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The Silent e Spelling Rule

The silent final at the end of a syllable is a holdover from Middle English. It sometimes serves three purposes.

  1. For one, it usually indicates that the preceding vowel will be a long sound if a single consonant, but not a double consonant, is placed between the vowel and the e. Examples: stove, gazelle
  2. It also ends English words ending in and Examples: pave, argue
  3. Lastly, the final softens the preceding /c/ and /g/ sounds. Examples: nice, cage

    Silent Final e Phonics

    Silent Final e Sound-Spellings

Yes, there are plenty of exceptions which must be memorized. Most of the exceptions are high frequency words. In fact the top 100 non-phonetic words, in terms of frequency, include 8 of them: were, where, there, some, come, gone, sure, lose

However, the single syllable silent final words are not the spelling problem for most students. It’s the multi-syllabic words in which as suffix is added on the ending silent final e that creates the spelling challenges, so that’s what the following spelling rule addresses.

Final Silent e Spelling Rule

Final e Spelling Rule

The Silent e Spelling Rule

Drop the e (have-having) at the end of a syllable if the ending begins with a vowel. Keep the e (close-closely) when the ending begins with a consonant, has a soft /c/ or /g/ sound, then an “able” or “ous” (peaceable, courageous), or if it ends in “ee”, “oe”, or “ye” (freedom, canoeing, eyeing).

Exceptions to the rule: acknowledgment, acreage, argument, awful, duly, judgment, mileage, ninth, noticeable, outrageous, simply, truly, wisdom

Check out the Chant! The Silent e Spelling Rule

Final e Memory Chant

Drop the final e

When adding on an ending

If it starts with a vowel up front.

Keep the final e

When adding on an ending

If it starts with a consonant.

Also keep the e

When you hear soft c or g

Before “able” or “o-u-s”

Mostly keep the e

When the ending is “y-e”,

“e-e”, or even “o-e”. YEO!

The Pennington Publishing Goldmine of Spelling Program FREEBIES

Want a concise list of all eight conventional spelling rules with corresponding songs? Click HERE.

Want a list of the 10 English Accent Rules to help you teach the conventional spelling rules? Click HERE.

Want a list of the 20 Advanced Syllable Rules to help you teach the conventional spelling rules? Click HERE.

Want the 104-word Diagnostic Spelling Assessment with audio file and recording matrix? Click HERE and download at the end of the article.

One great way to practice the rule is with worksheets targeted to the results of the Diagnostic Spelling Assessment. Download the FREE Double the Consonant Spelling Pattern Worksheets at the end of this article to help you check out the quality of Our Pennington Publishing spelling programs. Each worksheet sound-spelling example words, a spelling sort, rhymes or book searches, word jumbles, a short writing application, and a brief formative dictations assessment.

Why waste your time downloading each of these? Buy the grades 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 Differentiated Spelling Instruction and get everything you need to have the best grade-level and remedial spelling program.

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Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4-8

Differentiated Spelling Instruction

I’m Mark Pennington, author of the full-year Differentiated Spelling Instruction programs for grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. The grade-level programs include weekly tests, based upon conventional spelling rules and developmental spelling patterns, weekly spelling sorts, review games, and audio links to catchy spelling songs. Additionally, the comprehensive diagnostic spelling assessment (audio file included) tests spelling patterns from previous grade levels, and the corresponding worksheets allow you to pinpoint instruction according to individual needs. Each worksheet includes a formative assessment to help you determine whether students have mastered the spelling instruction. The program is simple to implement and doesn’t take up too many valuable instructional minutes. You do have other subjects to teach!

Grammar, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)

Grammar, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Programs

Or why not get the value-priced Grammar, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 BUNDLES? These grade-level programs include both teacher’s guide and student workbooks and are designed to help you teach all the Common Core Anchor Standards for Language. In addition to the Teaching Grammar and Mechanics program, each BUNDLE provides weekly spelling pattern tests and accompanying spelling sort worksheets (L.2), 56 language application opener worksheets (L.3), and 56 vocabulary worksheets with multiple-meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships with context clue practice, connotations, and four square academic language practice (L.4, 5, and 6). Comprehensive biweekly unit tests measure recognition, understanding, and application of the grammar, mechanics, and vocabulary components.

The program also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets. Each remedial worksheet (over 200 per program) includes independent practice and a brief formative assessment.

Check out the brief introductory video and enter DISCOUNT CODE 3716 at check-out for 10% off this value-priced program. We do sell print versions of the teacher’s guide and student workbooks. Contact mark@penningtonpublishing.com for pricing. Read what teachers are saying about this comprehensive program:

The most comprehensive and easy to teach grammar, mechanics, spelling, and vocabulary program. I’m teaching all of the grade-level standards and remediating previous grade-level standards. The no-prep and minimal correction design of this program really respects a teacher’s time. At last, I’m teaching an integrated program–not a hodge-podge collection of DOL grammar, spelling and vocabulary lists, and assorted worksheets. I see measurable progress with both my grade-level and intervention students. BTW… I love the scripted lessons!

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Get the Silent e Spelling Pattern Worksheets FREE Resource:

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