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What are some commonly misspelt words I should watch out for?

There are too many words for the average person to know how to write them all perfectly, myself included. And with so many tricky words that can be both a noun and a verb, it's no wonder we make mistakes. I always have to double-check my text because I type much faster than my brain can process the rules, and I know I'm not the only one. For example, advice vs advise is an easy one to get wrong.


You can find a list of commonly misspelt words here (UK spelling). And if you scroll down, you'll find a list of some of the differences in spelling between three English-speaking countries. Because, why not?

Word

Explanation/Example

Accommodate

Often misspelt due to doubling of 'm' and 'c'

Acknowledge

Often misspelt due to forgetting the silent 'k' at the beginning

Believe

The 'i' and 'e' are often confused, leading to misspellings such as 'beleive'

Calendar

Often written as 'calender'

Definitely

Often written as 'definately'. Often misspelt due to confusion with similar words like 'defiantly'

Embarrass

Often written as 'embarass' or 'embarras' because of uncertainty regarding the double 'r' and 's'

Familiar

Often written with an extra 'l', 'familliar'

Guarantee

Often written as 'garantee' because you don't hear the 'u' when pronouncing the word

Necessary

The double 's' and 'c' often cause confusion

Privilege

Often written as 'privelige'. Confusion because of the 'e' and 'i' sound when pronouncing the word

Receive

The 'i' and 'e' are often switched, leading to misspellings such as 'recieve'

Separate

Confusion over where the 'a' and 'e' should be placed

Weird

The 'i' and 'e' are often switched, leading to misspellings such as 'wierd'

Acquaintance

This is a long word where the 'cquai' part is tricky because you don't hear the 'c' when pronouncing the word

Exhilarate

Often written as 'exhilerate' due to how people tend to pronounce the word

Exaggerate

Often written as 'exagerate' because you don't really hear the double 'g' when you pronounce the word

English is the primary language of many countries. Take, for example, the UK, the USA, Canada, and Australia. These four countries have varieties in vocabulary usage and spelling conventions, which can be very confusing and cause many spelling errors. For example, when one mainly reads books from American authors, they may get used to seeing 'traveling'; while in the UK, the dictionary shows 'travelling'.

UK Spelling

US Spelling

AU Spelling

Travelling

Traveling

Travelling

Modelling

Modeling

Modelling

Draught

Draft

Draught (also Draft)

Programme

Program

Program (also Programme)

Trousers

Pants

Pants

Pants

Underpants

Underpants (also Pants – though, mostly women's)

Defence

Defense

Defence

Labour

Labor

Labour (also Labor)

Metre

Meter

Meter

Neighbour

Neighbor

Neighbour (also Neighbor)

Centre

Center

Centre

Australian spelling can be tricky if you're not from there or don't work with it. As you can see from the small sample above, it looks like a mix of US and UK spelling conventions where you can spell certain words in two different ways.


We all have words we need to correct while writing, no matter how many times we've corrected them in the past. Which word do you always mess up? Let me know in the comments.


References:

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