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What Is The Best Explanation For The Spelling Of Smiled During A Lesson On Rules For Adding Suffixes To Base Words?

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Question: What is the best explanation for the spelling of smiled during a lesson on rules for adding suffixes to base words?

  • Words ending in silent e drop the e when a vowel suffix is added.
  • When adding -ed to a word ending in silent e, just add d.
  • Since two e,/i>’s can’t go together, drop one when adding -ed.
  • There is no principle or rule to explain this; every word must be learned separately.

Answer: Words ending in silent e drop the e when a vowel suffix is added.

The best explanation, especially in the context of a lesson on rules for adding suffixes to base words, is:

“Words ending in silent e drop the e when a vowel suffix is added.”

This rule is straightforward and covers a wide range of words, not just “smile.” For example:

  • “make” becomes “making” (not “makeing”)
  • “drive” becomes “driving” (not “driveing”)
  • “smile” becomes “smiled” (not “smilee”)

The rule also applies to other vowel suffixes, such as “-ing,” “-er,” and “-est.” The focus of this explanation is on the process, i.e., how the base word changes when a particular kind of suffix is added. The other options are either too specific, misleading, or inaccurate in the context of explaining general spelling rules.

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