Spelling the word endings le, al, el

Rule Breakers - these words break spelling rules Some words use the ending al or el after the letters
b c d f g k p st t z

The most common are listed below.

Think back - help with spelling rules Remember:
In many dictionaries the schwa sound is shown by this symbol: /Ə/ . In the word stable, the sound of the second syllable is /bƏl/

The sound and the most
common way to spell it:
Rule breakers break spelling rules for each sound:
/bƏl/ :
ble, as in stable, trouble
al - verbal  cymbal

el - label  libel
/kƏl/ :
cle, as in article, cycle
kle, as in tickle, sparkle
al - focal  local  rascal  typical  vocal

el - nickel  shekel  snorkel  yokel
(Note: cancel, parcel, with a soft c sound)
/dƏl/ :
dle, as in needle, candle
al - medal  pedal  sandal  vandal  feudal

el - model  yodel
/fƏl/ :
fle, as in sniffle, truffle
al - offal

el - duffel
/gƏl/ :
gle, as in angle, jungle
al - legal  prodigal

el - bagel
(Note: angel, with a soft g sound)
/pƏl/ :
ple, as in staple, trample
al - opal  sepal  principal*

el - chapel  gospel  scalpel
/tƏl/ :
tle, as in kettle, title
al - crystal  capital  dental  fatal  hospital total  mental  metal  mortal  natal  petal

el - hostel  lintel  mantel  pastel
/sƏl/ :
stle, as in castle, bristle
al - none (but see /zƏ l/ below)

el - counsel  morsel  mussel*  tassel  tinsel vessel

Note the soft c words:  cancel  chancel  parcel
/zƏl/ :
zle, as in dazzle, guzzle
Note: s is often used to spell the /z/ sound:

al - nasal  sisal

el - chisel  damsel  diesel  easel  hazel  pretzel
Note: A few words end in ol for example:
gambol idol* pistol symbol

One word uses ul : mogul

Learning Tip for English spelling To learn words you are unsure of, write them and use a 'spelling language': As you write, say the second syllable with a clear vowel sound, instead of the schwa sound. For example:

English word endings le, al, el English word endings le, al, el
  labEl medAl

next part of the spelling course Go to next page: more uses for al and el

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Unit 26: Spelling the endings -le -al -el

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