I recently observed that a non native speaker of english use the word "destroied" instead of "destroyed". It made me wonder why it is not "destroied". For "cry" it is "cried" but not "cryed". How it is determined or what rules decide what to use?

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    You might find this helpful if you're just looking for rules: Changing Y to I with Suffixes. If you're looking for something more than just the rules, you may want to edit your question to clarify that.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 17, 2022 at 19:50
  • This is in effect a duplicate of this question about nouns.
    – Laurel
    Mar 17, 2022 at 20:04
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    English spelling is a matter of tradition and doesn't follow rules. Each word has its own spelling, which almost looks like it makes sense, but never does. Mar 17, 2022 at 20:04
  • @JohnLawler Spelling follows rules. It's just there are lots of different rules that often conflict. Mar 17, 2022 at 20:06
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    @Acccumulation If they conflict, they're not correct rules. And since they don't predict spelling correctly, it's not very helpful to know them, is it? Mar 17, 2022 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


You cited cried. Do you know any example where -oy becomes -oied instead of -oyed? I don't. How about -ay or -ey or -uy (if any)?

For -oied the Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required) has only two: ototoied, past tense of the verb ototoi; and voied, alternate spelling of void.

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    There are near misses in that "say" becomes "said" (and similarly "pay" -> "paid", "lay" -> "laid" - though "play" -> "played").
    – psmears
    Mar 17, 2022 at 21:51

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