We have already discussed English parts of speech, grammar tense forms and punctuation. Let us consider grammar as a general phenomenon. What is more important: an ability to build sentences properly (grammar) or spelling? This issue causes a lot of debates among students, especially among those who are just starting to learn the language. Bad spelling and grammar knowledge may cause serious problems and hinder readers’ understanding of the text. Obviously, reader’s impression about you as well as your knowledge will be spoiled beforehand. Of course, the lecturer can guess what you are talking about, but the main idea can be lost. Furthermore, if your sentences sound grubby, and your grammar and spelling are ignorant, the reader will not take your research seriously, he will assume that you are illiterate.
Nowadays, most students write their research papers and essays on a computer. They do not take writing process seriously and rely on Microsoft Word spell check or online grammar checking tools. Usually, they commit multiple errors while writing. You should not trust in automatic grammar and spell-check software when we are talking about. It will not work for you since English language grammar rules are rather versatile and too shifty for a machine-generated correction. Nevertheless, you may consider spell-check suggested corrections when writing your assignment.
In spite of the fact that both grammar and spelling really matter, there are people who argue that the most important thing is to have a big word-stock and possess knowledge how to write words properly. They insist that it is much easier to communicate when you know spelling rather than grammar. What is necessary to focus on? That's what we are going to find out in today's article.
First, let's give a definition of the words spelling and grammar.
Spelling – the way how to form words from letter in a proper manner.
Grammar – is a set of rules that explain how to put the words in a sentence properly.
Spelling is important. If you want to make a splash in your essay and make sure you conveyed your idea clearly, it’s significant to make your spelling correct.
The English language is considered to be very complicated. Words are usually spelled according to a certain rules, but not as they are pronounced. Around 75% of English words are pronounced according to a standard rules that must be learned. Of course, students are obliged to learn these rules, but they should not forget that every rule has its exception. These exceptions should be recognized and detected.
There are Standard English spelling rules that mainly concern spelling and plurals, prefixes and suffixes, dropping and adding letters, doubling letters and verb forms. One should remember that there are some differences between British and American English spelling.
Next section will contain basic spelling rules and tips for your assistance:
Spelling and plurals
When we want to create plurals of regular nouns and verbs, we should add –s ending:
Cat – cats; work – works; take – takes; office – offices; cook – cooks.
If the word has an ending ‘ch’ or ‘s’ , we add -es: bus – buses; brush – brushes; class – classes; kiss – kisses; wish – wishes.
Words ending ‘consonant + -y’ change to -ies: baby – babies; study – studies; rely – relies.
Some words, ending in –o require ending –es, but some of them require only –s:
Tomato – tomatoes;
Hero – heroes;
Do – does;
Piano – pianos;
Video – videos;
Photo – photos;
ouns ending in -f or -fe, get the form -ves in plural:
shelf – shelves; wife – wives; leaf – leaves; life – lives.
The most frequently used prefixes are dis-, mis-, in-, un-, over-, il-:
Dis+ satisfied – dissatisfied; dis + obey – disobey; mis + understood – misunderstood; mis + fortune – misfortune; in + able – inable; in + compact – incompact; un + reliable – unreliable; un + professional – unprofessional; over + estimated – overestimated; over + achievement – overachievement; il + literate – illiterate; il + legal – illegal, etc.
Dropping and adding letters
The final –e is dropped when we add suffix, which begins with a vowel:
Hope + -ing = hoping; hate + -ed = hated; fame + -ous = famous; approve + -al = approval.
We do not drop ending –e when suffix begins with a consonant:
Hope + -less = hopeless; excite + -ment = excitement; late + -ly = lately;
Final consonant of the word is often doubled when adding suffix beginning with a vowel (-ed, -er, -est, -ing):
hop + -ed = hopped; thin + -er = thinner; rub + -ed = rubbed; red + -ish = reddish; travel+ -er = traveler; sit + -ing = sitting.
When the word ends in a stressed syllable and we add suffix with more than one syllable, the final consonant is doubled:
prefer + -ed = preferred; occur + -ed = occurred; admit + -ing = admitting; upset + -ing = upsetting;
British and American English Spelling
There are several spelling differences between British and American English that must be learned:
British – American: centre – center; colour – color; labour – labor; programme – program; cheque (bank) – check; aeroplane – airplane, etc.
For more ways to improve your writing see our writing help section.
At the same time, grammar is no less important than spelling. What does it mean? Grammar is a set of specific rules that must be followed to form sentence properly. These rules are important and necessary as well as the rules of any other sports games, such as football or basketball. If there are no rules or they are not followed, it becomes impossible to play a game. The same rule applies to the language. if there were no rules of communication, people could not understand each other. So, studying of the English grammar is one of the most important and significant stages. For more ways to improve your grammar see our Grammar rules section.
All in all, grammar and spelling take significant part in the English language. They may help you to produce an impression on a reader, show yourself as a well-educated person, and present yourself well in academic writing.
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