Absolutely Ridiculous English Spelling
Why does the English language have so many words that are difficult to spell? The main reason is that English has 1,100 different ways to spell its 44 separate sounds, more than any other language. Some of the results of this are:
Words that have the same sounds but are spelled differently,
Words that contain letters that have nothing to do with the way the words are pronounced,
Words that contain silent letters; that is, letters that must be included when you write the words even though they are not pronounced,
Spelling rules that have lists of exceptions - words that do not follow the rules and thus must be memorized separately.
This situation exists because English has adopted words from many other languages, or at least has partially adopted them. Very often, English has accepted the new words with their original spellings, but has not always adopted the original pronunciations, or pronunciations were changed by common habit or political expediency, but the original spellings were never changed to match the new pronunciations.
The reasons for the Ridiculous English Spelling do not matter, however, because English is what it is; it has been this way for a long time. If you want to learn to speak and write it, you must learn it as it is and not how it should be. Our task is to make it a little easier for you.
Some common inconsistencies:
How they are pronounced
words containing "ough"
Words that sound the same but are spelled differently.
Words containing "ight"
alight, bight, blight, flight, fright, height, light, night, might, right, sight, tight, plight,
In all of these words, "ight" is pronounced like Long i + t.
Words with Silent Letters
All of these words are pronounced as if the red letters were not there, but when you write the words, you MUST include those letters.
Words that look the same but are pronounced differently.
Words with 'oo' that should sound the same but don't.
Some more inconsistencies:
Ways to spell Long 'U'
shoe, grew, through. do, doom, flue, two, who, brute, duty
Ways to spell Long 'O'
go, show, though, sew, beau, float, bone,
Ways to spell Long 'A'
may, weigh, late, pain, rein, great
Ways to spell Long 'E'
free, bean, magazine, gene, mete, be, mien, receive, believe
Ways to spell Long 'I'
fine, rhyme, fight, align, isometric, bayou
The chart above is just a small sample of why Spelling Rules in English can be almost as much of a problem as spelling itself. Notice the "i-e" Rule:
Use i before e, except after c, or when sounding like a as in neighbor and weigh.
At this point you may ask, "What can I do about it? How can I figure out how to spell the words in this crazy language?" Believe it or not, there are a few things you can do that will help, but after you remember the rules and learn the 'tricks', you are left with this basic technique: Study, Memorize, Study, Memorize, Study, Memorize.