3 Common Reading/Spelling Rules You May Have Forgotten About!

Enrichment Therapies

May 30, 2023

child looking at book

By: Ashley Conrad, M.A., CCC-SLP

When it comes to reading/spelling, there are many rules that can be easily forgotten over time. Why do I read the word ride with a long vowel rather than a short vowel? Do I know when to spell a word with “ck” versus “k”? Why in the world is the word giant produced with a “j”?

As a student, reading, and spelling rules are thrown at us and expected to stick. While this may be the case for some students and some rules, many students require additional practice opportunities to fully absorb and understand the concept.

Let’s discuss three common reading/spelling rules that you may have forgotten about! 

Rule #1: Magic “e”

This rule is also known as the silent “e” or bossy “e” rule. When the letter “e” is placed at the end of a word, it becomes silent and changes how the word is pronounced. This magic “e” jumps backward over one consonant and tells the vowel to say its name.

A great example of this rule is the word “cube”.In this word, the magic “e” tells the “u” to say its name. If the magic “e” was not on the word, it would be pronounced as cub

Rule #2: “k” or “ck” Endings

When one-syllable words like tuck, trick, and black, contain a short vowel + “k”, the spelling is typically “ck”. 

On the other hand, when the “k” sound follows a consonant, long vowel sound, or diphthong, the spelling is typically “k”. 

Examples of this include ask, back, and week. 

Rule #3: Soft “g” and “c”, Hard “g” and “c”

For the letter “G”, soft “g” refers to the sound being “j” and hard “g” refers to the sound being “g”. 

When it comes to the letter “C”, soft “c” refers to the sound being “s” and hard “c” refers to the sound being “k”. When vowels e, i, or y follow letters “c” and “g”, the soft sound is typically used, but when other vowels are present, the hard “c” and “g” are utilized. 

Examples of soft “c” and “g” are giraffe, gym, cent, and circle, while 

hard “c” and “g” examples include go, game, cup, and cow.

One-On-One Speech Support From ETLC

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center provides one-on-one speech and language support in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center, our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success and confidence. 

Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Suite A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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