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Most Misspelled Words
Most Misspelled Words in EnglishIn a world where first impressions matter, a misspelled word can undermine your efforts to make a positive impact. So, spelling mistakes are not a trivial matter. They diminish your credibility and professionalism, and they can make your message less clear.
Whether you're writing an academic paper, a job application, or a business email, spelling mistakes create an impression of carelessness and a lack of attention to detail.
Top 20 Misspelled WordsHere are the top 20 misspelled words in English. This list is ordered by the number of times the misspellings were Googled in one month. (Where there are two common misspellings, an average was used.)
Table of Contents
- Why Is Spelling So Hard in English?
- How To Fix Spelling Mistakes
- The Top Ten Most Misspelled Words
- Printable Test
- Learn with Hangman!
Why Is Spelling So Hard in English?Here are the five most common causes of spelling mistakes.
(1) Inconsistency with VowelsIn English, the sounds of the vowels are inconsistent, and this is a main cause of spelling mistakes. Here are some examples that highlight the inconsistency of vowel sounds:
(2) Lack of Clarity with VowelsIn many English words, it is unclear which vowel features in one or more of the syllables. Often, the vowel sounds like a short "uh" sound, leaving the writer guessing which vowel made that sound. (This short "uh" sound is called a schwa. It is represented by this symbol ə, i.e., an upside down "e".)
In these examples, the bold vowels sound like schwas:
|vowel||vowel as a schwa|
(3) Spelling Inconsistency with ConsonantsAs a rule, the sounds of the consonants are more consistent, but not always. For example:
(4) Typing ErrorsTyping errors are another common cause of misspelling. Typically, with typing errors, the letters are transposed (e.g., "teh" instead of "the" or "becuase" instead of "because").
(5) Homophones and Near HomophonesHomophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings. For example:
- John has strong principals, and he refuses to perform this task. (The context tells us that "principals" is the wrong homophone. It should be "principles." However, your spellchecker and your grammar checker might not spot this mistake because "principals" is spelled correctly, and "strong principals" (i.e. strong head teachers) is a grammatically sound piece of English.)
How To Fix Spelling MistakesHere are two useful techniques to improve your spelling:
(1) Tell Yourself a Story
|rhythm||r + helps your two hips move|
|separate||There's "a rat" in separate|
|accommodation||There is enough accommodation for 2 Cs, 2 Ms, and 3 Os.|
(2) Break the Word DownTo help with spelling, break the word down into prefixes, root words, and suffixes.
|Prefix||Root Word||Suffix||Correct Spelling|
The Top Ten Most Misspelled Words
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Learn with Hangman!Hangman is a classic word game. In this version, the hidden word is always a commonly misspelled word (but not necessarily from our "Top 20" list). Choose your first letter to start.
- Guess the hidden word by choosing one letter at a time.
- If you guess a letter in the hidden word, then all is good.
- If you guess a letter that is not in the hidden word, then the hangman starts to build the gallows.
- If the gallows are completed, you lose.
- Good luck!
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