How to Spell Stick — a Quick Spelling Guide

In English, we find words that are pronounced in one…

In English, we find words that are pronounced in one way and spelled in the other. With tons of regular and irregular rules, English can sometimes be overwhelming. For example, how do you spell stick? Is it with a k or a ck at the end? This article will help you spell the word ‘stick’ correctly and avoid errors in your writing.

What Does Stick Mean?

The word ‘stick’ could serve as a noun or verb based on its context. Generally, a stick refers to a thin piece of wood or other material. It could also mean a thin piece of something. As a verb, ‘stick’ means to cause something to become fixed or firm with another similar substance, usually by glue or adhesive.

  • The old woman was carrying a heap of sticks on her back.
  • Did you see my walking stick?
  • I tried to stick the posters on my bedroom wall.

Origin of the Word Stick

The word stick comes from the Old English word sticca meaning “peg, stick, spoon,” which originated from the West German. It was then related to Dutch stek, meaning “cutting from a plant,” and German Stecken, meaning “staff, stick,” to give us the word “Stick.”

How Do You Spell Stick?

‘Stick’ is a 5-lettered word with 1 vowel and 4 consonants, spelled as S-T-I-C-K. This 1 syllable word is pronounced at once. Based on the English dictionary, the phonetic transcription of ‘stick’ is /stɪk/, which sounds the same in American and British English.

The confusion arises with the k sound at the end of ‘stick.’ Whether to use ‘ck’ or ‘k’ is what gets this word misspelled most of the time. To write the word correctly, follow the rule below:

Rule: Use -ck After a Short Vowel

For words ending with a /k/ sound, the rule is to use ‘ck’ after a short vowel, as in sick, lick, and stick. In other cases, use the ‘k’ at the end, as in peak, silk, and beak.

person writing on brown wooden table near white ceramic mug
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Definitions of Stick With Example Sentences

‘Stick’ can function both as a noun and a verb. Follow the definitions below with example sentences in different contexts.

As a Noun

1. a thin piece of wood that has been snapped or chopped from a tree. It could also be a pole-like piece of wood used to support walking.

  • We need some more sticks for the campfire.
  • Though the old man walks with a stick, he is very active.

2. refers to a long thin piece of something. It could also informally refer to a skinny person or straight lines.

  • Could you bring me some cinnamon sticks?
  • Her arms were like a stick after she recovered from the illness.
  • The child drew some creative stick figures on the notepad.

As a Verb

1. to push something sharp and thin into or through something else; a pointed object embedded or fixed in a particular position.

  • Stay away from the sticking rod on the side of the road.
  • Could you please stick the knitting needles on the ball of wool?

2. to fix one thing to another, especially using a sticky substance such as glue. It could also mean staying firm in one’s words or decisions.

  • She was sticking posters on her bedroom wall.
  • His car tire was stuck in the mud.
  • You should stick to your promise.

3. to put something somewhere quickly without much care.

  • Just stick the books on the table for now.
  • I was in a hurry, so I stuck the plates in the sink and left.

To Wrap Up

We often misspell words because they are written and spelled differently. So, how do you spell stick now? Is it with a –ck or –k at the end? — Remember that words with a short vowel end with a ‘-ck.’

This article is a guide to help you spell ‘stick’ correctly and learn to use it both as a noun and verb in sentences.

How to Spell Stick — a Quick Spelling Guide

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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