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Vocabulary - SAT, TOEFL, GRE Test Preparation
Spelling Rules for Adding Suffixes

Rule: When a suffix beginning with a vowel is added to a word with a final silent 'e', drop the the silent 'e'.

dose+age = dosage
damage+ed = damaged
fine+est = finest
gape+ing = gaping
fame+ous = famous
ice+y = icy


  • Words ending in -ce and -ge usually keep their 'e' to clarify the pronunciation of a preceding consonantal sound.
    Examples: replaceable, changeable
  • The final e is also retained for words ending in -ee.
    Examples: agreeable, foreseeable
  • The words 'acreage' and 'mileage' retain their 'e'
  • The silent 'e' is retained if it is required for clarifying the pronounciation of the word. Examples: dyeing, advantageous

Rule: When a suffix beginning with a vowel is added to a stressed syllable ending in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, the consonant is usually doubled.

uncontrol+able = uncontrollable
drop+ed = dropped

Exception: Instead of doubling a final consonant 'c', it becomes ck before the addition of a suffix.
Example: frolic+ing = frolicking

Directions: Complete the following sentences. On a sheet of paper, write the suffix spelling rules described in this chapter and give your own examples for each of the rules. As homework, read a book and find words with suffixes and group them based on the spelling rules described in this chapter.