Derivatives : Grammar and Spelling Tips
Words that are formed from existing words can also be confusing - sometimes the original spelling stays the same and sometimes it changes. Some to remember are:
• Words ending in -our:
Examples : honour, favour, labour, humour.
Keep the u when you add -able or -er.
Examples : honourable, favourable, labourer; favourite
But u is very often lost before -ous.
Examples : humorous, glamorous, rigorous, honorary and honorific
• Occur and occurrence but refer and reference.
In verbs ending in -ur, double the r when you add -ence.
Leave it single if the verb ends in -er or -ear.
Examples : appear and apparent
• Drop the o if you add -iation to a verb ending in -ounce.
Examples : pronunciation from pronounce.
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