What is the correct preposition to use with the verb "to spell"? I'm trying to write a sentence "this sound is usually spelled by the letter "e". I'm not sure if I should say "by the letter "e" or "as the letter "e". Or maybe both variants are not correct? :)

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    Neither of them sound right, (i'd probably use "with") but the concept of spelling a sound is a bit confusing. Can you provide some more context please? – Max Williams Feb 24 '16 at 12:30
  • Sorry for confusion. The text I'm writing is about phonetics and spelling, after describing a sound, I have to give some information how this sound is usually represented in writing. For example, "the /æ/ sound is typically spelled as (?)/by (?)/with (?) the letter "a"... – Irina Feb 24 '16 at 15:42

I don't think that "spelled" is the right verb here at all, as spelled describes a word. I think you should say written, eg

The /æ/ sound is typically written as "a" or "ah".

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I would say "spelled with" as mentioned in a comment. Or I would use no preposition at all.

  • exaggerated" is spelled with double "g".

  • there are a few words in English where the "g" sound is spelled "gg".

Google Ngram Viewer produces a few "spelled by" and "spelled as", though

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The letter “e” sound can be short as in ‘red’, long (as in scream), or none/silent (as in ‘done’).

A better way to say it is “this sound is usually spelled by the letter ‘e’ as in red/scream/done [or any other phonic sound of ‘e’].”

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