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, accommodation two cs, two ms accomodate, accomodation
achieve i before e acheive
across one c accross
aggressive, aggression two gs agressive, agression
apparently -ent not -ant apparantly
appearance ends with -ance 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, two bs 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, two ps dissapear
disappoint one s, two ps dissapoint
ecstasy ends with –sy ecstacy
embarrass two rs, two s’s embarass
environment n before the m enviroment
existence ends with -ence existance
Fahrenheit begins with Fahr- Farenheit
familiar ends with -iar familar
finally two ls 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, two s’s harrass, harrassment
honorary -nor- in the middle honourary
humorous -mor- in the middle humourous
idiosyncrasy ends with -asy idiosyncracy
immediately ends with -ely immediatly
incidentally ends with -ally incidently
independent ends with -ent independant
interrupt two rs interupt
irresistible ends with -ible 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, two s’s neccessary
noticeable remember the middle e noticable
occasion two cs, one s ocassion, occassion
occurred, occurring two cs, two rs occured, occuring
occurrence two cs, two rs, -ence not -ance occurance, occurence
pavilion one l pavillion
persistent ends with -ent persistant
pharaoh ends with -aoh pharoah
piece i before e peice
politician ends with -cian politican
Portuguese ends with –guese Portugese
possession two s’s in the middle and two at the end posession
preferred, preferring two rs prefered, prefering
propaganda begins with propa- propoganda
publicly ends with –cly publically
really two ls realy
receive e before i recieve
referred, referring two rs refered, refering
religious ends with -gious religous
remember -mem- in the middle rember, remeber
resistance ends with -ance resistence
sense ends with -se sence
separate -par- in the middle seperate
siege i before e seige
successful two cs, two s’s succesful
supersede ends with -sede supercede
surprise begins with sur- suprise
tattoo two ts, two os tatoo
tendency ends with -ency tendancy
therefore ends with -fore therefor
threshold one h in the middle threshhold
tomorrow one m, two rs 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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