Some useful spelling rules

Rule 1

When a weak verb ends in a short vowel + consonant, the final consonant is not doubled to form the past tense, unless the accent falls on the last syllable.

Budget – budgeted (NOT budgetted)

  • Offer – offered (NOT offerred)
  • Benefit – benefited (NOT benefitted)


Worship is an exception to this rule. Its past tense is formed by doubling the final consonant.

  • Worship – worshipped (NOT worshiped)

If the accent falls on the last syllable, the consonant is doubled even if the word ends in a short vowel + consonant.

So we have

  • Occur – occurred (NOT Occured)
  • Transfer – transferred (NOT transfered)
  • Begin – beginning (NOT begining)

If the final consonant is ‘l’, it is always doubled.

  • Travel – travelled
  • Level – leveled

Parallel is an exception to this rule. Its past tense is paralleled (NOT parallelled). Nowadays traveled is also considered correct.

Rule 2

Short monosyllables always double their final consonant.

  • Shop – shopping
  • Let – letting

‘ie’ and ‘ei’

The general rule is ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.

  • Examples are: siege, believe, friend
  • But receive, deceive, ceiling etc.

There are several exceptions to this rule.

  • Reign, neighbor, heir, seize, leisure, weird

Dis and mis

Never double the ‘s’ of these prefixes. When a second ‘s’ occurs it is the first letter of the next syllable.

Examples are: dismiss (not dissmiss), misplace (not missplace)

dissent (dis-sent), misspell (mis-spell)

‘us’ and ‘ous’

Nouns end in ‘us’. Adjectives end in ‘ous‘. So we have:

  • Census, genius (nouns)
  • Jealous, tremendous,