-cial & -tial endings usually sound the same "shul"
special, confidential, initial, official
If you're wondering why we have these two when one would do! It's all about the French and Latin origins of these words and the t or c in the original word:
potential - from late Latin potentialis, from potentia 'power', from potent- 'being able'
facial - from medieval Latin facialis, from facies
initial - from Latin initialis, from initium 'beginning'
(You don't need to know French and Latin but it's always good to know why spellings and words are the way they are.)
There's a rule about which one to use but like all rules there are exceptions.
What's the letter before these -cial words: social, special, beneficial?
What's the letter before these -tial words: essential, substantial, partial?
Use -cial after a vowel, like after the vowel 'o' in social, 'e' in special, 'i' in beneficial
Use -tial after a consonant, especially, after 'n' in substantial, essential, and 'r' in partial
vowel + cial =
social, special, official, crucial, judicial, artificial, racial, beneficial, superficial, unofficial, facial, glacial, especially, specially, sacrificial, prejudicial, antisocial, multiracial.
especially and specially are very common usage words. They mean the same thing but especially is used more in writing and formally. To remember the spellings try breaking them down e + special + ly = especially, special + ly = specially
exceptions - consonant + cial:
financial commercial provincial
because the root words end in -ce (finance - financial, commerce - commercial, province - provincial)
-tial n + tial =
potential, essential, substantial, residential, presidential, influential, differential, confidential, sequential, preferential, consequential, celestial, existential, circumstantial, prudential, torrential, referential, exponential, inconsequential, insubstantial, experiential, quintessential, evidential, deferential, credential
r + tial = martial, impartial, partial
p + tial = nuptial, prenuptial
exceptions - vowels + tial
initial, spatial, palatial
The word “controversial” is controversial because it contradicts all the rules and is spelled with “s.”
Memorise these seven exceptions:
financial, commercial, provincial, initial, spatial, palatial, controversial
All this and more in my Spelling Rules Workbook for an instant "hit" of spelling knowledge.
It's a small spiral-bound workbook that means you'll be able to read it anywhere, especially before bed, or during ad breaks, lunch breaks, or waiting in the car, sneak a few pages at work - and feel proud that you're actually doing something about your spelling.
Get my Spelling Rules Workbook now for £17 /$26
(including postage and packing /shipping- it's a little BIG book!)
Press the Paypal button below.
I will send you the book as soon as Paypal notifies me of your order. Service with a smile :)
Or You can buy the online ebook version for £7. This is for the online ebook version!!!
Press the button below and it will take you to my e-junkie shopping cart for Paypal. After payment a download link will be sent automatically to you.
This is for the online ebook version!!!