-le video

Rules & patterns for words ending in -le

In this lesson we’re looking at words like: table, wobble, purple, apple, beetle,
kettle, trifle, shuffle, dazzle, tickle, sprinkle, castle…

1. Do you know why we spell some of these with a single letter before the -le and some with double letters?
title /little, idle / middle, beetle / settle, trifle / shuffle, table / apple.

2. Can you remember what vowels are?

a.e.i.o.u  and these can make long and short vowel sounds, and the reason why some of these letters are doubled. 

3. Do we double the letter before the -le after a short or long vowel sound? (read the words again)

Watch the video below or read on.




 We double up the letters after a short vowel sound: little, middle, settle, shuffle, apple, wobble, dazzle…


Let’s look at  beetle and settle, then title and little.
Beetle has two vowels (and is a long vowel sound) so ends in –tle. 
Settle has a short vowel sound so we double up the t so ends in -ttle.  

Title and little both have a single i but title has a long vowel sound, and
little has a short vowel sound.


Say these words and notice the different sounds: table / apple; title / little; idle / middle. 
All have single vowels but one is a long vowel sound and the other short. 


Can you hear the long vowel sound in table, title, idle? It’s not that clear so don’t worry if you can’t.


table, title, idle are long vowel sounds and called diphthongs which are two vowels made into one long vowel sound by the movement of the tongue.


We also have the long ‘ee’ sound in beetle, steeple, wheedle, needle…   


All these long vowel sounds have one consonant + le, as in the patterns: –tle, -ble, ple, fle… 


We have the short vowel sounds in: little, middle, settle, shuffle, apple so we double up the consonant before the -le and have the patterns: –ddle, -ttle, -ffle, -pple, -zzle…


Not many people know this rule. Most good spellers know these common spellings and can see the letter patterns in them. But it’s always great to know why spelling is the way it is, and helps with the questions and frustrations about spelling. 


But this doubling up rule is used in other spelling rules with one vowel, one syllable, one consonant – sit sitting, put- putting. Click here to check out my doubling up 1:1:1 rule lesson 

Let’s have a look at the difference between these patterns, sounds
and spellings.

You need to look carefully and notice the patterns.

But don’t get too stressed about the sound if you can’t hear the differences between the short & long vowel sounds.

table,  bible (long)
bubble, wobble (short)


idle cradle
middle fiddle

struggle, giggle
single angle (two consonants so no doubling)







Look at these


 (we add the c to the k when it’s a short vowel sound)

Note that no letters are doubled if there are two consonants before – le: ankle, sprinkle, stumble, bundle, gargle, bangle, bungle…


Let’s look at the -stle letter pattern 

**castle, wrestle, whistle, bristle (the t is silent
not “castill” “bristol”  and a silent w and silent t in wrestle)


Do a spelling test for some of these words – click here
Do a word search – click here
Do a -le quiz – click here