List of Irregular Spelling Patterns in English

are & were

Traditional Spelling --- Simpler Spelling
are (as in "you are") --- ar
aren't --- arn't
were --- wer
weren't --- wern't



"b" that is not pronounced

bomb, comb, tomb, womb

bomb --- bom
bomber --- bommer
bombing --- bomming
comb --- coam
combe, coomb(e) --- coom, cohm
tomb --- toom
womb --- woom

In "bombard", "bombast", "combat", and "wombat", the internal "b" is pronounced, so shood not be dropped.

debt, doubt, subtle

debt --- det, dett
doubt --- dout
subtle --- suttle

limb, climb, chimb

limb, limbed, limbing, climb, climbed, climber, climbing, chimb
--- lim, limmed, limming, clime, climed, climer, climing, chime

Homophones may exist.

subpoena

subpoena --- subpena, (subpeena)

In this word, "b" has to be retained.

"ch" with /k/ sound

When 'ch represents the sound /k/,
use 'c' before 'a', 'o', 'u', e.g., 'corus', 'caracter'.
Use 'k' before 'i', 'e', 'y', e.g., 'kemmist, 'skism', 'kiropractor'.

ch/k/ >>> c,k,ck
--- caracter, caotic, arkive, kemical, logomaky, psyke, ecko, stomack/stummac.

And "ecko" for "echo".



Examples

achondrite --- acondrite
acholia --- acolia
ache --- ake, or aik
aching --- aking, or aiking
alchemy --- alkemy
anachronism --- anacronism
anarch --- anark
anarchism --- anarkism
anarchy --- anarchy
anchor --- ancor
anechoic --- anecoic, aneckoic
archaic --- arcaic
archaism --- arcaism
archeology --- arkeology
archipelago --- arkipelago
architect --- arkitect
architecture --- arkitecture
archive --- arkive
Bacchus --- no change, or Baccus?
batrachian --- batrakian
cachinnate --- cakinnate, or cakinate
catechism --- catekism
chalaza --- calaza
chameleon --- cameleon
chaos --- caos
chaotic --- caotic
character --- caracter
charisma --- carisma
chasm --- casm
chemical --- kemical
chemistry --- kemistry
chloroform --- cloroform
chlorophyl(l) --- clorophyl(l)
chomophyte --- comophyte
chondrite --- condrite
chondroma --- condroma
chondrule --- condrule
Christ
Christmas
chrome --- crome
chromium --- cromium
chronicle --- cronicle
dichotomy --- dicotomy
echidna --- ekidna
echinoid --- ekinoid
echo --- ecko
epoch --- epoc
epochal --- epocal
eschatology --- escatology
eschaton --- escaton
Eucharist --- Eucarist
hi-tech --- hi-tec (trademark?)
leprechaun --- leprecaun
Mach, mach
masochism --- masokism
masochist --- masokist
mechanic --- mecanic
mechanical --- mecanical
mechanism --- mecanism
mocha --- moca
monarch --- monark
monarchy --- monarky
monochrome --- monocrome
moschate --- moscate
oche --- ockee
ochre --- ocre, (or oker?)
orchestra --- orkestra
orchid --- orkid
orchis --- orkis
pachyderm --- pakyderm
psych --- psyke
psychic --- psykic
psychology --- psycology
psychosis --- psycosis
saccharin --- saccarin
salchow --- salcow
scheme --- skeme, or skeem
scholar --- scolar, (or scollar?)
scholastic --- scolastic
school --- scool, or skool
sepulchre --- sepulcre, (or sepulker?)
stomach --- stomac, or stomack
synarchy --- sinarky
synchro --- sincro
synchronize --- sincronize
tachograph --- tacograf
tachometer --- tacometer
technical --- tecnical
technology --- tecnology
trichite --- trikite
tychism --- tykism

 

"ch" with "sh" sound

When 'ch' is pronounced as /sh/, just leave it as is. --- ex. parachute, machine, chique.

"ch" that is not pronounced

fuchsia --- fucia (rather than fusha and fusia)
yacht --- yot, (yott)



"GH" confusion --- OUGH, AUGH, AIGH, EIGH, IGH


Each short vowel has to be spelled with one single letter.
If any short vowel is spelled with two or three vowel letters combination, it shood be regarded as an exception to be modifyed.
The "gh" digraf shood be respelled with f or ff when it sounds like /f/.


 

OUGH-related words

bough --- no change
plough --- plow

hiccough --- hiccup

cough --- coff
trough --- troff

chough --- (chuff)(Homophones exist.)
enough --- enuff
rough --- ruff
tough --- tuff

dough --- doh
doughnut --- donut
furlough --- furlow, furloe(?)
although --- altho
though --- tho

through --- thru

thorough --- (thoro)
borough --- (boro)

OUGHT-related words

Insted of "nought", we often use "naught". But we cannot use "aught" for "ought", both of which should be retained.

Why not respell "ough" as "au", as to these words?

Traditional Spelling--- Simpler Spelling with "gh" dropped
afterthought--- afterthaut
besought--- besaut
bought--- baut
brought--- braut
forethought--- forethaut
fought--- faut
nought--- naut
overwrought--- overwraut
sought--- saut
thought--- thaut
wrought--- wraut


However, these two words below hav no analogy to the above-mentioned words.

doughty --- dowty
drought --- drout

AUGH-related words

Spellings of words where "-augh-" has "af" sound

draught--- draft
laugh--- laff
laughter--- lafter



Spellings of words where "-augh-" has au/aw sound

Traditional Spelling--- Simpler Spelling with "gh" dropped
aught--- no change(?)
caught--- caut
daughter--- dauter, dawter
distraught--- distraut
fraught--- fraut
haughty--- hauty
manslaughter--- manslauter
mistaught--- mistaut
naught--- naut
naughty--- nauty
onslaught--- onslaut
self-taught--- self-taut
slaughter--- slauter
taught--- taut
uncaught--- uncaut
untaught--- untaut


For more -augh- words, please visit http://www.morewords.com/contains/augh/.

"aigh" with Long A sound

straight --- strate (to distinguish from "strait")

"eigh" with Long A sound

aweigh --- awey (to distinguish from "away")
eight --- eit (not "ait")
eighteen --- eiteen
eighty --- eity
freight --- freit (not "frate")
freighter --- freiter (not "frater")
inveigh --- invey
neigh --- ney (to distinguish from "nay")
neighbor --- neibor, (nabor)
neighborhood --- neiborhood, (naborhood)
neighboring --- neiboring, (naboring)
sleigh --- sley (to distinguish from "slay")
weigh --- wey (to distinguish from "way")
weight --- weit (to distinguish from "wait")



"eigh" with Long I sound

height and sleight

height --- hite, (hyte)
sleight --- slyte (cf. sly)

"igh" with Long I sound

-igh, -ight
-igh, -ight --- They hav Long I sound, folloed by silent "gh".

high --- hi, (hy)
highland --- hiland, (hyland)
highlight --- hilite, (hylite)
highway --- hiway, (hyway)
nigh --- nie
sigh --- sie
thigh --- thie (cf. thy)



-ight --- alight, aright, bight, blight, bright, brighten, daylight, delight, delightful, enlighten, enlightenment, fight, fighter, fighting, firefighter, flight, fright, frighten, frightened, highlight, knight, light, lightening, lightning, might, mighty, night, nightie, plight, right, righteous, sight, slight, tight, tonight, twilight, upright

Many of them can be simplifyed ...

bright --- brite
brighten --- briten
daylight --- daylite
delight --- delite
delightful --- deliteful
enlighten --- enliten
enlightenment --- enlitenment
firefighter --- firefiter
flight --- flite, (or flyte)
fright --- frite
frighten --- friten
frightened --- fritened
highlight --- hilite
knight --- knite
light --- lite
lightening --- litening
lightning --- litening
might --- (pending)
mighty --- (pending)
night --- nite
nightie --- nitie
plight --- plite
right --- rite
righteous --- riteous
sight --- (pending)
slight --- slite
tight --- tite
tonight --- tonite
twilight --- twilite
upright --- uprite



irregular usage of "ph"

Use "f" (or "ff") insted. The "ph" digraf shood be respelled with f or ff when it sounds like /f/.

aphorism --- aforism, (or afforism?)
apostrophe --- apostrofe, (or apostrofy)
atmosphere --- atmosfere
atrophy --- atrofy
autotroph --- autotrof
bathyscaphe --- bathyscafe
biphenyl --- bifenyl
bumph --- bumf
cacophonous --- cacofonous
cacophony --- cacofony
caliph --- calif
calligraphy --- calligrafy
catastrophe --- catastrofe, (or catastrofy)
cenotaph --- cenotaf
cipher --- cifer
cypher --- cyfer
decipher --- decifer
digraph --- digraf
dystrophy --- dystrofy
elephant --- elefant
ephemera --- efemera
ephemeral --- efemeral
epigraph --- epigraf
epitaph --- epitaf
euphemism --- eufemism
glyph --- glyf, glyff
gopher --- gofer
graph --- graf
hemisphere --- hemisfere
homophobe --- homofobe
homophobia --- homofobia
homophone --- homofone
homophony --- homofony
hyphen --- hyfen
isomorph --- isomorf
lymph --- lymf
metamorphic --- metamorfic
metamorphose --- metamorfose
metamorphosis --- metamorfosis
metaphor --- metafor
metaphysics --- metafysics
misophonia --- misofonia
morph --- morf
nephew --- nefew, (nevew)
nephrite --- nefrite
nephritis --- nefritis
nephrosis --- nefrosis
nymph --- nymf
ophidian --- ofidian
ophthalmic --- ofthalmic
ophthalmology --- ofthalmology
orphan --- orfan
orphanage --- orfanage
pamphlet --- pamflet
phenix --- fenix
philosophy --- filosofy
phlegm --- flem, (flegm)
phlegmatic --- flegmatic
phobia --- fobia
phoenix --- foenix, fenix
phon --- fon
phone --- fone
phoneme --- foneme
phonetic --- fonetic
phoney --- foney
phonic --- fonic
phonics --- fonics
phony --- fony
photograph --- fotograf
phthisis --- fthisis
physical --- fysical
physics --- fysics
prophecy --- profecy
prophet --- profet
sapphire --- saffire
sphere --- sfere
spherical --- sferical
spheroid --- sferoid
stenograph --- stenograf
stenography --- stenografy
sulphur --- sulfur
sycophant --- sycofant
symphonic --- symfonic
symphony --- symfony
tachograph --- tacograf
telegraph --- telegraf
thermograph --- thermograf
trophy --- trofy
typhlitis --- tyflitis
typhoid --- tyfoid
typhoon --- tyfoon
typhus --- tyfus
zephyr --- zefyr, zeffyr, zeffer

no change --- haphazard, shepherd, Stephen, uphill, uphold, etc.

irregular usage of "th"

asthma --- asma
isthmus --- (istmus)
thyme --- tyme

"Posthumous" has more than one pronunciation.

"ea" that dusn't hav "ee"(Long E) sound

"ea" with Long A sound

break --- braik
great --- grait
steak --- staik
yea --- yay

"ea" with Short E sound

ea → e (about 80 words shoen here)

abreast --- abrest
ahead --- ahed, (ahedd?)
airhead --- airhed
already --- alreddy
bedstead --- bedsted
bread --- bred, (bredd?)
breadth --- bredth
breakfast --- brekfast
breast --- brest
breath --- breth
cleanliness --- clenliness
cleanse --- clenze, clense
dead --- ded
deadline --- dedline
deadly --- dedly
deaf --- def, deff?
deafen --- deffen
(dealt) --- delt
death --- deth
dread --- dred
dreadful --- dredful
dreadnaught --- drednaut
dreamt --- dremt
endeavor --- endevor
farmstead --- farmsted
feather --- fether
head --- hed
header --- hedder
heading --- hedding
headline --- hedline
headstart --- hedstart
health --- helth
healthy --- helthy
heather --- hether
heaven --- heven
heavy --- hevy
homestead --- homested
instead --- insted
jealous --- jellous
jealousy --- jellousy
lead --- ledd (to distinguish from "led", the past tense and past participle of "lead")
leady --- leddy
leapt --- lept
leather --- lether
leaven --- leven
meadow --- meddo, meddoe
(meant) --- (ment)
measure --- mesure
peasant --- pesant
pheasant --- phesant
pleasant --- plesant
pleasure --- plesure
(read) --- redd (to distinguish from "red", the color of blud)
ready --- reddy
realm --- relm
spread --- spred
stead --- sted
steady --- steddy
steadfast --- stedfast
stealth --- stelth
sweat --- swet
sweater --- swetter
thread --- thred
threat --- thret
threaten --- thretten
treachery --- trechery
tread --- tred
treadle --- treddle
treadmill --- tredmill
treasure --- tresure
unhealthy --- unhelthy
unleaded --- unledded
unsteady --- unsteddy
wealth --- welth
wealthy --- welthy
weapon --- weppon
(weather) --- wether (Homophones: wether, whether)
zealot --- zellot
zealotry --- zellotry
zealous --- zellous



Irregular Spellings for Short E sound

bury --- bery (to distinguish from "berry")
friend --- frend
heifer --- heffer
jeopardy --- jeppardy, jepardy
leopard --- leppard, lepard
said --- sed

says --- no change

"ear" that dusn't hav "eer" sound

"ear" with "air" sound

bear --- bair
pear --- peir (to distinguish from "pair" and "pare")
tear --- tair (verb)
swear --- swair
wear --- wair
forbear --- forbair
forswear --- forswair
outwear --- outwair



en passant

aerial --- airial
canary --- canairy
scarce --- scairce

"ear" with "ar" sound

hearken --- harken
heart --- hart
hearth --- harth



"ear" with "er" sound

dearth --- derth
earl --- erl
early --- erly
earn --- ern
earner --- erner
earnest --- ernest
earnings --- ernings
earth --- erth
earthen --- erthen
earthy --- erthy
heard --- (herd)
hearse --- herse
learn --- lern
learner --- lerner
learned /-d/ --- lerned
learned/-Id/ --- lernid
learning --- lerning
pearl --- perl
pearly --- perly
rehearsal --- rehersal
rehearse --- reherse
research --- reserch
search --- serch
unheard --- (unherd)
unlearn --- unlern
yearn --- yern
yearning --- yerning



"eau" that dusn't hav Long O sound

"eau" with Long U sound

beaut--- beut
beauteous--- beuteous
beautician--- beutician
beautiful--- beutiful
beautify--- beutify
beauty--- beuty



"eau" with other sounds

bureaucracy--- burocracy
bureaucrat--- burocrat



"ei" --- irregular spellings

heifer --- heffer

ceiling --- ceeling
deceit --- deceet
deceive --- deceeve
receipt --- receet
receive --- receeve
seize --- seeze
seizure --- seezure

leisure --- lesure, (or leisure)

either, neither

"eo" --- irregular spellings

jeopardy--- jepardy
leopard--- lepard
people--- peeple, (or peple?)
yeoman--- yoman, (or yoeman?)



"ew" with Long O sound

sew--- soe (cf. foe, hoe, Joe, roe, toe, woe)
sewing--- soeing (cf. Boeing)
sewn--- soen



Irregular Spellings for Short I sound

Use "i" to respell these words.

business --- bizness (alreddy in use)
busy --- bisy
pretty --- pritty
sieve --- siv
(women)---(wimmen, wimmin)

"o" with "oo" sound

ado --- adoo
approval --- aprooval
approve --- aproove
bosom --- (boosom)
disapprove --- disaproove
do --- no change (, or "doo"?)
hairdo --- hairdoo
improve --- improove
improvement --- improovement
lose --- no change
loser --- no change
move --- moove
movement --- moovement
movie --- moovie
prove --- proove
redo --- no change
removal --- remooval
remove --- remoove
reprove --- reproove
tomb --- toom
undo --- no change
who --- no change
whom --- no change
whose --- no change
wolf --- pending
woman --- no change
womb --- woom



"oa" with "au/aw" sound

abroad --- abraud
broad --- braud
broadcast --- braudcast



"oa" with silent "a" at word end

cocoa --- cocoe
whoa --- whoe

These words do not rhyme with "boa", "Samoa", or "zoa".

"oe" that dusn't hav Long O sound

"oe" with "ee"(Long E) sound

amoeba, coelacanth, foetus, oenophile, phoenix, subpoena
--- ameba, celacanth, fetus, oenophile, phenix, subpena

"oe" with "oo" sound

canoe --- canoo
shoe --- shue

"oe" with Short U sound

does --- dus, (duz)
doesn't --- dusn't, (duzn't)



"oo" with Short U sound

blood --- blud
bloody --- bluddy
flood --- flud
flooding --- fludding



"-oor" with "-or" sound

door --- dor
floor --- flor

"our" with "or" sound

court --- cort
course --- corse (A homograph exists.)
source --- sorce
pour --- poar
mourn --- moarn
mourning --- moarning (to distinguish from "morning")

"our" with "ur" sound

journal --- jurnal
journey --- jurney
adjourn --- adjurn
sojourn --- sojurn

courage --- currage
discourage --- discurrage
encourage --- encurrage
flourish --- flurrish
nourish --- nurrish


"-ui-" with Long U sound

Just drop the silent letter "i". Add the silent letter "e" when needed.

bruise --- bruse
cruise --- cruse
decruit --- decrute
fruit --- frute
juice --- juce
juicy --- jucy
nuisance --- nusance
recruit --- recrute
sluice --- sluce
suit --- sute
suitable --- sutable



What about "bruit" and "puisne"?

"-iew" with Long U sound

Just drop the silent letter "i".

view --- vew
overview --- overvew
preview --- prevew
review --- revew



words with silent "l"

could --- cood
should --- shood
would --- wood

colonel --- curnel

balm, calm, napalm, palm, psalm, salmon
calf, half, halve, baulk, chalk, stalk, talk, walk
folk, yolk, holm, (solder)

words with silent "s"

aisle --- yle
debris --- debree
island --- iland
isle --- ile
islet --- ilet
lisle --- lile
mesne --- mene
viscount --- vicount