-le words: the patterns & rules

Sometimes we spell these words with a single letter or double letters before the -le: title / little, idle / middle, trifle / shuffle, stable/ stubble.

Notice the double letters. These occur when there’s a short vowel sound. But we don’t double up when there are 2 consonants: candle, single.

Listen to the difference between apple and maple, little and title. Both have single vowels but one is a long vowel sound and the other short.

And a c is added to the k when it’s a short vowel + “k” sound -ckle: tickle, chuckle, prickle

Watch the video below

 

Press the player and listen to the word lists below:

-ble after a long vowel sound
table

able
marble
bible
cable
noble
bauble
stable
amble, assemble, tumble  (short sound but with 2 consonants)
bble after a short vowel sound
bubble
babble
dribble
nibble
wobble
scribble
stubble
hobble
(exceptions – treble, trouble, double)

alternative spellings for this sound: global, tribal, herbal, libel, label, rebel, symbol, gerbil
-tle after long vowel sound
title
beetle
startle
turtle
dismantle (2 consonants)
subtle (2 consonants even though silent b)
-ttle after short vowel sound
little
kettle
battle
bottle
settle
cattle
nettle
throttle

alternative spellings: capital, total, lentil, pistol (+ many more)
-stle  (silent t)
bristle, whistle, castle, wrestle (silent w & t), trestle, thistle, gristle, jostle, apostle, hustle, bustle 
-dle 
idle
cradle
doodle
poodle
needle
ladle
candle, handle, bundle, swindle, dawdle
-ddle
middle
fiddle
puddle
paddle
saddle
straddle
meddle
riddle

alternative spellings: pedal, bridal, feudal, medal, idol, modal, scandal, tidal
-gle
single
ogle
gargle
eagle
beagle
bugle
angle, bangle, bungle, tangle, new-fangled
-ggle
struggle
giggle
haggle

alternative spellings: fungal, legal, regal, bagel, mogul
-ple
people
staple
maple
purple
steeple
disciple
simple, dimple, sample, example, crumple
-pple
apple
dapple
ripple
supple
topple
grapple
(exceptions: triple, couple)

alternative spellings: opal, chapel, pupil
fle
rifle
trifle
stifle
-ffle
shuffle
sniffle
truffle
raffle
baffle
muffle
ruffle
scuffle

alternative spellings: offal, duffel (also duffle) many words endings with -ful wonderful, awful 
-kle
ankle
sprinkle
sparkle
tinkle
twinkle
wrinkle
(no -kkle words) -ckle short vowel sound
tickle
tackle
chuckle
pickle
prickle
trickle
fickle
buckle
cackle
freckle
knuckle

alternative spellings: snorkel, pumpernickel, nickel, jackal 
-cle
uncle
article
icicle
circle
cycle
bicycle
miracle
obstacle
vehicle
spectacle
chronicle
no -ccle words

alternative spellings: logical, economical, practical, vocal 
-sle
measle/measles
tousle
-ssle
hassle, tussle
-zzle
dazzle
embezzle
nozzle
puzzle
drizzle
alternative spellings: pretzel, wurzel 
-xle
axle (that’s it)

alternative spelling: pixel 

No words ending in:
-hle
-jle
-mle
-nle
-qle/-qule
-rle
-vle
-wle

Do a word search – click here
Do a spelling test – click here
Do a quiz – click here

 

 

 

Thanks to Lyn Stone’s  Spelling for Life (for teachers) book