From the archives...
A customer sent us the following question:
I should know this by now I think, but we are in lesson 35 doing extra practice for adding suffixes. Rule 14 says to double the last consonant when adding a vowel suffix to words ending in 1 vowel followed by 1 consonant, only if the syllable before the suffix is accented. And then at the bottom is asterisk * that says This is always true for one syllable words.
However, 35.9 # 8 says to spell fixing without doubling the x.
Great question. The suffixing rules are some of the most difficult to master the application of!
To see this spelled out in detail, see Uncovering the Logic of English pp. 80-81. But the key is that the phonogram X contains two consonant sounds. Rule 14 only applies when the word ends in one vowel followed by one consonant, seen and heard. So just as "sleep" or "trick" do not qualify because you see two vowel letters or two consonant letters, and thus you do not double the final consonant before adding the suffix, words ending with a vowel followed by X do not qualify because you hear two consonants. There is a note on the flow chart on the Phonogram Quick Reference to help you remember this as well.