Spelling - Changing 'y' to 'i': Activity 1
Sort the examples into two groups
- CHANGE 'Y' TO 'I' GROUP: tiny + -est → tiniest, memory + -al → memorial, beauty + -ful → beautiful, weary + -ness → weariness, try + -ed → tried, apply + -ance → appliance
- KEEP 'Y' GROUP: baby + -ish → babyish, try + -ing → trying, apply + -ing → applying, silly + -ish → sillyish
When do we change y to i and when do we keep it?
- When the suffix starts with an i, we keep the y.
- Otherwise (when the suffix starts with another vowel or with a consonant), we change y to i.
Did you notice that there are some examples where the same base word behaves differently with different suffixes?
- trying, tried
- applying, appliance
Can you think of a reason to keep the y before a suffix starting with i?
- This allows us to avoid a spelling with double i, e.g. we avoid appliing and use applying instead.
In general, double i is avoided in English. There are just a few exceptions, such as skiing. (That is not an exception to our rule about y, however, because the base word ends in i: ski + -ing → skiing.)