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Learn to Spell Words with the Suffixes -ent, -ence, -ency

In this worksheet, students will learn how to use the suffixes -ent, -ence, -ency.

'Learn to Spell Words with the Suffixes -ent, -ence, -ency' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 6 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Transcription

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Prefixes and Suffixes

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

We can use prefixes and suffixes to change the meaning of some words.  

We call the original word a root word.


Suffixes go at the end of words.

For example: cheer + ful = cheerful

The suffix -ful turns a noun (naming word) into an adjective (describing word).


happy boy jumping


In this activity, we will look at the use of the suffixes -ent, -ence, -ency

There are similar sounding words that end in -ant, -ance, and -ancy.  You can practise spelling these words in another activity.


The -ent suffix creates an adjective (describing word), but these words often do not have an obvious root word.

For example:  innocent


The suffixes -ence and -ency create nouns.

For example: emergency, independence


But how do we know when to use -ent, -ence, -ency rather than -ant, -ance, and -ancy?

If the suffix comes after a soft c, soft g, or qu sound, that usually means that it uses -ent, -ence, -ency

For example decent, emergency, frequent.


Another rule is that -ent is used when there is a related word in the same family that has a clear e (as in bed) sound in the right place.  

For example: we know that confident uses -ent, rather than -ant, because of the word confidential - there is a clear 'e' sound in this word.


However, there are many words which don't follow these rules and just have to be learnt!  

Try writing the word down both ways and seeing which looks right.  The more you read, the better you will become at this!


children reading books


Here are some examples of words that use these suffixes that we will practise in this activity:







And the exceptions:




You can listen to them here:



You can break the words up into the root and suffix to help you to spell them:

innoc ent

innoc ence

frequ ent

frequ ency

confid ent

obedi ent

independ ent


Use Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check to practise spellings a few times before we begin the activities.


boy writing

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