-ABLE VS. -IBLE – PART 3

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! Whew! This is a long-winded answer to such a fundamental spelling question, right? Well, we have revealed some good insights on how to tackle this most troublesome of suffixes. Let's attack the words that end in -able. We'll finish the -ible words in our next and final post. Words that end in -able: the most basic rule Usually, if you have a word in English, you can just add the suffix -able, and you'll be in good shape.…

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-ABLE VS. -IBLE – PART 2

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! In Part 1 of this post, we established that, purely from a statistical perspective, if confronted with a word that may end in -able or -ible, you'd be much better off guessing -able. But spellers are not necessarily statisticians. So let's go to a more linguistic argument. Similar suffixes and -ible One reliable way to determine which suffix to spell involves looking at other suffixes. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you're looking at the word…

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-ABLE VS. -IBLE – PART 1

Hard to decide whether to spell -ible or -able

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! Welcome to what is probably the one spelling question spellers ask me more than any other. If you get a word that ends in what the dictionary shows as \əbəl\, do you spell it -able or -ible? For example, is it corrodable or corrodible? Acceptable or acceptible? Divisable or divisible? And once you figure out which of the spellings is correct...why is it correct? And how can we apply a pattern or a rule to other words for…

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SPELLING COMPOUND WORDS

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! The English language - and by this, I mean pure English, not touched by Latin or French or any other language - loves its compound words. (For that matter, so do other Germanic languages, like Dutch and German.) These are words created simply by putting two words together. Sometimes, one of these original words may not be very common, but the compound word that contains it is common. Most of the time, the spelling of each of the…

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