Common misspellings

Here’s a quick-reference guide to the top misspellings according to the Oxford English Corpus—an electronic collection of over 2 billion words of real English that helps us to see how people are using the language and also shows us the mistakes that are most often made.

 
The table gives the correct spelling of the word, handy tips on getting it right, and also the most common misspellings that we’ve found in our research, so you can check to see if any of the same mistakes have been tripping you up.
 
Correct spelling
Spelling advice
Common misspelling
accommodate, accommodations
double c, double m
accomodate, accomodations
achieve
i before e
acheive
across
one c
accross
aggressive, aggression
double g
agressive, agression
apparently
-ent not -ant
apparantly
appearance
-ance not -ence
appearence
argument
no e after the u
arguement
assassination
two double s’s
assasination
basically
ends with -ally
basicly
beginning
double n before the -ing
begining
believe
i before e
beleive, belive
bizarre
one z, double -r
bizzare
business
begins with busi-
buisness
calendar
-ar not -er
calender
Caribbean
one r, double b
Carribean
cemetery
ends with -ery
cemetary
chauffeur
ends with -eur
chauffer
colleague
-ea- in the middle
collegue
coming
one m
comming
committee
double m, double t, double e
commitee
completely
ends with -ely
completly
conscious
-sc- in the middle
concious
curiosity
-os- in the middle
curiousity
definitely
-ite- not –ate-
definately
dilemma
-mm- not -mn-
dilemna
disappear
one s, double p
dissapear
disappoint
one s, double p
dissapoint
ecstasy
ends with –sy
ecstacy
embarrass
double r, double s
embarass
environment
n before the m
enviroment
existence
-ence not -ance
existance
Fahrenheit
begins with Fahr-
Farenheit
familiar
ends with -iar
familar
finally
double l
finaly
fluorescent
begins with fluor-
florescent
foreign
e before i
foriegn
foreseeable
begins with fore-
forseeable
forty
begins with for-
fourty
forward
begins with for-
foward
friend
i before e
freind
further
begins with fur-
futher
gist
begins with g-
jist
glamorous
-mor- in the middle
glamourous
government
n before the m
goverment
guard
begins with gua-
gaurd
happened
ends with -ened
happend
harass, harassment
one r, double s
harrass, harrassment
idiosyncrasy
ends with -asy
idiosyncracy
immediately
ends with -ely
immediatly
incidentally
ends with -ally
incidently
independent
-ent not -ant
independant
interrupt
double r
interupt
irresistible
-ible not -able
irresistable
knowledge
remember the d
knowlege
liaise, liaison
remember the second i: liais-
liase, liason
lollipop
i in the middle
lollypop
millennium, millennia
double l, double n
millenium, millenia
Neanderthal
ends with -thal
Neandertal
necessary
one c, double s
neccessary
noticeable
remember the middle e
noticable
occasion
double c, one s
ocassion, occassion
occurred, occurring
double c, double r
occured, occuring
occurrence
double c, double r; -ence not -ance
occurance, occurence
pavilion
one l
pavillion
persistent
-ent not -ant
persistant
pharaoh
ends with -aoh
pharoah
piece
i before e
peice
politician
ends with -cian
politican
Portuguese
ends with –guese
Portugese
possession
two double s's
posession
preferred, preferring
double r
prefered, prefering
propaganda
begins with propa-
propoganda
publicly
ends with –cly
publically
really
double l
realy
receive
e before i
recieve
referred, referring
double r
refered, refering
religious
ends with -gious
religous
remember
-mem- in the middle
rember, remeber
resistance
-ance not -ence
resistence
sense
ends with -se
sence
separate
-par- in the middle
seperate
siege
i before e
seige
successful
double c, double s
succesful
supersede
ends with -sede
supercede
surprise
begins with sur-
suprise
tattoo
double t, double o
tatoo
tendency
-ency not -ancy
tendancy
therefore
ends with -fore
therefor
threshold
one h in the middle
threshhold
tomorrow
one m, double r
tommorow, tommorrow
tongue
begins with ton-, ends with -gue
tounge
truly
no e
truely
unforeseen
remember the e after the r
unforseen
unfortunately
ends with -ely
unfortunatly
until
one l at the end
untill
weird
e before i
wierd
wherever
one e in the middle
whereever
which
begins with wh-
wich

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