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English Language English Vocabulary: Frequently Misspelt Words

From Polyglot Club WIKI

< Language‎ | English‎ | Vocabulary
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Frequently Misspelt Words in English
Spelling mistakes english.jpg

Hi English learners!


A common error among language learners and even many native speakers of any language is the misspelling of certain words. English is no exception. In fact, it is subject to many more such errors than most other languages.


Why? The first and most important reason is that the spelling of English words was first formed many hundreds of years ago. At that time, the spelling corresponded very well to how the words and syllables (parts of the word) were pronounced and elocuted (how they are said together when they are joined). However, pronunciation changed considerably but the spelling of words less so. What was left was a lot of words spelt differently from how they were presently being used. The different dialects of English spoken in the British Isles complicated this further.


Secondly, English went from being a fringe language spoken by part of the population in the British Isles to a language spoken in many areas of the world. During this process, how English was spoken diverged in many reasons. One was British colonisation over the last 500 or so years. This divergence was subsequently driven by which dialects of English were spoken by original and later colonialists, the influence of languages spoken in colonised regions and also independent evolution over time due to physical separation from Britain.


Local languages had a significant influence on the evolution of English in regions such as India and much of Africa. English as spoken in North America, Australia and New Zealand was heavily influenced by the dialects spoken by original settlers along with physical and temporal separation from Britain. Other factors played their roles, such as the influence of slaves from Western Africa on the evolution of English as spoken in the South of the United States.


Also adding to the confusion, many words are "officially" spelt differently over different varieties of English. British English and American English differ significantly in how they spell words. Furthermore, other dialects of English such as Australian English and Canadian English deviate in the manner in which words are spelt.


Nevertheless, there are many reasons for the misspelling of words. In this lesson, some frequently misspelt English words are corrected with a brief note on the probable causes for the errors where necessary. Words spelt differently in different English dialects, e.g. "humour" (British English) or "humor" (American English) are not treated as misspellings. "mispelling" is a misspelling but "misspelt" (British English) or "misspelled" (American English) are not :)

Correct Spelling Wrong Spelling Probable Cause of Misspelling
Acceptable Acceptible Mispronunciation
Accommodate Accomodate Incorrect elocution of syllables in the word.
A lot Alot "A lot" tends to elocute like a single word in normal speech.
Address Adress Pronunciation. "d" sound dropped when elocuting syllables.
Aggression Agression Pronunciation. "g" sound dropped when elocuting syllables.
Almost Allmost Confusion with the word "all".
Argument Arguement Mistake because of the root word ‘argue’.
Atheist Athiest Exception to the "'i' before 'e' except after 'c'" spelling rule.
Beetle Beatle Confusion with spelling of real name, famous British band.
Beginning Begining Incorrect elocution of syllables in the word.
Believe Belive/Beleive Mispronunciation
Blood Blod Spelling like the word is pronounced.
Bureaucracy Bureacracy "eau" spelling rule for words of French origin.
Category Catagory Mispronunciation
Clarify Clearify Mistake because of the root word ‘clear’.
Colossal Collosal Incorrect elocution of syllables "Co" and "lossal".
Coming Comming Incorrect elocution of syllables in the word.
Continuously Continiously Confusion with the rule for words ending in ‘ious’ 
Controversy Contraversy Mispronunciation
Debt Det Silent "b". Spelling like the word is pronounced.
Definitely Definitly Silent "e" after "t".
Dilemma Dilema Incorrect elocution of syllables in the word.
Doubt Dout Silent "b". Spelling like the word is pronounced.
Enmity Enimity Mispronunciation
Existence Existance Mispronunciation
Expatiate Expantiate Mispronunciation
Experience Experiance Mispronunciation
Foreign Foriegn / Foreing Various
Forty Fourty Mistake because of the root word ‘four’.
Friend Freind Confusion between order of "i" and "e".
Going to Gonna Nonstandard colloquial mispronunciation.
Grammar Grammer Mispronunciation
Great Grate Pronunciation
Grievous Grievious Mispronunciation
Guidance Guidiance Mistake because of the root word ‘guide’.
Harass Harrass / Harras Elocution of syllables and elocution with following words.
Independent Independant Mispronunciation
Innoculate Inoculate Incorrect elocution of syllables in the word.
Interesting Intresting Mispronunciation or colloquial pronunciation.
Its It's Trying to follow general grammatical rule for possessive nouns.
Knee Nee Silent "k".
Knife Nife Silent "k".
Lamb Lam Silent "b" at the end of the word.
Library Libary Mispronunciation
Maintenance Maintainance Root word "maintain".
Military Millitary Mispronunciation
Millennium Milennium/Millenium Incorrect elocution of syllables in the word.
Millennium Millenniun Mispronunciation
Minuscule Miniscule Confusion with "mini" meaning "small" or "tiny".
Mischievous Mischievious Confusion with the rule for words ending in ‘ious’
Misspell Mispell Pronunciation. "S" sound dropped from syllable "mis" when elocuted with "spell".
Occasion Occassion Confusion with the rule for words ending in ‘ssion’
Occurred Occured Various
Parallel Parrallel Incorrect elocution of syllables in the word.
Poem Peom Various
Pronunciation Pronounciation Root word "pronounce".
Quarantine Quarentine Mispronunciation
Questionnaire Questionaire Elocution of syllables. "n" at the end of "question" dropped when elocuted with "naire".
Really Realy Incorrect/colloquial elocution of syllables in the word.
Receipt Receit Pronunciation. Dropping the silent "p".
Repetition Repatition/Repitition Mispronunciation
Said Sayed Mispronunciation
Schedule Shedule Pronunciation. In British English, "sch" in this word is pronounced "sh".
Schedule Skedule Pronunciation. In American English, "sch" in this word is pronounced "sk".
Separate Separete/Seperate Mispronunciation
Seize Sieze Exception to the "'i' before 'e' except after 'c'" spelling rule.
Speech Speach Various
Sure Shure Spelling like the word is pronounced.
They're Their/There "They're" sounds exactly like "their" or "there".
Truly Truely Root word "true".
Unnecessary Uneccessary Incorrect elocution of syllables.
Until Untill Elocution with following words. Incorrectly repeating the "l" sound.
Usage Useage Root word "use".
Vicious Visious Pronunciation. "c", "s" make the same phonetic sound.
Want to Wanna Nonstandard colloquial mispronunciation.
Weather Wether Spelling like the word is pronounced.
Which Wich Spelling like the word is pronounced.
You're Your Pronunciation. "You're" sounds exactly like "your".

Contributors

Vincent, AussieInBg, NmesomtoChukwu, LanguageMaster101 and Ssaaajad


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