Jealous Spelling: How do you spell it?

In English, several words sound so similar to one another that people mistakenly interchange them. As a result, the meaning of sentences is distorted.

It’s vital that you carefully analyze the word and their spelling as you write. A common confusion arises with the word jealous and zealous. These two words are two separate terms with different meanings and applications.

The ending of jealous spelling is another cause of misspelling the word frequently. This article will help you spell the word correctly and understand its use in different contexts.

Jealous vs. Zealous— Which is Correct?

Jealous and zealous are both correct in terms of spellings. Though they sound similar and look identical, they are two distinct terms.

Jealous – expressing resentment, envy, or possessiveness towards the other person. It is a highly negative emotion.

  • You should not be jealous of others’ accomplishments.

Zealous – showing strong passion, energy, and eagerness to do something. It has a positive connotation that refers to dedication.

  • The salesman was very zealous in showing the products to the customers.

Origin of Jealous

The first records of the word jealous come from around 1200. The word was derived from the Medieval Latin zelosus and Greek zēlos, meaning “full of zeal.” It also has an influence from theOld French word gelos, meaning keen, avaricious. The words jealous and zealous originated from the same source but differed in spelling, meaning, and use somewhere along the way.

A fountain pen tip placed on a black lined paper
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Jealous Spelling: Know the right way to spell it

Jealous is a 2 syllable word, jeal-ous, with the stress on the first syllable. This word consists of 4 vowels and 3 consonants. The phonetic transcription of the word is /ˈdʒɛləs/, and it is pronounced as [jeh·luhs] in both American and British English.

If you misspell the word as jealus, then the issue is the confusion with the ending. And there’s a rule to spell such words correctly.

If the word is an adjective that describes the qualities of a noun, use “ous” at the ending. For example, jealous, famous, pious, etc.

However, if the word is a noun that is a name of a place, person, or thing, then use “us” at the end. For example, cactus, octopus, genius, etc.

Another confusion is whether to use “ee” or “ea” in jealous spelling. Words with the letters “ea” or “ee” in the middle have a long vowel sound. And there is no rule about which one to use to spell the word. You have to memorize these words through practice to spell them correctly.

Dictionary Definition of Jealous with examples

“Jealous” functions as an adjective, and it is used to describe the traits or qualities of a noun. The English dictionary definitions are clarified with some examples below.

1. Feeling envious or resentment against someone because of their possessions, achievements, or advantages.

Jenny is jealous of her sister’s wealth.

2. characterized by rivalry or troubled by suspicious fear that one’s partner is unfaithful and engaged to someone else.

His wife is an extremely jealous lady.

3. vigilantly maintaining or being protective of one’s rights or possessions.

Mr. Roberts was very protective and jealous of his wife.

Wrapping Up

Make sure you don’t mix up “jealous” and “zealous” because they are different words and mean completely different emotions. This article explains the differences between the two terms to help you avoid using them in the wrong context. This post also discusses a quick rule to spell the word “jealous” correctly and perfect your pronunciation as well.

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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