correct spelling are quite easy to remember.

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