Spelling/phonics rule for "-dge" words (e.g bridge, hedge etc)

(17 Posts)
PrimarymumX2 Thu 24-Jan-19 09:31:55

Anybody could help me please with the rule that applies here?

DD (Y2) got a mixed list of spellings with the "bridge" word included. Rather than memorising this as a standalone word, I want her to remember the rule (which I don't know - not a native speaker)

Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
Kokeshi123 Thu 24-Jan-19 10:30:43

Hmm, "dge" is how we spell the /j/ sound when it is at the end of a word, immediately following a "short" vowel sound?

I will be honest though, I have always found that trying to explain rules like this to my dd results in a blank face (which I kind of understand--it IS conceptually complicated). So we go the approach of learning the spelling of one word for each vowel sound (bridge, edge, fudge, dodge, badge) and then listing words that rhyme with each of these.

I am not a teacher though, so my approach may not be the correct one!

PrimarymumX2 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:33:38

Thanks a lot, Kokeshi123.

Yes, agree. In this instance, I better use a "rhyming words" approach.

OP’s posts: |
Kokeshi123 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:31:40

Good luck. By the way, the fact that you are having difficulty working out what the rule is, is probably nothing to do with the fact that you are not a native speaker of English. Good readers/spellers have usually internalized these rules a long time ago and are no longer consciously aware of what they are doing when they spell words. I am a native speaker, and I have also struggled with these kinds of patterns--they can be surprisingly complicated.

Perhaps some of the teachers here can recommend a book which sets these patterns out, if the OP wants to be able to help her child with spelling in this way? I find the Diane McGuinness book quite helpful.

TeenTimesTwo Thu 24-Jan-19 13:03:29

Thinking about it a bit, /ge/ at the end of a word is often (generally?) pronounced 'j' isn't it?

So not only hedge & bridge, but also orange & henge, and garage & age, also huge.

Are there examples where it isn't a 'j' sound?

Tidypidy Thu 24-Jan-19 17:52:21

The e softens the g so you say j not guh. I can't think of any exceptions but there probably are some!

MsChookandtheelvesofFahFah Thu 24-Jan-19 18:10:48

A 'j' sounds at the end of a word is spelt 'dge' if the preceding vowel sound is short and 'ge' if the preceding vowel is long. E.g. short 'a' in badge, long 'a' in cage. I'm trying to remember if there are any exceptions!


iklboo Thu 24-Jan-19 18:19:47

The short or long vowel sound in Garage would depend on your accent - if you pronounce it garidge or garahge. Which is why English is a sod to learn grin

Tidypidy Thu 24-Jan-19 18:29:09

Thought of some! Gear, together, target.

TeenTimesTwo Thu 24-Jan-19 18:32:36

Tidy Those aren't at the end of words though (which was the rule I theorised)

Aragog Thu 24-Jan-19 18:39:37

/dge/ spelling rule:

/dge/ is used to make the /j/ immediately after a short vowel in a one-syllable word



Aragog Thu 24-Jan-19 18:45:44

otherwise you use /ge/

There's also /dg/ for the middle of such work - as in dodgy, edgy, stodgy
This covers words like fidget - the /dg/ makes the j sound, and you also say the /e/ and /t/

It's not really just one syllable words though - acknowledge, partridge

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 24-Jan-19 19:08:24

hajj taj - although obviously recent import words.
veg vag maj reg - although many will exclude them as abbreviations.

No real good exceptions sprung to my mind.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 24-Jan-19 19:09:46

Oh sorry, TeenTimesTwo you were going the other way, I'll have to think on that one too.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 24-Jan-19 19:12:07


PrimarymumX2 Thu 24-Jan-19 21:49:33

Thank you very much everybody !
(Minefield! - was my conclusion smile )

And just to make you smile, my DD enthusiastically included "oranDGE " in her list of "rhyming words" for "bridge"

OP’s posts: |
LarkDescending Sat 26-Jan-19 06:03:00

It’s not always about the length of the vowel (e.g. fringe vs fridge).

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