Here are the 100 words most commonly misspelled (‘misspell’ is one of them). Dr. Language has provided a one-stop cure for all your spelling ills. Each word has a mnemonic pill with it and, if you swallow it, it will help you to remember how to spell the word.
Don’t make yourself another daiquiri until you learn how to spell this funny word – the name of a Cuban village.
This word definitely sounds as though it ends only on -it, but it carries a silent “e” everywhere it goes.
A little discipline, spelled with the [s] and the [c] will get you to the correct spelling of this one.
You would be surprised how many sober people omit one of the [n]s in this one.
Even smart people forget one of the [b]s in this one. (So be careful who you call one when you write.)
This one won’t embarrass you if you remember it is large enough for a double [r] AND a double [s].
This word is misspelled “equiptment” 22,932 times on the web right now.
Remembering that [h] when you spell this word will lift your spirits and if you remember both [a]s, it will be exhilarating!
Remember that this one is -ceed, not -cede. (To exceed all expectations, master the spellings of this word, “precede” and “supersede” below.)
No word like this one spelled with an [a] is in existence. This word is a menage a quatre of one [i] with three [e]s.
Don’t experience the same problem many have with “existence” above in this word: -ence!
The silent “e” on “fire” is also cowardly: it retreats inside the word rather than face the suffix -y.
Here is one of several words that violate the i-before-e rule. (See “believe” above.)
You must learn to gauge the positioning of the [a] and [u] in this word. Remember, they are in alphabetical order (though not the [e]).
You should be grateful to know that keeping “great” out of “grateful” is great.
I guarantee you that this word is not spelled like “warranty” even though they are synonyms.
This word is too small for two double letters but don’t let it harass you, just keep the [r]s down to one.
English reaches the height (not heighth!) of absurdity when it spells “height” and “width” so differently.
The i-before-e rule works here, so what is the problem?
Humor us and spell this word “humorous”: the [r] is so weak, it needs an [o] on both sides to hold it up.
Don’t show your ignorance by spelling this word -ence!
The immediate thing to remember is that this word has a prefix, in- “not” which becomes [m] before [m] (or [b] or [p]). “Not mediate” means direct which is why “immediately” means “directly.”
Please be independent but not in your spelling of this word. It ends on -ent.
Knowing that this word ends on -able is indispensable to good writing.
This one sounds like a shot in the eye. One [n] the eye is enough.
Using two [l]s in this word and ending it on -ence rather than -ance are marks of…you guessed it.
The apostrophe marks a contraction of “it is.” Something that belongs to it is “its.”
Sure, sure, it is made by a jeweler but the last [e] in this case flees the scene like a jewel thief. However, if you prefer British spelling, remember to double the [l]: “jeweller,” “jewellery.” (See also pronunciation)
Traditionally, the word has been spelled judgment in all forms of the English language. However, the spelling judgement (with e added) largely replaced judgment in the United Kingdom in a non-legal context. In the context of the law, however, judgment is preferred. This spelling change contrasts with other similar spelling changes made in American English, which were rejected in the UK. In the US at least, judgment is still preferred and judgement is considered incorrect by many American style guides.
There is more than a kernel of truth in the claim that all the vowels in this word are [e]s. So why is the military rank (colonel) pronounced identically? English spelling can be chaotic
Yet another violator of the i-before-e rule. You can be sure of the spelling of the last syllable but not of the pronunciation.
Another French word throwing us an orthographic curve: a spare [i], just in case. That’s an [s], too, that sounds like a [z].
It may be as enjoyable as a berry patch but that isn’t the way it is spelled. That first [r] should be pronounced, too.
Where does English get the license to use both its letters for the sound [s] in one word?
Learning how to omit the [e] in this word should lighten the load of English orthography a little bit.
The main tenants of this word are “main” and “tenance” even though it comes from the verb “maintain.” English orthography at its most spiteful.
Man, the price you pay for borrowing from French is high. This one goes back to French main + oeuvre “hand-work,” a spelling better retained in the British spelling, “manoeuvre.”
The medieval orthography of English even lays traps for you: everything about the MIDdle Ages is MEDieval or, as the British would write, mediaeval.
Why would something to remind of you of a moment be spelled “memento?” Well, it is.
Here is another big word, large enough to hold two double consonants, double [l] and double [n].
Since that [a] is seldom pronounced, it is seldom included in the spelling. This one is a “mini ature;” remember that.
Since something minuscule is smaller than a miniature, shouldn’t they be spelled similarly? Less than cool, or “minus cule.”
This mischievous word holds two traps: [i] before [e] and [o] before [u]. Four of the five vowels in English reside here.
What is more embarrassing than to misspell the name of the problem? Just remember that it is mis + spell and that will spell you the worry about spelling “misspell.”
The word “neighbor” invokes the silent “gh” as well as “ei” sounded as “a” rule. This is fraught with error potential. If you use British spelling, it will cost you
another [u]: “neighbour.”
The [e] is noticeably retained in this word to indicate the [c] is “soft,” pronounced like [s]. Without the [e], it would be pronounced “hard,” like [k], as in “applicable.”.
Writers occasionally tire of doubling so many consonants and omit one, usually one of the [l]s. Don’t you ever do it.
Remember not only the occurrence of double double consonants in this word, but that the suffix is -ence, not -ance. No reason, just the English language keeping us on our toes.
Since a pastime is something you do to pass the time, you would expect a double [s] here. Well, there is only one. The second [s] was slipped through the cracks in English orthography long ago.
All it takes is perseverance and you, too, can be a (near-)perfect speller. The suffix is
-ance for no reason at all.
Funny Story: The assistant Vice-President of Personnel notices that his superior, the VP himself, upon arriving at his desk in the morning opens a small, locked box, smiles, and locks it back again. Some years later when he advanced to that position (inheriting the key), he came to work early one morning to be assured of privacy. Expectantly, he opened the box. In it was a single piece of paper which said: “Two Ns, one L.”
Those who play right are right-players, not playwrights. Well, since they write plays, they should be “play-writes,” wright, right? Rong. Wrong. Remember that a play writer in Old English was called a “play worker” and “wright” is from an old form of “work” (wrought iron, etc.)
Possession possesses more [s]s than a snake.
What follows, succeeds, so what goes before should, what? No, no, no, you are using logic. Nothing confuses English spelling more than common sense. “Succeed” but “precede.” Precede combines the Latin words “pre” and “cedere” which means to go before.
The spelling principle to remember here is that the school principal is a prince and a pal (despite appearances) and the same applies to anything of foremost importance, such as a principal principle. A “principle” is a rule. (Thank you, Meghan Cope, for help on this one.)
According to the pronunciation (not “pronounciation”!) of this word, that middle vowel could be anything. Remember: two [i]s + two [e]s in that order.
Nouns often differ from the verbs they are derived from. This is one of those. In this case, the pronunciation is different, too, an important clue.
Let me publicly declare the rule (again): if the adverb comes from an adjective ending on -al, you include that ending in the adverb; if not, as here, you don’t.
The French doing it to us again. Double up on the [n]s in this word and don’t forget the silent [e]. Maybe someday we will spell it the English way.
I hope you have received the message by now: [i] before [e] except after…
I would recommend you think of this word as the equivalent of commending all over again: re+commend. That would be recommendable.
Final consonants are often doubled before suffixes (remit: remitted, remitting). However, this rule applies only to accented syllables ending on [l] and [r], e.g. “rebelled,” “referred” but “traveled,” “buffered” and not containing a diphthong, e.g. “prevailed,” “coiled.”
Refer to the last mentioned word and also remember to add -ence to the end for the noun.