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The “able” Spelling Rule

The "able" or "ible" Rule

The “able” or “ible” Spelling Rule

“able” Spellings


Common Core Language Standard: L.8.2c*

Pre-teaching: The “able” and “ible” suffixes are frequently confused by spellers. Both suffixes generally sound the same with the vowel taking the nasal short /ŭ/ schwa sound.

Definitions and Examples: End a word with “able” if the root before has a hard /c/ or /g/ sound (despicable, navigable), after a complete root word (teachable), or after a silent e (likeable).

Of course… What would a spelling rule be without a few exceptions?

collapsible, contemptible, irresistible, memorable, portable, probable, capable

Spelling Rule Song: (to the tune of “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt”)

Base words add “able” to the end,

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,

As do word parts,

That’s my name, too.

That end in silent e

Whenever we go out-

Or with hard c or g

The people always shout,

But for all others add “i-b-l-e”.

Saying, “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.”

Check out the spelling song: The “able” or “ible” Spelling Rule

Practice: What’s right and what’s wrong according to the rule? Every applicable rule has been applied to eligable and agreeable citizens. The changable nature of our laws can be frustrating.

Formative Assessment Dictation: His likeable and huggable granddaughter felt comfortable in his home and invincible on the volleyball court.

Related Language Standards: The Vulgar “a” Spelling

*Suggested Grade Level

A Model Grades 4-8 Spelling Scope and Sequence

Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4-8

Differentiated Spelling Instruction

Preview the Grades 4-8 Spelling Scope and Sequence tied to the author’s comprehensive grades 4-8 Language Strand programs. The instructional scope and sequence includes grammar, usage, mechanics, spelling, and vocabulary. Teachers and district personnel are authorized to print and share this planning tool, with proper credit and/or citation. Why reinvent the wheel? Also check out my articles on Grammar Scope and Sequence, Mechanics Scope and Sequence, and Vocabulary Scope and Sequence.

FREE DOWNLOAD TO ASSESS THE QUALITY OF PENNINGTON PUBLISHING AMERICAN ENGLISH AND CANDADIAN ENGLISH SPELLING PROGRAMS. Check out these grades 4-8 programs HERE. Administer my FREE comprehensive Diagnostic Spelling Assessment with audio file and recording matrix. It has 102 words (I did say comprehensive) and covers all common spelling patterns and conventional spelling rules. It only takes 22 minutes and includes an audio file with test administration instructions. Once you see the gaps in your middle school students spelling patterns, you’re going to want to fill those gaps.

Get the Diagnostic Spelling Assessment, Mastery Matrix, and Sample Lessons FREE Resource:


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