English spelling · Uncategorized

If You Have a Problem with Spelling: Try this Easy Spelling Programme (Part 2) – Words with Magic E

forever young2

Minyoung Choi

In the first part of this no sweat 10-new-words-per-week spelling course we learned how to spell vowels in closed syllables. You can refresh your memory here.

Now we’ll study words that have syllables with open vowels. The Magic E rule is an important rule in English.

Why is it called Magic? Well, sorry to disappoint you. There is nothing magic in English actually, except in the hands of skilful poets and writers, or when you listen to the likes of Celine Dion or whoever singer you think is great.

The “magic” is that an e at the end of the word changes the sound of the vowel that comes before it.

You can read more about Magic E here.

Here’s a short review:

I can have a word that looks like this:

can

The a in can is said like the a in cat.

Now I add an e to the word:

cane.

The a in cane is said like the letter A in the alphabet.

 

This works similarly with all the vowels (a, i, e, u and o).

So the i in pine is said like the letter I in the alphabet.

The e in gene is said like the letter E in the alphabet.

The u in dune is said like the letter U in the alphabet.

The o in rose is said like the letter O in the alphabet.

Why is this important for spelling?

Well, if you hear a vowel sound A that sounds like the letter A in the alphabet, in many cases (not always) you will know that you spell this word with an a and then an e at the end of the word.

Exceptions

There doesn’t always have to be a magic E in the word. The word can also be derived (= it comes from) from the magic E word, but not contain an e. What do I mean? Here is an example.

I know that the word “make” has magic e.

When I want to write “making” I just add –ing. Because of another spelling rule in English I don’t need the e anymore.

So that’s why you will find some words on the word list that don’t show the e in the word.

For example, another word that is on the list is “legal.” I’ve added this although it doesn’t have a magic e. But it does have the E sound like the letter in the alphabet. And you write it with one e. So you could say it behaves like a magic e word.

You’ll find the word list underneath.

As with the first list, you should practice learning this list in the following way: Write the word on a piece of paper (handwriting is better than typing, to train the muscles in your hand – the muscles in your body also have a memory). Look at the word only once, and then write it down from memory. Check whether you’ve written it correctly.

 

Week 6 Words with a that are pronounced as the letter A (Magic E)

1

late

2

safe

3

cane

4

plate

5

flake

6

change

7

whale

8

skater

9

flaming

10

scales
Week 7 Words with i that are pronounced as the letter I (Magic E)

1

like

2

mile

3

fine

4

size

5

rice

6

bribe

7

knife

8

diner

9

hiking

10

spikes
Week 8 Words with o that are pronounced as the letter O (Magic E)

1

rose

2

bone

3

rope

4

hose

5

bloke

6

close

7

prose

8

quoted

9

smoking

10

lonely
Week 9 Words with u that are pronounced as the letter U (Magic E)

1

cute

2

cube

3

huge

4

tune

5

duke

6

fluke

7

tuna

8

brutal

9

tuning

10

funeral
Week 10 Words with e that are pronounced as the letter E (Magic E)

1

gene

2

Zeke

3

meter

4

Peter

5

Steven

6

penis*

7

delete

8

complete

9

legal

10

evening

*don’t giggle too much!

In a few weeks I’ll check back how you’re doing and I’ll give you some new exercises.

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