Commonly Misspelled Words

by Nikki Ballard


A quickstart Web guide by the Mississippi Arts Alliance
With all the spelling aids used today, it's easy to lose sight of those simple spelling rules and helpful tips we learned in grade school. Along with the invention of spell check and it's addition to text software, instant messaging services, email and even cell phones has come an inattention to common misspellings. Why should we pay attention if a computer will fix our mistakes? Well, because, spelling is still a fundamental part of life and the tricks used to aid in spelling are the same ones Ms. Beasley taught you in second grade. Using mnemonic devices, like acronyms, can help insure you spell "definitely" right every time. Mnemonic devices are are tools that assist in memory and are used for many schools of study, such as math, biology, and, you guessed it, spelling. There's even a mnemonic device for spelling mnemonic: Mnemonics Now Erase Man's Oldest Nemesis, Insufficient Cerebral Storage.

      So, the next time you forget whether to use here or hear, remember you hear with your ear. Don't let modern technology steal those valuable spelling lessons, one day you might find yourself, heaven forbid, without spell check. 
 


commonly misspelled words starting with the letter A

Commonly Misspelled Words

by Nikki Ballard



Aa 

abbreviate -|- no need to abbreviate this word, 2 B's everytime. 
 

absurd -|- don't be absurd, spell this word with a U. 
 

abundance -|- Remember, an abundance of A's when trying to think of the ending of this word.  
 

accidentally -|- To prevent an accident on the field, you need an ally on your team. 
 

accompanying -|- There are 2 C's accompanying this word. 
 

according -|- according to spelling rules, this word keeps both C's when adding an -ing 
 

achieve -|- To achieve spelling success, you must simply remember this word follows the "-i before -e" rule....kind of. 
 

acknowledge -|- To acknowledge this word's spelling, you must have previous knowledge. 
 

acquit -|- The AC quit.  
 

advice -|- I would advise you be careful giving out too much advice.  
 

aggravate -|- Don't let this word aggravate you, use the first letter of each word: A Good Girl Rarely Aggravates Visitors At The Estate 
 

airplane -|- This one is simple. Where do planes fly? In the air. Air + Plane = airplane.  

address -|- Please add your address. 

affect -|- affect/effect:

Use the word RAVEN to remember when to use "affect" versus "effect".

R emember

A ffect

V erb

E ffect

N oun  

affect can be a noun, and effect a verb, but they are very rarely used that way. see affect vs. effect 

aggression -|-    >>> Remember, the G's and S's are so aggressive they each get two.  

alcohol -|-   Drink a large cold orange juice for a cold, not alcohol. 

allege -|- Don't jump off a ledge trying to spell this word, just remember you need 2 L's and an -ege to allege something.  

a lot -|- It's always 2 words, so don't allot a lot of time and energy worrying. 

allot -|- It's always 1 word with 2 L's, so, again, don't allot a lot of time and energy worrying. 

amateur -|- Be mature, it isn't spelled how it sounds; use the french suffic -eur to move past amateur status. 

amend -|- Don't amend this word. It's spelled with one m every time.  

apparent -|- A parent must always pay the rent and you must always remember 2 P's and -rent when spelling apparent. 

argument -|- Argue will always lose an 'e' in an argument. 

arithmetic -|- A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream 

average -|-   Age is more than just a number in average. 

absence -|- from the root word absent, in order to make absent a noun, you must drop the –t and add -ce  

accommodate -|- Remember, to accommodate this word, you'll need 2 C's, M's and O's.  
 
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter B

Bb 
 

babies -|- this word follows the plural rule for words ending in –y. Once baby is made plural, you drop the –y and add –ies, babies. 
 

bachelor -|- Unlike the word ‘batch', bachelor doesn't use the –t to create the same effect.   
 

balance  -|- No tricks here, just remember there's an –a in the middle to balance the bal- and the –nce. 
 

balloon -|- Imagine the two O's in this word are  balloons holding the ball away from the –n.  

bankruptcy -|- This word is spelled pretty much how it sounds, just don't forget the –p before the –t.  
 

barbarous -|- Easy easy. Barbarous repeats the –bar twice and then adds the suffix- ous.  
 

barbecue -|- Although often spelling Bar-B-Q or even barbeque (which would sound similar to unique), this word is spelled pretty much how it sounds with a –cue to achieve the "kyoo" sound at the end.  
 

bare -|- A bear without fur would be a bare bear. 
 

becoming -|- As with most words, when adding an -ing, you drop the -e.  
 

bicycle -|- The short version of this word may be bike with a -k, but this word is spelled closer to it's origin: bi- meaning 2 and cycle, wheels.  
 

biscuit -|- Breakfast Is Semi-Complete Unless I Taste biscuits.  
 

bureau -|- Bureaus Usually Require Energy And Understanding 
 

beautiful -|- Split it up into 2 words to remember it, b-e-a-u - tiful or try this bare elegant arms are usually beautiful. 

because -|- Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants or If you are going to fight, it should be for a cause. 

beginning -|- Beg at the Inn  

belief -|-   You must truly believe to call it a belief. -- Both belief and believe follow the -i before -e rule.  

believe -|- There's always a lie in believe.  

business -|- Be environmentally aware and a better speller and remember to always take the bus to your business.  

bellwether -|- Regardless of how it sounds, bellwether actually has nothing to do with the weather, it's actually a type of Ram.  

bookkeeper -|- Bookkeeper's take care of the numbers, but when it comes to spelling always remember there are 2 O's, 2 K's, and 2 E's all in a row. 

burglar -|-   If you experience a burglary at you house, just take off the -y to find the burglar. 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter C

Cc 

calm -|- Stay calm, this word is just like clam except you reverse the L and the A. 
 

campaign -|- A rough campaign may cause pain but it isn't spelled that way. IF it helps, split it up. Camp + Aign. 
 

chaos -|- The only thing to remember about this word is the -ch makes a "k" sound, but the rest is just like it sounds. 

casualties -|- While there is nothing casual about the meaning of this word, the spelling is simple, the word ‘casual' + the word ‘ties' 

catalog -|-  

ceiling -|- No need to be confused, this word follows the ‘-i before -e rule'.     

celebrity -|- Celebs do lots of charity. The end of charity and celebrity are the same.   

cellophane -|- It may sound like there's an –s and an –f in this word, but it starts with a –c with a –ph thrown in the center.  

chief -|- Your chief concern with this word, should be remembering it follows the ‘-i before –e rule'.   

children -|- The plural of child, children simply adds an –ren to show there's more than one.   

chili -|- Chili, not to be confused with chilly, is a food and is spelled with 2 I's and one l.   

choose -|- Choose rhymes with lose, but it's spelled like loose.  

clothes -|- Clothing Labels Often Tell Humans Exactly where to Shop.  

concede -|- No tricks here, you must simply memorize the suffix of this word. Remember, 2 c's and 2 e's. 

calendar -|- If you need to know the date you can check the calendar, but to spell it you must remember there's an -e between 2 A's.  

camouflage -|- Camo may keep you hidden, but you can't camouflage the -u when you spell this word. 

cantaloupe -|- Don't let this fruit throw you for a loop, the end may sound like -lope, but just like fruit it's spelled with a -u, cantaloupe. 

caribbean -|- No matter how you say it, this word always has 1 r and 2 B's.  

category -|- it isn't a catastrophe to spell category with two as, but it is pretty bad. 

cemetery -|- Don't let the spelling of this word bury you, just remember cemetery has 3 E's.  

changeable -|- You don't have to change a thing, just add an -able. 

collectible -|- This word does not collect A's, it's an -ible word. 

colonel -|- They may sound the same, but you eat a kernel of corn and you respect a colonel in the army. 

column -|- No tricks here, the N is silent, but always there.  

committed -|- Be committed when spelling this word, 2 M's and 2 T's when you add the -ed. 

committee -|-   A committee has many folks and the word has a lot of doubles, 2 M's, 2 T's, and 2 E's. 

conscience -|- Don't let spelling this word weigh on your conscience, it's just con + science 

conscientious -|- Be a conscientious speller, remember the "sh" sound is made two ways in this word: "sc" and "ti" 

conscious -|- If you get all the vowels in the ending correct, i-o-u a congratulations. 

consensus -|- Consensus doesn't take a census, so we spell them differently. 

controversy -|- There shouldn't be any controversy over the spelling of this word, it's just like it sounds contro-versy 

coolly -|- If you want to spell this word coolly, don't omit an L. 

commitment -|- This word is simple, just remember keep the 2 m's in commit and just add the suffix –ment. 

criticize -|- It may sound like the word ‘size' is in there, but don't be fooled. To spell this word, simply add the –ize to the root word ‘critic'. 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter D

Dd

dalmatian -|- Dalmatians are covered in spots, and this word is spotted in A's.  

dealt -|- The dealer dealt the cards.  

debater -|- There's no debating, this word has no O's. It's the verb debate with an –r on the end to make it a noun.  

debt -|- The –b is silent like the –t in mortgage.  

Decaffeinated -|- Oh the English language, making and breaking rules. This word does not follow the –i before –e rule, so you must simply remember 2 F's followed by an –ei.  

decathlon -|- the prefix deca- means 10 and that's the only –a in the word.   

defendant -|- a defendant muse be defended. To remember the suffix –ant, just break the word apart: defend + ant  

descend -|-  

desirable -|- Abs are desirable.  

dilemma -|-  

doubt -|- There's no doubt, the –b in this word is just as silent as in debt.  

disease -|- Spell disease with ease.   

discreet -|- The e's in this word are not discreet, the are doubled.  

disastrous -|- Disastrous comes from the word disaster, and to avoid one, you drop the –e, move the r over and add an –ous. 

deceive -|- This word won't deceive you, it follows the rule"i before e except after c" 

definite -|- This word definitely takes an -ite everywhere it goes. 

desert -|- The desert is sandy.  

desperate -|- Perhaps you will learn to spell desperate. 

dessert -|- Desserts are sweet stuff and Strawberry Shortcake. 

deterrence -|- Don't like the end of this word deter you, add an -r and keep the e theme, deterrence. 

disappoint -|- Don't disappoint your proud papa.  

discipline -|- With a little discipline, you will remember to add a -c after the -s.  

drunkenness -|- Alcohol in excess causes drunkenness, there is an excess of of N's and S's in this word.  

dumbbell -|- Don't be a dumbbell, 1 word, 2 B's. 

definitely -|- This word definitely takes an -ite everywhere it goes. 

dependent -|- Spelling this word is easy, there are no A's, only E's; so keep that –ent ending every time. 

develop -|- The only tricky thing about spelling ‘develop' is remember the –o make a short –u sound. Otherwise, it's spelled like it sounds. Break it up: de- vel- op 

 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter E

Ee  

echoes -|- like potato and tomato, echo adds an –e when it's plural.  

ecstasy -|- It may sound as though there is an –x in this word but the x sound is made by -ecst  

eighth -|- eight plus an –h.  

eligible -|- I am eligible. Remember the I's in this word.  

emphasize -|- Let me emphasize this, there is no F in this word.   

encyclopedia -|- Break this word down to it's roots: En – Cyclo -Pedia 

endurance -|- Don't just endure this word, spell it. Drop the –e in endure and add the –ance. 

enough -|-   To spell enough isn't tough. Use the –ough to create the "uff" sound.  

environment -|- En – viro – n- ment.  

espresso -|- Espresso is especially good at waking you up.  

excitement -|- excite + ment 

extremely -|-   extreme + ly 

embarrass -|- Every Mother's Boy Acts Rather Rudely After Soccer Sturdays 

embarrass -|- She was rosy red with severe shame. 

equipment -|- This word has enough equipment, so don't add a -t after the -p. 

exceed -|- All you have to remember for this word is the ending: -ceed 

exhilarate -|- Remembering the -h and 2 A's will exhilarate you.  

existence -|- There is no word like this one in existence spelled with an -a. 

experience -|- Keep you experience with this word simple, it's all E's: experience. 

extraordinary -|- This word is extraordinary, it's 2 words combined: extra + ordinary 

extreme -|- The only extreme thing about this word is all the E's.  

especially -|- The middle of this word is special, so to make it especially, just add an –e to the front and an –ly to the end.  

exaggerate -|- This words is easiest if broken up, but remember there are 2 g's. ex-agg-er-ate 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter F

Ff 

familiar -|- Family is familiar.

feminine -|- femi- means woman. Femi + nine  

finally -|- final + ly  

first -|- First Is Right before Second & Third.  

flexible -|- I am flexible.   

forehead -|- Your neck comes before your head.  

foresee -|- foresee means to see something before it happens. Fore + see  

forward -|- for + ward – the vowel + -r combinations may sound the same, but one is spelled with an –or and the other is an –ar.  

fundamental -|- spelling is fun And mental  

february -|- February is cold, brrrr. 

fiery -|- The -y in this word is so Fiery, the -e hid behind the -r.   

foreign -|- If the -i before -e rule were a country, this word would be foreign. 

forty -|- Four can't wait to turn fourteen, be she'll never be forty. 

friend -|- You wouldn't want a fiend for a friend, remember how you r.  

fulfill -|- You may fill things full but you won't need as many L's to fulfill the spelling of this word.  
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter G

Gg 

generally -|- general + ly  

genius -|- Geniuses Eat Noodles In Unusual Spaces.  

genre -|- Generally Entertainers Need Radio Exposure 

genuine -|- genu + ine  

gesture -|- Spell this word without jest, start it with a -g  and end it with –ure.  

government -|- the government governs us.  

grammar -|- You only want A's in grammar. 

gruesome -|- grue + some 

gymnasium -|- gym – nas- ium  

guidance -|- Guidance Ultimately Is Direction And  Never-ending Caring Encouragement. 

gauge -|- To spell this word you must gauge the -a and the -u. 

grateful -|- Who ate the L in grateful? 

guarantee -|- I guarantee there are 2 A's and 2 E's, but only one -r. 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter H

Hh 

Halloween -|- 2 L's, 2 E's and an O in the middle. Hall + O +Ween 

handkerchief -|- hand + ker + chief 

haphazard -|- Hal And Phil Had A Zany Afternoon Riding Dirt-bikes.   

happiness -|- Although the root word is ‘happy' when you add the –ness, you drop the –y and add an –i.  

heard -|- you heard it with your ear.  

height -|- h + eight (8) 

herd -|- Herds of Elephants Run Daily.  

hoarse -|- Hoarse needs an ‘oar' as much as a row boat. 

hygiene -|- Help Your Granny In Ever Need Expressed.  

hypocrite -|- Split this one up and make the I's long to help your remember: hypo - crite 

hoping -|- When hope becomes hoping, drop the –e and add an –ing.  

hole -|- A hole is what you dig. Don't add a –w, unless you mean all of something. The city puts fences around the whole hole in the park.  

hungrily -|- To make ‘hungry' an adverb, drop the –y and add an –ily. 

handkerchief -|- The -d is silent,

but still there; this word is simple enough: hand + kerchief
 

harass -|- The spelling of this word shouldn't harass you, 2 A's, 2 S's, but only one -r. 

hear -|- You hear with your ear. 

height -|- This word reaches new heights, just remember h + 8s.  

hierarchy -|- hier + arch + y -- the -i before -e rule applies here. 

humorous -|- Humor us and add another -o to this word. 

hypocrisy -|- Hippos are full of hypothetical hypocrisy. 

heroes -|- Hulk Eats Rice On Every Saturday 
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter I

Ii 

ice cream -|- 2 words , every time.  

ideally -|- ideal + ly  

illegal -|- When adding the prefix –il to make a word ‘not', keep the original spelling of the word and add an –il to the beginning. This rule includes words that begin with –l, like illegal.

il + legal = illegal meaning not legal.  

illiterate -|- same as illegal. il + literate = illiterate meaning not literate. 

imaginary -|- Imagine the suffix –ary flew in a took the –e's place. Imaginary 

innate -|- At the inn, we ateß-yoda reference  

information -|- inform + ation or the soldiers were in formation.  

insure -|- I can insure you this word is spelled with an –i.  

interesting -|- interest + ing 

interpretation -|- interpret + ation  

irresistible -|- ir + resist + ible  or I am irresistible.  

ignorance -|- To make an A in spelling you must spell ignorance with an -a. 

imitate -|- The -m in this word doesn't imitate immediate, there's only one. 

immediate -|- Immediate may mean right now, but spelling this words will take enough time to add an -m. 

incredible -|- Be both credible and incredible, don't add an -a to the -ible in this word. 

independent -|- She was an independent agent with the FBI. 

indispensable -|- Being able makes you indispensable. 

innocent -|- In no century is murder an innocent crime. 

inoculate -|- One N is enough. 

intelligence -|- Use your intelligence with this one, it's only got 2 vowels, I's and E's. 

island -|- An island is land 

itinerary -|- There is nary an -ery on our intenerary. 

immediately -|- Another word that is easiest to spell if broken up, but don't forget both M's. im-med-i-ate-ly 

incidentally -|- Incidentally, you need an ally for this incident. 
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter J

Jj 

jealousy -|- To make the adjective ‘jealous' a noun, simply add a –y.  

jewelry -|- jewel + ry 

judgment -|- Remove the –e in judge and add the suffix –

ment.  

jumped -|- To make jump past tense, just add –ed. 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter K

Kk 

khaki -|- This is another of those words you just have to remember, the –h is silent and the –i makes a long –e sound.  

kindergarten -|- Although –garten in kindergarten sounds like garden, they are not spelled the same.   

knowledge -|- Knowledge is what you know.  

kernel -|- There isn't a kernel of truth to spelling this word with any vowels other than -e. 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter L

Ll 

laboratory -|- Like a lot of larger words, it helps to break this word down:  labor + a + tory 

language -|- lan + guage 

lasagna -|- Lasagna And Spaghetti Are GoodNourishment Also. 

led -|- lead with an –a is a metal. led is a verb. Example: The map led me to the treasure.  

legible -|- My handwriting is legible.  

lengthwise -|- Although each word can stand alone, when used to describe something it is one word. Lengthwise.  

let's -|- Let's is a contraction for "lets us". Example: Let's go to the store.   

lightening -|- Lightening lightens the sky.  

likable -|- Another –able word. Likable is another word that requires you to drop the –e and add the –eble. 

liquefy -|- It may be tempting to put a second –i in this word, but you must remember to liquefy liquid, you drop the –id and add an -efy 

luxurious -|- To make luxury luxuios, make the –y an –i and add the suffix –ous. 

laugh -|- Laugh And You Get Happy 

liaise -|- You must liaise with colleagues in Italy and Ireland. 

licence -|- 16 year old's with all C's shouldn't get a driver's licence.  

lieutenant -|- Lie U Ten Ants  

loose -|- Loops are Loose. 

lose  -|- Lose lost an O  

leisure -|- This word is so relaxed, it's decided not to follow the –i before –e rule.  

liaison -|- There's no real trick to learning this word, just memorization. Again, it might be helpful to break it up and remember it's parts. li- ais- on  

lightning -|- Lightning lightens the sky.  

loneliness -|- As with most words ending in –y, in order to add the suffix –ness to lonely, you must drop the y and add an –i.  
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter M

Mm 

magical -|- You don't have to be magic to spell this word, just add an –al. magic + al = magical 

magnificent -|- Consider the root word magnify when you spell magnificent. As with most words ending in –y, to add a suffix you change the –y to –i and add the suffix. In this case, change the –y in magnify to –i and add the suffix –cent. 

maintain -|- You must maintain the –ai twice in this word.  

manual -|- My Automobile Never Uses Automatic Locks. 

marriage -|- Even though it occurs between two people, never forget the I in marriage.  

mathematics -|- Usually shortened to ‘math', the complete spelling is easiest to remember if you break it up: math – e- matics  

matinee -|- Although it sounds like it should end in –nay, the –ee on the end of this words creates the same sound.  

mediocre -|- Mediocre means midlevel, not great; to spell this word use the prefix medi- which means middle and you just have to remember the –ocre.  

millennium -|- 2 L's and 2 N's and the rest is just like it sounds.   

millionaire -|- million + aire  

miscellaneous -|- Yet another big word to remember. This one is easiest broken up too: mis + cell + ane + ous It also helps to say the syllables out loud as you spell the word.  

monastery -|- There is nary and –ary in monastery, only monks. 

murmur -|- Don't let this word fool you, it's the same 3 letters repeated, mur + mur 

marshmallow -|- However mellow a marshmallow may be, it is spelled with an a. 

medieval -|- When referring to the Middle Ages, it is always spelled "medieval" 

memento -|- It may remind you of a moment in time, but it's spelled memento. 

mischievous -|- This mischievous words has all but one vowel and holds the -i before -e rule and the -ou rule. 

misogyny -|- If you can't remember the -y  in this word, just remember gynecology, it's the study of women. 

mississippi -|- M - I - Double S - I - Double S - I - PP - I 

misspell -|- Be sure not to misspell this word, 2 S's every time. 

mnemonic -|- Mnemonics Now Erase Man's Oldest Nemesis, Insufficient Cerebral Storage 

maintenance -|- This word can be broken up in a very memorable way: Main – Ten – Ance If you can remember Main & Ten, it won't be so hard to remember the –ance on the end.  

maneuver -|- Move And Nudge East Until Victory Everywhere Remains 
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter N

Nn  

narrative -|- The narrator gives the narrative. Drop the –tor and add the –tive.  

naturally -|- Naturally means occurring in nature, however, when spelling it drop the –e to add the suffix –ally. 

negotiable -|- To negotiate the offer must be negotiable. Again, drop the –ate and add the –able. 

neighbor -|- Neighbors never seem to follow the rules and neither does the spelling of this word. Although there's an –n and no –c, this word requires you to put the -e before the –i .  

nevertheless -|- Like lengthwise and nowadays, the words that make up nevertheless can be used alone but when you use them all together, it's all one word.  

night -|- Although some poets prefer the for ‘nite' the correct spelling of this word uses an –igh to creat the long –i sound. Also, think: it's eight (8) with the –e replaced with an –n.  

nowadays -|- Like lengthwise and nevertheless the 2 words and an article that make up this word stand alone just fine, but when used all together it is one word.  

naive -|-   Don't be naive about this word, it's n-a-i-v-e. 

necessary -|- To keep warm in the winter, it's necessary your coat have one collar and 2 sleeves. 

no one -|- No one can make this one word. 

noticeable -|- The -e in this word is very noticeable. 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter O

Oo 

obedience -|-  

octopus -|- octo means 8, and octopus has 8 legs.  

official -|- The root word is ‘office', so to add the suffix, your drop the –e and add the suffix –ial.  

often -|- Like mortgage, the –t is there but not pronounced.  

oneself -|- Yet another word made up of 2 words. Same as nowadays, oneself is always one words when used together.  

opportunity -|- 2 O's and 1 U.  

original -|- From the root word origin, all an –al to make it an adjective.  

overrun -|- Don't run over the spelling of this word, combine the words over and run and make it one word, overrun.  

occasion -|- There is no need for an Ass in Occasion.  

occur -|- The C's in this word are the only letters that occurs twice. 

omission -|-   The book has many serious and significant omissions. 

outrageous -|- Spelling this word any different would be outrageous. Keep the outrage and add an -ous. 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter P

Pp 

pamphlet -|- This is another word where the –ph stands in for the –f.  

parallel -|- Remember the 2 L's in the middle are parallel.  

paralyze -|- para + lyze ; remember the y takes the place of an –i here because it can.  

parliament -|- It sounds like parala-, but there's an –i in there to keep those A's in check. 

patience -|- You don't need patience to spell this word, just remember the –t makes a ‘sh' sound and it follows the ‘i before e' rule.  

penitentiary -|- Sorry, no tricks here. Break it up and sound it out carefully. Peni + tenti + ary Say it out loud so the penti- and tenti- rhyme.  

personnel -|- Personal relationship with personnel are strictly prohibited.  

phenomenon -|- This words isn't phenomenal, just remember the ph- replaces the f- and sound it out.   

pneumonia -|- Like the k in knife, the p in this word is silent.  

prejudice -|- Think of the meaning of this word when trying to spell it. A prejudice is a pre judgment, so remove the –gment and add the –ice.  

pastime -|- You may use your pastime to pass the time, but there is still on one -s in this word. 

people -|- People Eat Oranges People Like Eating  
 

perceive -|- You can't perceive it any other way, this word follows the -i before -e rule. 

piece  -|- A Piece of Pie 

playwright -|- A playwright may write plays, but he spells it with a -gh. 

possession -|- Possession possesses more S's than a snake. 

potassium -|- Remember one tea, two sugars. 

potato -|-   Just like with tomato, this word only has an -e when you make it plural, potatoes. 

practice -|-   Practice spelling this word with a -c. 

presence -|- The presence of E's in "presence" is apparent. 

principal -|- Your principal is your pal. 

psychology -|- Please Say You Can Help Old Ladies Organize Great Yardsales   

probably -|- The root of this word is probable, in order to make it an adverb, simply drop the –e and add a –y.  

proceed -|- Proceed as normal with this word, make sure you get both E's in between the –c ad the –d.  

professor -|- Focus on the root of this word, profess. Once someone professes something he becomes a professor.  

pronunciation -|- Yet another of those big words, again, break it up. pro- noun- ci-ation, You must mainly remember the –ci makes the "see" sound. 

pursue -|- People Usually Read Stories  
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter Q

Qq 

quarantine -|- The letter q will always be followed by a u to create the "kwa" sound.  

quantity -|- Spelled exactly like it sounds with a qu- to start it off. Beak it up and sound it out: quan – ti- ty 

quite -|- It's quite similar to quiet, except the –e and –t switch places.  

queue -|- queue mean to be in line, so just remember there are 2 -ue's in line behind q. 

quiet -|- E.T. was quiet

questionnaire -|- There's no question about it, there's an ‘air' in this word. Combine them in two parts: question + naire 
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter R

Rr 

raze -|- You can both raise and raze the roof, but if you raze it, you'll be sad when it rains. Raze or "to destroy" is always spelled with a z.  

receipt -|- Like pneumonia, the –p in receipt is silent, but necessary. And don't worry, this word follows the ‘-i before –e' rule 

reign -|- Excessive rain will reign terror on crops. Reign also reigns terror on the –i before –e rule, sorry, you just have to remember.  

relieve -|- You'll be relieved to know, this word follows the –i before –e except after –c' rule.  

renaissance -|- It may be easier to remember the history of the renaissance than to spell it. This is another of those big words you just have to memorize. Try breaking it up : ren – ais - sance 

rescind -|- You resend a letter, but you rescind an invitation.  

reservoir -|- Think of this word from it's origin, reserve; drop the –e and add the French suffix –voir.  

ridiculous -|- This is another word that is easier to spell if you remember it's root, ridicule; again drop the –e and add the suffix –ous.  

roommate -|- Spelling roommate is a lot easier than having one. Just combine room + mate and keep both m's. 

reference -|- Refer to the -e's in this word when trying to remember whether to put an -ance or an -ence at the end of the word. 

relevant -|- It's relevant to remember there are 2 e's followed by an -a in relevant. 

rhythm -|- Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move 

really -|- Another easy adverb. Just add an –ly.  

referred -|- refer – red  

repetition -|- There's definitely some repetition in this word. The e's, t's, and i's repeat, but are separated by one letter each.  

restaurant -|- rest – aur – ant – keep in mind, the "aur" makes an "er" sound.   
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter S

Ss 

secretary -|- Your secretary will keep your secret! 

separate -|- If you split this word up you will separate the -sep and the -e with a rat. 

supersede -|- This word supersedes other words, it's the only word in the english language to use -sede  
 

sandal -|- Sandals are perfect for the sand. 

sandwich -|- No tricks here, make a sandwich out of the words sand + wich ßwhich isn't actually a word.  

savvy -|- Savvy is so savvy it needs to V's. 

scissors -|- 3 S's in this word with a c tagging along. 

siege / seize -|- although they sound almost exactly the same with different consonants, there's no trick to remember that one, siege, follows the –i before –e rule and one, seize, does not.

 

shepherd -|- This word is easy, just remember a shepherd leads a herd.  

sheriff -|- 1 r, 2 f's and an –e making that –a sound.  

sincerely -|- To make sincere an adverb, simply add the –ly.  

subtly -|- Like with debt, the –b in subtly is silent.  

sacrilegious -|- Although it may sound as though religion is in this word, it's not. When spelling sacrilegious, invert the –e and –i from religion, drop the –n and add an –ous.  

schedule -|- School Causes Headaches. Education Delivers Unnecessary Lulls In Excitement 

sergeant -|- Break it up: serge – ant  

similar -|- Sometimes I Might Imagine Lurking And Roaming 

surprise -|- Your surprise won't be worth much if you forget there are 2 r's in this word and not a single z.  
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter T

Tt 

their -|- The inheritance is theirs because they are the heirs. 

tomato -|- Like potato, this word only uses an -e when you make it plural: tomatoes. 

tomorrow -|- Tomorrow i will go with Tom or Row.  

tyranny -|- Only adding an -n can show the tyranny of a tyrant. 

tangible -|- The beginning of this word is just like tangerine, so keep the tang- and add an –ible.  

technique -|- The –nique in technique makes the "neek" sound. Just remember there's a q, so there'll always be a -u and end it with an –e. 

theories -|- Rooted in theory, drop the –y and add the –ies. If the –eo combo is throwing you off, just think of the word theorize, you can actually hear the ‘o' in it.  

threw/through -|- He threw the ball through the window.  

tongue -|- This word seems all of out sorts. The ‘o' make a short ‘u' sound, and the –u doesn't make a sound and need an –e to hold it up.  

triathlon -|- Triathlon is spelled like decathlon except instead of 10 events there are only 3, hence the tri- prefix.  

twelfth -|- In this word, the F kicked out the V. Example: After eleven come twelve and after eleventh place is twelfth place.  

there -|- This one is simple it's here with a –t in the front.  

tragedy -|- Don't let spelling this word turn your day into a tragedy, just remember the root word, tragic. Simply drop the –ic ending and add the –edy, to make it noun. 

truly -|- Another easy adverb. Just remember it's true, you can truly leave the –e out. 
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter U

Uu 

unfortunately -|- It is unfortunate if you get rid of the -e in this word when you add the -ly. 

ukulele -|- Ukuleles Keep Us Lively, Enthralled Listeners Entertained. 

unanimous -|- This is another word that helps to learn the origin. Un means one and animus means mind & heart. One mind & heart. Keep the un- and the anim- and add the –ous.  

usage -|- Your electric bill shows the usage of your wattage.  

undoubtedly -|- This word is spelled how it sounds except for that pesky silent –b. So, remember the –b and add an ed before you make it an adverb.  

until -|- Until Now TV Inspired Lives 

usually -|- It's adverbs as usual, just add an –ly.  
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter V

Vv

vacuum -|- There's no trick, instead of the -ume that creates the same sound in volume, there are 2 U's in between the -c and the -m. 

valleys -|- Because this word ends in an –ey, you cannot drop the –y, so you simply add an –s to make it plural. 

valuable -|- It would be valuable to remember there's no e.  

vilify -|- You may be tempted to keep the double l from villain to spell vilify, don't; one is just enough.  

vicious -|- When spelling this word remember the –cious creates the "sh" sound.  
 
 
 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter W

Ww 

warfare -|- like lengthwise, even though the two words that make up ‘warfare' can stand alone, when used together they are one word.  

waste -|- waster is taste with a ‘w'. 

we're -|- We're is the contraction for "we are".  

weather/ whether -|- Weather is the temperature and atmosphere out side. Whether is a conjunction that introduces alternative or possibilities. Example: The weather man tells whether to expect rain or shine.  

Wednesday -|- BREAK IT UP! Say it out loud. wed – nes – day. 

weird -|- What's weird about spelling this word is the -e before the -i even though there's no -c. Weird! 

willful -|- Don't be willful when spelling this word, give up the urge to add that second –l to the end.  

writing -|- Since write ends with an –e, you have to drop it to add the –ing.  



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter X

Xx 

xylophone -|- No tricks here, spelling this word is as difficult as mastering the instrument. Keep in mind the –xy make a "z" sound. Again, break it up: xy-lo-phone. 



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter Y

Yy

yacht -|- It's spelling is as fancy as it's meaning. Try this: Yachts Are Costly & Huge Travelers.  

you're/your -|- You're is a contraction for "you are". Your shows ownership. Example: You're going to have so much fun on your new boat.  



commonly misspelled words starting with the letter Z

Zz 

zoology -|- If you're smart enough to study it, you should be smart enough to spell it. Combine the suffix –logy which means a body of knowledge and zoo-: zoology