3.5 Common spelling patterns and the exceptions
Another helpful strategy is to recognise patterns of letters that are always spelt the same way. These are generally easy to see when they come at the beginning or the end of a word. They are then called prefixes and suffixes.
Prefixes are patterns of letters that come at the beginning of a word.
Activity 17 ‘Pre’ pattern
How many words can you think of that start with the letters pre?
How about present, preview, pretend, prefix, presume, precise? You may have thought of others.
Activity 18 More prefixes
How many words can you think of that start with the following prefixes? Aim for two for each.
un, in, mis, re, anti, im, dis
Here are some examples:
Prefixes often have a specific meaning and can change the meaning of a word. For example, ‘re’ means to do again (as in ‘rerun’) and ‘im’ means the opposite of (as in ‘impossible’).
When you add a prefix to a word, you don’t change the spelling of the original word; for example, it is ‘misspelling’, not ‘mispelling’.
Activity 19 Matching prefixes
Match each of the following words with one of the prefixes from the previous activities to make a new word.
take, port, social, appear, likely, patient, member, sent
Here are the prefixes again:
un, in, pre, mis, re, anti, im, dis
Here are some examples. You may well have thought of others.
mistake, import, antisocial, disappear, unlikely, impatient, remember, present
Let’s look at word endings now. Lots of words end in -ing, but some other common endings are:
ment, tion, ally, ness, ly, ful
Activity 20 ‘ment’ suffix
How many words can you think of that end in ‘ment’?
Here are some:
establishment, encouragement, agreement, apartment.
You probably thought of different ones.
Activity 21 More suffixes
How many words can you think of that end with the following suffixes?
ally, tion, ness, ly, ful
Here are a few:
You may well have thought of different ones.