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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