Drop the 'e' or not


Drop the 'e' rule is a very useful rule but like all rules there are exceptions.

We usually drop the 'e' at the end of words when adding an ending that begins with a vowel suffix (e.g. -ing, -ed, -er, -able, -ous, ).

write + ing = writing    hope + ed = hoped     excite + able = excitable



"Drop the 'e' with -ing" - make - making, have - having, write - writing, love - loving, come - coming, use - using...

(BUT not with - be - being, see - seeing)

 

Word +   -ing -ed -er -able
write   writing   ---  writer     writable
come coming ---    comer   ---
have having ---  ---   ---
make making ---  maker   makeable
use using used  user   useable/usable
love loving loved  lover   loveable/lovable
change changing changed  changer   changeable
manage managing managed  manager   manageable


Some words have two possible forms before -able.
like - likeable/likable,     move - moveable/movable, love - loveable/lovable (But if this is confusing then just drop the 'e')
 
But with words ending in 'ge' keep the 'e' before 'able' to keep the soft 'ge' sound: manageable, changeable, knowledgeable...


We also keep the 'e' in words ending in 'ce' before 'able' to keep the soft 'c' ( "s") sound: noticeable, replaceable, serviceable...


Another exception to the rule is the final -e is not dropped from words ending in: -ee, -oe, -ye: see - seeing, agree - agreeing, canoe - canoeist, dye - dyeing


Common misspelled words:
Drop the 'e' in truly - true + ly = truly
due + ly = duly
whole + ly = wholly
Drop the 'e' in argument - argue + ment = argument

 
Other vowel suffixes
'ible' sense + ible = sensible
'ion' opposite + ion = opposition
'ation' imagine + ation = imagination
'ive' relative + ive = relative
'est' white + est = whitest
'iour' behave + iour = behaviour
'ist' race + ist = racist


for and fore are two different prefixes.
forward, forbid, forfeit...
foresee, forehead, foresight, forefinger... (Don't drop the 'e')



Change -ate to -acy
accurate - accuracy
literate - literacy
adequate - adequacy
immediate - immediacy
delicate - delicacy

spelling tests

Do a spelling test now and check you've understood this rule. There's always a difference between knowing a rule and actually spelling it correctly.

Go on grab a pen and paper and prove you can do it -

Click here to do the spelling test


Do the drop the 'e' or not word search (now works on tablets/phones not on PCs!!) Takes a few seconds to load
Or click the link here to do it. Drop the 'e' for word search

Drop the 'e' rule word search




Spelling Rules Workbook
a step-by-step guide to the rules of English spelling
(suitable for British and American users)

American and British spelling

SPELLING_RULES_WORKBOOK-2

Dark_Blue_White learn more