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The Ending “an” or “en” Spelling Rule

The "an" and "en" Suffixes

The “Ending an” and “en” Spelling Rule

The suffixes “-ant” and “-ent” are adjectives, meaning the state of, quality, or condition. Both suffixes also take noun forms: “ance-ancy” and “ence-ency.”

However, not every word ending in “ant” or “ent” will also end in both “ance-ancy” or “ence/ency.” If fact, a few words only take one of the “ant-ent,” “ance-ence,” “ancy-ency.”

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The Ending “an” or “en” Spelling Rule

End a word with “ance”, “ancy”, or “ant”  if the root before has a hard /c/ or /g/ sound (vacancy, arrogance) or if the root ends with “ear” or “ure” (clearance, insurance). End a word with “ence”, “ency”, or “ent” if the root before has a soft /c/ or /g/ sound (magnificent, emergency), after “id” (residence), or if the root ends with “ere” (reverence).

Exceptions to the rule: assistance, different, perseverance, resistance, violence

Check out the song! The Ending “an” or “en” Rule

This Old “an” or “en”

(to the tune of “This Old Man”)

If you see, “e-a-r”, or there is a “u-r-e”,

This old man, he played one, he played nick-nack on my thumb

In the root, or if you hear hard c or g,

With a nick-nack paddy-whack, give a dog a bone,

Then spell “ant”, “ance”, or “ancy”.

This old man came rolling home.

If you see, “id” like “fid”, or there is an “e-r-e”

This old man, he played two, he played nick-nack on my shoe

In the root, or if you hear soft c or g,

With a nick-nack paddy-whack, give a dog a bone,

Then spell “ent”, “ence”, or “ency”.

This old man came rolling home.

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Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4-8

Differentiated Spelling Instruction

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