Common Spelling Mistakes That Even Native English Speakers Make

CORRECT: CALENDAR
INCORRECT: CALENDER

When we pronounce calendar, it sounds like -er at the end – but the correct way to write it is with -ar.

CORRECT: COMMITTEE
INCORRECT: COMMITEE

Remember that a committee is a group of people – and the word committee itself has three “groups” of double letters.

CORRECT: CURIOSITY
INCORRECT: CURIOUSITY

The adjective curious contains the letter “u”, but the noun curiosity does not. The strong syllable is also different:

  • He was a curious boy.
    (CUR-i-ous)
  • His curiosity got him into trouble.
    (cur-i-OS-i-ty)

CORRECT: DEFINITELY
INCORRECT: DEFINATELY

It’s definitely wrong to spell definitely with an “a”!

CORRECT: EMBARRASSED
INCORRECT: EMBARASSED

Make sure to include two Rs in embarrassembarrassed, and embarrassing.

CORRECT: FORTY
INCORRECT: FOURTY

The words four (4) and fourteen have a “u,” but the word forty (40) does not.

CORRECT: FORWARD
INCORRECT: FOWARD

Sometimes forward is pronounced as though the first R wasn’t there, but when written it has two Rs.

CORRECT: INDEPENDENT, INDEPENDENCE
INCORRECT: INDEPENDANT, INDEPENDANCE

Independent has only Is and Es, but no As!

CORRECT: KNOWLEDGE
INCORRECT: KNOWLEGE

Don’t show your lack of knowledge by forgetting the D in knowledge! Other words that end in -dge include bridge, judge, and pledge.

CORRECT: NECESSARY
INCORRECT: NECCESSARY

Only one C is necessary in the word necessary. (But two Ss).

CORRECT: OCCURRED, OCCURRING
INCORRECT: OCCURED, OCCURING

The word occur is a more formal word for “happen.” When adding -ed and -ing, we need to double the R: occurred, occurring

CORRECT: PROPAGANDA
INCORRECT: PROPOGANDA

Propaganda refers to content (articles, advertisements, videos) made specifically to convince you to think a certain way.

CORRECT: MINUSCULE
INCORRECT: MINISCULE

Minuscule describes something very, very small. It sounds like “miniscule” when we pronounce it, and we do use the prefix mini- to talk about small versions of things… but minuscule starts with minu.

CORRECT: SEPARATE
INCORRECT: SEPERATE

We actually usually pronounce this somewhat like sep-rit (when an adjective) and sep-a-rate (when a verb).

CORRECT: TRULY
INCORRECT: TRUELY

The adjective true has an “e,” but the adverb truly does not.

Also read: 300 Common Spelling Mistakes in English

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