At the Spelling Bee a speller is given two minutes and thirty seconds from when a word is first pronounced, to spell a word in its entirety. The first two minutes are known as "Regular Time", the final thirty seconds is known as "Finish Time". During this time limit, a speller is allowed to ask the pronouncer for the following information:

  1. The definition of the word
  2. The word's part of speech
  3. The word's usage in a sentence
  4. The word's language(s) of origin (not the complete etymology, even though some spellers refer to the language(s) of origin as the etymology)
  5. Alternate pronunciations of the word
  6. Alternate definitions of the word
  7. Whether or not the word contains a specified root; this may only be asked providing the speller can state the root in question, the root's language of origin, and the root's definition.
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