The Complete List of
English Spelling Rules
17: -ance or -ence
and -ancy or -ency
this series of lessons, you will learn useful spelling rules
This lesson will provide guidelines on adding the suffixes
all have the same general meaning, so it is important to
know when you should
use each one.
a free worksheet + answer key.
As we have seen in a previous lesson, a suffix
is an ending that can be
added to a word. The two suffix pairs, -ance
both create nouns
and they mean "state or quality of."
Choosing between these suffixes depends on the word the suffix is being
added to. It will be very important for you to learn how to spell
common words because there are no strict rules. However, here are some
good guidelines to help you choose.
1. When the base word is an adjective that ends in -ant
It looks like Harold does not understand the importance
of paying close attention to the road while driving!
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
You will find many words in English that end in -ance
There is a large number of these words not included in the guidelines
below. You should pay attention to the spelling of new words that you
learn and memorize the suffix, checking to see if one of these rules
For example, "importance" is a noun that means the state of being important
When the base word is an adjective that ends in -ant
, you will remove
these three letters and add -ance
to make a noun for adjectives that can take this suffix.
2. When the base word is a verb that ends in -ure or -ear
Pete has excellent endurance
He runs long distances.
When the root word is a verb that ends in -ure
, you should
remove the final e
then add -ance
So the verb "endure" becomes the noun "endurance."
When the root word is a verb that ends in -ear
, simply add -ance
For example, the verb "appear" becomes "appearance."
Here are some common examples:
3. When the base word is a verb that ends in -y
The people's defiance
against the cruel queen ended her terrible rule.
When the root word is a verb that ends in -y, you should change
the y to i, then add -ance.
For example, the verb "defy," which means "resist," becomes the noun
"defiance" when the suffix is added.
Here are some more examples:
4. When the base word is a verb that ends in -ere
Three religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity,
have special reverence
for the city of Jerusalem.
When the root word is a verb ending in -ere
, remove the
then add -ence
For example, the verb "revere," which means to respect greatly, becomes
the noun "reverence."
Here are some common words that end with -ence
5. When the base word is an adjective that ends in -ent
When you have a baby sleeping at home, silence
is very important!
If the base
word is an adjective that ends in -ent
three letters and add -ence
Children learn important skills in their infancy
There is no fixed rule of when you should use -ance
This will depend on the word, so you should be sure to study them
However, if the root word is a verb that ends in -ate
, you will likely
For example, the verb "hesitate" becomes the noun "hesitancy."
Here are some common nouns that end in -ancy
What is the official currency
in your country?
As happens with -ancy
is also a bit less common than -ence
There is no fixed rule about when you should use it, but there are some
common words you should learn with this suffix.
Some important examples are:
So, let's review what we have learned about the suffixes -ance
- When the base word is an adjective that ends in -ant, you
should remove these three letters and add -ance.
- When the base word is a verb that ends in -ure or -ear, use -ance.
If the verb ends in -ure,
remove the e
before adding -ance.
- When the base word is a verb that ends in -y, change the y to an i and add -ance.
- When the base word is a verb that ends in -ere, remove the
final e and
- When the base word is an adjective that ends in -ent,
remove these three letters and add -ence.
- You should memorize words that end in -ancy. However, if
the base word is a verb that ends in -ate, you should
remove the final e
and add -ancy.
- You should memorize common words that end in -ency.
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