How to Spell Possible — a Quick Spelling Guide

English is not a phonetic language which often makes it confusing to spell words correctly. There are numerous words derived from other languages in English which are not spelled the way they are pronounced. Keeping all the grammar and spelling rules in mind can be overwhelming. And people often misspell words with double consonants. This is especially true for non-native speakers. Speaking of that, how do you spell possible? Do you always get the spelling right? If not, this article is here to help you get rid of the confusion and spell the word correctly.

How Do You Spell Possible?

“Possible” is a 3-syllable word, pos-si-ble, with the stress on the first syllable. It consists of three vowels and five consonants. The pronunciation of the word may not help with the spelling much, but it is important to correctly pronounce the word for better communication.

The phonetic transcription of possible is /ˈpɒsɪb(ə)l/. Americans pronounce the word as paa·suh·bl while the British prefer a more rounded short sound like po·suh·bl.

The word “possible” has its origin in the Latin word posse (be able), which transformed into possibilis from the Old French. It was then adopted in the Middle English as possible.

Correctly spelling the word becomes easier if you take the root word “posse” and the suffix “-ible,” you can apply a common spelling rule.

Rule: Drop the Silent E at the end before adding a Suffix

The suffix “-ible” is used to form adjectives of words derived from Latin. If we add the suffix to the word “posse,” it stands out to be:

Posse (root word) + ible (suffix) = Possible

black and white tiles with the word Possible written on them.
Photo by Chang Ye on Unsplash

Dictionary Definitions With Examples

Based on the dictionary, possible functions as an adjective most of the time. But it can also work as a noun based on the use.

As an Adjective

1. The ability to complete or accomplish something.

It is not possible for me to complete the task by today.

2. Refers to the potential or being able to become something. It serves as an attributive adjective.

We must offer him all the benefits as he could be a possible customer.

3. Having as much or as little of a specified quality as can be achieved.

Parents always try to give their children the best possible education.

4. (of a number or score) the greatest available score in an exam, competition, or game.

We could only solve three coding problems from a possible eight.

5. Able to happen or exist, but it is not certain or probable.

What are the possible outcomes of this experiement?

As a Noun

1. Denotes a list of potentially good candidates for a job or team.

The top three possible candidates for this position are on the list.

2. That which is probable or attainable.

Do the possible with whatever data you have for the report.

Tips to Improve Pronunciation of Possible

To improve your pronunciation of possible, below are three simple tips.

  • At first, break down the word “possible” into its individual sounds: [pos] + [uh] + [buhl]. Repeat the sounds out loud until you can consistently pronounce the word right.
  • Try recording yourself saying the word “possible,” and then watch it later. It will help you spot your mistakes and fix them easily.
  • Pick and stick to only one accent from the US and UK English. Mixing the accents will often confuse people, especially the non-natives and beginners.

To Wrap Up

“Possible” is a frequently used word but misspelled a lot of times due to its pronunciation. Misspelling common words in your writing will cast e negative impression on the readers. And it’s easy to make mistakes with words that have a different pronunciation and spelling.

This article is a quick guide to help you spell possible correctly and learn its proper pronunciation in US and UK English.

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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