English Learner Article Spelling- Nouns and Verbs ending '-y'

Summary: A look at the rules for verbs and nouns ending -y.

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Spelling rules for verbs ending -y

Verbs ending vowel + -y

If a verb ends with a vowel before -y, we just add -s for the third person singular:

  • I, you, we, they say / he, she, it says
  • I, you, we, they play / he, she, it plays
  • I, you, we, they buy / he, she, it buys

If the verb is regular, we add -ed for the past tense and past participle:

  • I, you, he, she, it we, they stayed
  • I, you, he, she, it we, they enjoyed
  • I, you, he, she, it we, they toyed

Verbs ending consonant + -y

If a verb ends with a consonant before -y, we remove the y and add -ies for the third person singular:

  • I, you, we, they try / he, she, it tries
  • I, you, we, they cry / he, she, it cries
  • I, you, we, they fly / he, she, it flies

If the verb is regular, we we remove the y and add -ied for the past tense and past participle:

  • I, you, we, they try / he, she, it tried
  • I, you, we, they cry / he, she, it cried
  • I, you, we, they apply / he, she, it applied

Spelling rules for nouns ending -y

Nouns ending vowel + -y

If a noun ends with a vowel before -y, we just add -s for the plural:

  • A plays / two plays
  • A day / two days

Nouns ending consonant + -y

If a noun ends with a consonant before -y, we remove the y and add -ies for the plural:

  • A fly / two flies
  • A try / two tries