While many people think that English spelling is completely illogical and inconsistent, in reality, about 98% of our words follow regular patterns once you learn the phonograms and spelling rules.
Common Words with Spelling Exceptions
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list! English has over 170,000 words and continues to grow! It would be very challenging to catalog all the exceptions, even if they are only 2% of English words!
Tips for Teaching Words with Exceptions
- Teach the parts of the word that are decodable by focusing on the sounds.
- Address what is irregular in the word directly so that students understand that there is an unexpected spelling.
- Mark the unexpected sound when spelling words by writing an X over any phonograms that have unexpected sounds.
- Acknowledge that exceptions may exist and discuss them.
- Look at the word's history and meaning to help uncover clues about the word's spelling.