Many otherwise intelligent and talented people have trouble spelling correctly, and yet a single misspelled work on a letter or important document creates a bad impression, and can even damage job prospects or networking opportunities. English can be a language full of spellings that look right but are dead wrong. Toss in those infuriating sound-alikes (they're/their/there, its/it's, except/accept), which computer spell checkers usually don't catch, and it's no wonder that 99% of us are often embarrassed and undermined by unwitting typos.
Here are the 10 Most Commonly Misspelled Words !
Incorrect — Correct
- Independant — Independent
- Accomodation — Accommodation
- Definately — Definitely
- Recieve — Receive
- Opportunites — Opportunities
- Thier — Their
- Occured — Occurred
- Infomation — Information
- Offical — Official
- Acitives — Activities
Spelling matters - if you want to create a good impression in your writing and get the right meaning across, it's important to spell correctly.
HERE IS A LIST FROM THE OXFORD DICTIONARY
Spell accessory with a double c and a double s; the ending is -ory.
Rule: Change the -y to -ies to make the plurals of words which end in a consonant plus -y (as in berry/berries): accessories.
Spell accommodate with a double c and a double m; remember that there is an o before and after the m's.
Related word: accommodation noun
address noun and verb
Spell address with a double d.
Tip: please add your address.
Remember that aggression is spelled with a double g and a double s.
Related words: aggressive adjective aggressor noun
Spell alcohol with alco- at the beginning.
Tip: drink a large cold orange juice, not alcohol.
Remember that allege has a double l and is spelled with -ege at the end.
Remember that amend and the related word amendment are spelled with a single m at the beginning.
apologize or apologise verb
Spell apologize and the related word apology with -olo- in the middle.
There is a double p in apparent but only one r; the ending is -ent.
There is no e after the u in argument, even though it comes from argue. It does not follow the usual rule that the final silent e is kept when adding endings that begin with a consonant.
average noun and verb
Spell average with an e after the v; the ending is -age.
Remember that beautiful and the related words beauty and beautify are spelled with beau- at the beginning.
Tip: bare elegant arms are usually beautiful.
Rule: Belief and the related word believe follow the rule i before e except after c (as in thief).
Related word: believable adjective
Spell burglar with -lar at the end.
Related word: burglary noun
Remember that business begins with busi-.
cemetery noun (plural cemeteries)
Remember that cemetery ends with -ery.
Rule: Keep the final silent -e when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words which end in -ce or -ge (here, change), if this is needed to preserve the soft sound of the first part of the word: changeable.
Spell committee with a double m, a double t, and a double e at the end.
Remember that consensus and the related word consensual are spelled with -sen- in the middle.
controversy noun (plural controversies)
Remember that controversy is spelled with -ro- in the middle.
Tip: controversy arouses really opposing views.
Related word: controversial adjective
Rule: i before e except after c (as in receive).
Related word: deceit noun
Remember that definite ends with -ite.
Related word: definitely adverb
Spell desperate with -per- in the middle.
Tip: perhaps he was desperate to escape.
Remember that disappoint and the related word disappointment are spelled with one s and a double p.
Remember that eighth is spelled with -hth at the end.
Tip: Sam hoped that he wouldn't finish eighth.
Remember that embarrass and the related word embarrassment have a double r and a double s.
Tip: embarrassed, she was rosy red with severe shame.
Spell extraordinary with extra- at the beginning (it is made up of the words extra and ordinary).
extreme adjective and noun
Remember that the ending of extreme is spelled -eme.
Remember that fascinate and the related word fascination are spelled with an s before the c.
Remember that fluorescent and the related word fluorescence begin with fluor-.
Spell friend with -ie- in the middle.
Spell fulfil with one l in the middle and one at the end (the spelling fulfill is American).
Rule: Double the l when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words which end in a vowel plus l (as in travel): fulfils, fulfilling. fulfilled.
Related word: fulfilment noun
gauge noun and verb
Spell gauge with -au- in the middle (the spelling gage is American).
Remember that grateful begins with grate-.
guarantee noun and verb
Rule: Although most verbs ending in -e drop the final e before adding -ing (e.g. bake, baking), verbs ending in -ee, -ye, and -oe keep the final -e: guarantees, guaranteeing, guaranteed.
Spell harass and the related word harassment with a single r and a double s.
Remember that hypocrisy begins with hypo-; the ending is -isy.
Related words: hypocrite noun hypocritical adjective
Rule: When adding certain endings, such as -ous and -ist, to words that end in -our (in this case, humour), change -our to -or before adding the ending: humorous; humorist.
Spell immediate and the related word immediacy with a double m.
Related word: immediately adverb
independent adjective and noun
Remember that independent always ends with -ent.
Tip: she's an independent agent.
Related word: independence noun
Spell instalment with one l (the spelling installment is American).
Rule: Drop the last l when adding suffixes (endings) which begin with a consonant to words which end in a double l (here, install): instalment.
itinerary noun (plural itineraries)
Remember that itinerary ends with -erary.
Remember that liaise is spelled with two i's, one before and one after the a.
Tip: you must liaise with colleagues in Italy and Ireland.
Related word: liaison noun
Do not confuse licence with license. Licence is a noun which means 'a permit to do something' (a driving licence), whereas license is a verb meaning 'give a permit to someone: allow something' (the loggers are licensed to cut mahogany trees). In American English, both the noun and the verb are spelled license.
Remember that maintenance is spelled with -ten- in the middle; the ending is -ance.
manoeuvre noun and verb
Spell manoeuvre with -oeu- in the middle; the ending is -re (the spelling maneuver is American). Related word: manoeuvrable adjective
Spell millennium with a double l and a double n. The plural can be spelled either millennia (like the original Latin) or millenniums.
Related word: millennial adjective
miniature noun and adjective
Remember that miniature begins with mini-.
Tip: a miniature minibus.
Remember that minuscule is spelled with a u after the n.
Rule: i before e except after c (as in thief). Remember that mischievous ends with -vous.
Spell misspell with a double s. The different forms of this verb are: misspells, misspelling; the past tense is misspelt or misspelled.
Remember that naive is spelled with -ai- in the middle. It can also be spelled naïve, with two dots over the i, as in the original French.
Tip: she was naive, with an appealing innocence.
Related word: naivety noun
Remember that necessary and the related word necessity are spelled with one c and a double s.
Tip: it's necessary for a jacket to have one collar and two sleeves.
Related word: necessarily adverb
Remember that the ending of negligible is spelled -ible.
Related word: negligibly
Rule: i before e except after c (as in thief).
occasion noun and verb
Spell occasion with a double c and a single s.
Tip: a ceremony celebrating a special occasion.
Rule: Double the last consonant when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words that end with a single vowel plus a consonant, if the stress is at the end of a word (as in refer): occurs, occurring, occurred.
Related word: occurrence noun
Spell omission with one m and a double s.
Tip: the book has many serious and significant omissions.
Related word: omissible adjective
original adjective and noun
Spell original with an i before and after the g.
Rule: Keep the final silent -e when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words which end in -ce or -ge (here, outrage), if this is needed to preserve the soft -ce or -ge sound: outrageous.
Spell parliament with -ia- before the m.
Tip: I am a member of parliament.
Rule: i before e except after c (as in receive).
Spell possess and the related words possession and possessive with a double s before and after the e.
Related word: possessor noun
The plural of potato is made by adding -es: potatoes.
Do not confuse practice with practise. Practice is a noun meaning 'the action of doing something rather than the theories about it' (putting policy into practice), whereas practise is a verb meaning 'do something repeatedly to improve your skill' (they were practising for the Olympics). In American English, both the noun and the verb are spelled practice.
Remember that presence ends with -ence.
Related word: present adjective
privilege noun and verb
Remember that privilege ends with -ege.
Remember that questionnaire (a French word) is spelled with a double n and ends with -aire.
Remember that really is spelled with a double l.
Rule: i before e except after c.
Spell recommend and the related word recommendation with a single c and a double m.
Tip: he recommended that I cut out milk and meat from my diet.
Remember that restaurant is spelled with -au- between the t and r: it is a French word.
Although restaurateur (a French word) is related to restaurant, it is not spelled with an n before the second t.
Remember that rhythm is spelled with rhy- at the beginning, then -thm.
Tip: rhythm really has your two hips moving.
secretary noun (plural secretaries)
Spell secretary with an e after the r; the ending is -ary.
Remember that seize and the related word seizure are spelled with the e before the i: they do not follow the rule of i before e except after c.
separate verb and adjective
Remember that separate is spelled with -par- in the middle.
Tip: the rock split into two separate parts.
Related word: separation noun
Remember that the ending of similar is spelled -lar.
Related word: similarity noun similarly adverb
Remember that skilful is spelled with one l in the middle (the spelling skillful is American).
Rule: Drop the last l when adding suffixes (endings) which begin with a consonant to words which end in a double l (here, skill plus -ful): skilful.
Spell success and the related word successful with a double c and a double s.
Related word: successor noun
Spell sufficient with a double f; the ending is -cient.
Spell suppress with a double p and a double s.
surprise verb and noun
Remember that surprise has an r before and after the p. Unlike most verbs ending in -ise, it cannot be spelled with an -ize ending.
Remember that threshold is spelled with a single h.
The plural of tomato is made by adding -es: tomatoes.
tomorrow adverb and noun
Spell tomorrow with a single m and a double r.
Tip: tomorrow morning, rise refreshed.
Rule: Truly is formed from true plus the ending -ly; it is one of a group of words in which the final silent e is dropped before adding -ly.
Remember that twelfth has an f in the middle.
Tip: go to the twelfth floor of the building.
Spell unfortunately with -ately at the end (it is made up of the adjective unfortunate plus the ending -ly).
until preposition and conjunction
Spell until with a single l.
vegetarian noun and adjective
Remember that the beginning of vegetarian is spelled vege-; the ending is -arian.
Spell vehicle with -icle at the end.
Remember that the beginning of vicious is spelled vici-.
Remember that weird is spelled with the e before the i: it does not follow the usual rule of i before e except after c.
Tip: a weird, eerie, inhuman sound.
Remember that wilful is spelled with one l in the middle (the spelling willful is American).
Rule: Drop the last l when adding suffixes (endings) which begin with a consonant to words which end in a double l (here, will plus -ful): wilful.
withhold verb (withholds, withholding, withheld)
Remember that withhold is spelled with a double h (it is made up of the words with and hold)
For a longer list of words and hundreds of spelling tips see the Oxford A-Z of Spelling