Updating Spelling Rule 7: Where I and Y may say long /e/

While working on Essentials in the past year, the Logic of English team started re-examining Spelling Rule 7, which explains where the phonograms I and Y can say the sound /ē/. We found there were some ways we could make this rule more precise and more accurate.

Old: Spelling Rule 7

Y says /ē/ only at the end of a multi-syllable word.
I says /ē/ at the end of a syllable that is followed by a vowel and at the end of foreign words.

New: Spelling Rules 7.1 and 7.2

7.1   Y says long /ē/ only in an unstressed syllable at the end of a multi-syllable word.

7.2   I may say /ē/ with a silent final E, at the end of a syllable, and at the end of foreign words.

Why make changes?

Continuing to learn, make new observations about our language, and seek the very best ways we can explain English words to students is a core part of our mission here at Logic of English. The rules and phonograms as we have taught them from the beginning give an incredibly accurate picture of the language and leave very few exceptions. However, when we find something we can explain even more clearly, it is important to us to share this with you!

The changes to 7.1 clarify that the fourth sound of Y is limited not only to the end of a multi-syllable word, but also more specifically to when that last syllable is unstressed. This is the only place where students will encounter Y saying /ē/ in English words.

The changes to 7.2 address words like police and machine, which were not explained by the previous wording. The changes also address the fact that in a few words, like patina, amino, and fajita, I says /e/ at the end of a syllable that is not followed by a vowel.

Since the new information added to the length of the rule, we have split it into two sections, one about Y and one about I, that can be taught separately.

Download a free update card!

Rules 7.1 and 7.2 are taught in Essentials Lessons 21 and 22. They will also be included in future printings of our Spelling Rule Flash Cards, Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference, and Foundations Teacher's Manuals.

If you already have Logic of English materials and would like to add the new cards to your existing set, you can print your own with this PDF!

PDF Download — Spelling Rule Cards 7.1 and 7.2

The phonograms and spelling rules that explain the spelling of 98% of English words are taught in Logic of English curriculum and in Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Approach to Reading, Spelling, and Literacy.