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ASPECTS OF ENGLISH SPELLING

Gramatica




ASPECTS OF ENGLISH SPELLING




The fact that a word is written with double letters, such as

affect inn parallel

allow keep succeed

door seen tomorrow

the past and the past participle forms of the irregular verbs, as well as the comparative of superiority and the superlative relative of the irregular adjectives / adverbs are not the subject of this paper regarding spelling in English.

What follows refers to the cases the spelling of a word is changed under certain circumstances, such as:

The common nouns derived from proper names are written with initial small letter and even other changes:

a bedlam

- un azil de nebuni (St. Mary of Bethlehem, vechi spital de alienati din Londra)

china

- portelan

currents

- stafide de Corint

etons

- uniforma colegiului Eton

holland

- olanda

jersey

- jerseu (Jersey - insula īn Canalul Mānecii)

an ottoman

- canapea, divan, sofa

oxfords

- pantofi de sport care au sireturi

sherry

- vin de Xerex

an ulster

- pardesiu lung si larg

a johnny

- baiat de bani gata

a mackintosh

- Charles Mackintosh - inventatorul cauciucului din care s-au confectionat primele haine de ploaie

sandwich

- 4th Earl of Sandwich is said to have eaten only slices of bread and meat while gaming for 24 hours

a teddy bear

- urs de plus (Theodore Roosevelt, fost presedinte al SUA, - mare vānator de ursi)

a tommy

- soldat simplu īn armata engleza (Tommy Atkins - nume completat ca model īn formularele oficiale)

a victoria

- trasura cu patru roti (Queen Victoria)

a volt

Alessandro Volta - Italian physicist

a watt

- watt (James Watt, 1736 - 1819, Scottish engineer and inventor

B U T

a Land Rover

- masina de teren

an Oscar

- statueta, premiul Oscar

a Caesar

- dictator, tiran

a Grigorescu

- tablou de Grigorescu

a Iago

- intrigant

a Judas

- tradator de prieteni

a Shylock

- camatar nemilos (a character from The Merchant of Venice

a Venus

- o femeie foarte frumoasa

2. a. - The common nouns used as religious rank or appellatives, names of relations used as names of the members of a family are written with initial capital letters:

- Brother John - Father

- Mother Superior - Mother

- Mr. Brown - Aunt

- Mrs. Brown - Miss Brown

- Sir Laurence (Olivier) - Lady Joan (never Lady Olivier)

b. - Names of professions used as a title:

- Doctor - Dr. Brown - Queen Ann

- Professor - Prof. Brown - Knight John

- Captain - Teacher Brown - Earl Sandwich

B U T never

- Mr. Dr. Brown

- Mrs. Prof. Chips

though very formal, for a very high level, one can say:

- Mr. President

- Mr. Chairman

- Mr. Governor

c. - When used commonly, words such as sir, lady, madam are written with initial small letter:

- Thank you, madam!

- I say, sir! Asculta, domnule! / Ei, domnu' ! / O clipa, domnule!

- The lady in blue is your mother, isn't she?

B U T when these words are used in the title of a letter they are written with initial capital letter:

- (Dear Sir, / Madam,

N. B remember that in this case "Dear" does not mean "darling", "beloved", but "esteemed", "respected".

- Sire - very formal, showing respect for the king, is always written with initial capital letter. When it is used as a common noun (naming the father of a four-legged animal, especially a horse /DAM is used for the mother/) it is written with initial small letter:

Gypsy, sired by "Lightning", won the race.

The adjectives derived from the name of a country, as well as all proper names are written with initial capital letters:

- England English the English

- Romania Romanian the Romanians

- John Monday December

- Oxford the Danube the Alps

Words bearing a meaning used in titles of articles or books, names of newspapers are written with initial capital letter:

- Love's Labour's Lost

- The Observer

- Of Mice and Men

- A Day to Remember

- English Grammar

- Gone with the Wind

5. a. - The ending s for the plural of the nouns as well as for the 3rd person singular in the Simple Present Tense - affirmative:

- book books he speaks

- eye eyes he sits

b. - The ending -es when the nouns / verbs end in sibilants (consoane suieratoare) such as [s], [z], [ ], [ ], [d ], [t

- bus buses he passes

- class classes he boxes

- fox foxes he watches

B U T

calx ['k lks] - calces ['k lsi:z] - cavitate, organ īn forma de cupa

crux ['krLks] - cruces ['krLsi:z] dificultate, (fig.) miez, cheie

helix ['hi:liks] - helices ['helisi:z] - spirala

ilex ['aileks] - ilices ['ailisi:z] - planta ilex

matrix ['meitriks] - matrices ['meitrisi:z] - mitra, uter

vortex ['v:teks]  - vortices ['v:tisi:z] - vārtej, vāltoare

Some nouns ending in -x either get -es, or change -x into -c- and get -es:

cicatrix cicatrixes cicatrices

index indexes indices

c. - When the final -ch are pronounced [k] or [c] (the Romanian final [h]), the ending -s is used, and not -es:

Czech [t ek] - Czechs

epoch ['i:pk] - epochs

loch [lc - lochs

patriarch ['peitria:k] - patriarchs

stomach ['stLmk] - stomachs

d. - Some nouns ending in -i get either -s or -es:



alkali alkalis alkalies

macaroni macaronis (aliment) macaronies (filfizon

taxi taxis taxies

e. - When the final -y is preceded by a consonant it changes into -i- before getting an ending, except for the endings -ing, -ish, and those beginning with a consonant:

baby - babies baby - babyish cry - crying

sky - skies country - countrylike fly - flying

try - tries

- tried

B U T

dry - drier - the driest - drily (uscat)

- dryer - the dryest - dryly

shy - shier - the shiest - shily (fricos, sperios)

- shy - the shyest - shyly

sly - slier - the sliest - slily (viclean, siret)

- slyer - the slyest - slyly

spry - sprier - the spriest (vioi, sprinten

- spryer - the spryest

wry - wrier - the wriest (sucit, strāmb

- wryest - the wryest

f. - The proper nouns as well as nouns derived from other parts of speech do not change the final -y preceded by a consonant:

our two Lucys stand-bys carefullys

all the Henrys possiblys whys

B U T

Alleghany Alleghanies (river in W Pennsylvania)

Germany Germanies

g. - When the final -y is preceded by a vowel, it is maintained when adding an ending:

boy boys

say he says

play he plays, he played

B U T

colloquy - colloquies (convorbire, dialog

soliloquy - soliloquies (monolog

day - daily

gay - gaily (and also gayly)

R E M E M B E R

The final -ie turns into -y- when adding -ing:

die - dying

lie - lying

tie - tying

h. - Words ending in -o preceded by a consonant get -es, and not -s:

cargo - cargoes do - he does

echo - echoes go - he goes

hero - heroes negro - negroes

popato - popatoes tomato - tomatoes

B U T

canto - cantos dynamo -dynamos

magneto - magnetos mosquito - mosquitos

photo - photos piano - pianos

Some words of this type get either -s, or -es:

banjo - banjos - banjoes

bravo - bravos - bravoes (bandit)

domino - dominos - dominoes (costum de bal mascat

flamingo - flamingos - flamingoes

halo - halos - haloes

motto - mottos - mottoes

zero - zeros - zeroes

i. - Words ending in -o preceded by a vowel get only -s:

cuckoo - cuckoos radio - radios

kangaroo - kangaroos studio - studios

j. - Nouns ending in -f, or -fe get -s:

chief - chiefs proof - proofs

cliff - cliffs roof - roofs

dwarf - dwarfs fife - fifes (fluier, trisca

grief - griefs still-life - still-lifes

gulf - gulfs strife - strifes (concurenta, competitie

B U T

Some of the nouns ending in -f, or -fe turn -f, or -fe into -v- and add -es for their plural form

beef - beeves self - selves

calf - calves shelf - shelves

elf - elves thief - thieves

half - halves wolf - wolves

leaf - leaves life - lives

loaf - loaves knife - knives

N. B.

Some nouns of this type get both -s and -es

hoof - hoofs - hooves

scarf - scarfs - scarves

staff - staffs - staves

wharf - wharfs - wharves

Nouns with two forms in the plural having distinct meanings:

brother - brothers

- brethren (confrati - de regula de aceeasi religie

cow - cows

- kine (arhaic pentru vaci, vite)

die - dies (matrite pentru monede)

- dice (zaruri)

genius - geniuses (oameni de geniu)

- genii (spirite, duhuri)

index - indexes (indexuri, īn carti)

- indices (indici, īn matematica, chimie etc.)

medium - mediums (mediu - ca persoana)

- media (mijloace de culturalizare; mass media - presa,

radio, TV; multimedia - mijloace multiple

penny - pennies (monede de cāte un penny

- pence (valoarea īn penny

staff - staffs (state majore, personal angajat)

- staves (portative)



8. a. - The final silent -e drops when adding any ending:

have

- having

like

- liking

- liked

(but likes)

live

- living

- lived

(but lives)

love

- loving

- loved

- lovable

(but loves)

blue

- bluish

bride

- bridal

fame

- famous

lie

- liar

race

- racy (pastrator al caracterului de bastina; care īsi tradeaza / dezvaluie originea

write

- writer

B U T

blue - bluey queue - queueing

canoe - canoeing see - seeing

dye - dyeing shoe - shoeing

eye - eyeing singe - singeing (a pārli, a arde usor)

glue - gluey toe - toeing

The final silent -e is also kept before endings beginning with a consonant.

care - careless hope - hopeful

entire - entireless love - lovely

home - homelike

B U T

due - duly

true - truly

b. - The final -l is doubled when adding an ending, except the ending -s

compel - compelling - compeller - compellative

control - controllable

excel - excellent - excellency

label - labelling - labelled

marvel - marvellous

rebel - rebellious

travel - travelling

unequal - unequalled

B U T

unparalleled (with only one -l-)

boil - boiled - boiling

trawl - trawled - trawling (a trage un traul pe fund, a pescui cu traulul

c. - The final -le is dropped when adding -ly is added.

able - ably nimble - nimbly (agil, iute, vioi, sprinten)

comfortable - comfortably noble - nobly

double - doubly probable - probably

feeble - feebly simple - simply

humble - humbly subtle - subtly

d. - The final -ac and -ic turn into -ack- and -ick- when adding -ed.

to bivouac - bivuacked

to mimic - mimicked

to traffic - trafficked

9. a. - One-syllable words ending in a consonant preceded by a short vowel double the final consonant when adding an ending.

big - bigger pet - petted

dig - digger red - reddish

fat - fatter sit - sitting

fit - fitted snap - snappish

fog - foggy star - starry

fun - funny sun - sunny

gas - gassy up - upper

b. - Two-syllable words with the stress on the second syllable double the final consonant preceded by a short vowel, when getting an ending.

admit [d'mit] - admittance - admitted

begin [bi'gin] - beginner - beginning

forget [f'get] - forgettable - forgetting - forgetter

occur [ k:] - occurrence - occurrent - occurring -occurred

recur [re'k:] - recurrent

B U T

kidnap ['kidn p] - kidnapped

worship ['w ip] - worshipped - worshipper

to cap a bottle - bottle-capped

The spelling with apostrophe ( )

a. - The synthetic genitive ('s)

Tom's bike the boy's toys

today's news the day before's paper

in a minute or so's time my mother in law's words

in Richard III's reign the Edison Co.'s records

at the baker's for peace sake

for goodness sake the sun's heat

the world's end the water's bank

Land's end life's joy

at death's door the night's coolness

London's streets the vessel's crew

her heart's desire neither's name

another's claim one's friends

nobody's fault everyone's wish

Who else's proposal shall we consider now?

b. - The plural of letters and optionally the plural of numbers or of words, others than nouns.

They wonder of your so many 2's (two's) and 3's (three's).

Your 6's (6s) are too many.

Don't roll your r's.

your pro's and con's (or pros and cons)

in the 1970's (or 1970s)

t's i's 7's 20's

ALSO R E M E M B E R

the asides of history

the ayes and noes (in Parliament)

There was an exchange of how-do-you-do's.

Her aggressive use of repeated I's, myself's, my's and mine's.

Your yes's and no's upset everyone there.

He speaks with too many if's and but's.

Dot your i's and cross your t's.

the he's and she's of this world

I can't put up with her why's and wherefore's.

c. - The contracted form of auxiliaries or modals and of NOT.

I am > I'm we should > we'd

he is > he's you are > you're

he will > he'll do you > d'you



am not > aren't

cannot > can't

could not > couldn't

will not > won't

shall not > shan't

should not > shouldn't

would not > wouldn't

may not > mustn't

might not > mustn't

ought not > oughtn't

N. B.

In its full form, NOT together with CAN are always written one word and not separately, that is "cannot", and never "can not"

Other situations

a. - syncope, that is the drop of some sounds inside a word

bicycle > bike

fantasy > fancy

microphone > mike

b. - other cases

five - fifteen - fifty - fifth

four - forty

nine - ninth

twelve - twelfth

innocent - ninny

c. - compression of some words

American

Canadian

>

Americanadian

American

Indian

>

Amerind

fourteen

nights

>

fortnight

d. - abbreviation

apt

<

apartment

pram

<

perambulant

Brm

<

Birminghan

G. P.

<

General Practitioner

cap

<

capital (Rom.- majuscula

M. P.

<

Member of Parliament

flu

<

influenza

P. G.

<

Paying Guest

sonar

<

SO(und) N(aviagation A(nd) R(anging) (SONAR)

laser

<

L(ight) A(mplification by) S(timulated) E(mission of) R(adiation)

radar

<

RA(dio) D(etecting) A(nd) R(anging)

The abbreviation used as nouns, as well as those ending in -o, get either or .

Ph. D. (doctor of philosophy) Ph. Ds Ph. D's

B. A. (Bachelor of Arts) B. As B. A's

Co (company) Cos

bro (brother) bros

No (number) Nos / No's

P. O. (Post Office) P. Os / P. O's

(Postal Order)

The abbreviations consisting in isolated letters double the letter for the plural.

c (chapter) cc (chapters)

p (page) pp (pages)

v (verse) vv (verses)

Nouns with foreign plural (few examples):

alumna - alumnae (absolvent al unei scoli / universitati

alumnus - alumni ,, ,, ,, ,,

criterion - criteria

datum - data (data-element, fapta)

erratum - errata

phenomenon - phenomena

stimulus - stimuli

analysis - analyses

basis - bases

crisis - crises

emphasis - emphases

When a word begins with the letter the prefix used ends in, both the final and the initial letter are used.

co + operation > cooperation

dis + satisfy > dissatisfy

dis + sent > dissent

dis + similar > dissimilar

dis + solve > dissolve

mis + shapen > misshapen (diform, urāt, pocit, hād)

mis + spell > misspell

pre + eminent > preeminent

Differences between American English and British English:

a. - the British ending -our is spelled -or in American English;

British English

American English

armour

armor

colour

color

favour

favor

humour

humor

neighbour

neighbor

splendour

splendor

b. - the British ending -re is written -er in American English;

British English

American English

centre

center

fibre

fiber

metre

meter

sombre

somber

theatre

theater

c. - the British ending -ce is written -se in American English;

British English

American English

advice

advise

practice

practise

d. - other examples.

British English

American English

as new

as nu

daylight

dalite

dialogue

dialog

flight

flite

luggage

lugage

socks

sox

thorough

thoro

though

tho

tonight

tonite

traveller

traveler

N. B.

The examples given do not represent all the cases existing in the two languages.










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