Real English Conversation

5 Words to Stop Misspelling copy

Rochelle Ceira, an English specialist and instructor, has written a very informative guest blog post for us at Real English Conversations about 5 commonly misspelled words that are easy to correctly use if you take the time to know the difference. Here is her article:  

5 English Words that You Should Stop Misspelling

Not only English language learners, but also the native English speakers misspell a number of English words when they have an English Conversation. Those having linguistic issues contribute majorly to this blunder.

Incorrect pronunciation is also a common reason for misspelled words. If you mispronounce a word, you will likely misspell it. For example, if the word “oil” mispronounced, it will be written as “oyeil”.

According to many research findings, people mainly misspell words if they are unable to develop either a visual, motor image or an auditory connection to the word. Also, those who fail to translate the pronunciation of a word into a spelling are more likely to make this kind of mistake.

The same research reveals that other reasons behind misspelling are English language vowels, use of consonants more than 1 time in words, silent letters and the failure to imagine lengthy words. However, you can overcome these deficiencies with misspelling English words with consistent practice.


misspelled words


The List of 5 Commonly Misspelled Words:

1. There, Their and They’re

All these 3 words are sound exactly the same; however, they have very different uses and meanings.

“There” is used to specify a place. You can remember this in reference to the word ‘here’ which also directs to a place, as in “here” and “there”.

E.g., “Over there you will find two things that are always kept on the table for your assistance.”

“Their” is used to define belonging. The word ‘heir’ thus, means successor, so you can easily relate the use of word “Their”. You can say “Their” is a mean pronoun.

E.g., “Their house is spooky and may be it is haunted.”

“They’re” is a contraction ‘they are’. An apostrophe is used to replace “a” to make a shorter version of this common two word phrase.  It is just used for shortening words or sentences.

E.g., “They’re quite fond of you.”

Many people misspell these words, because they are do not take the time to become familiar with their respective use and they are pronounced exactly the same. Click on each word to hear how they sound: There, Their and They’re

You just need to focus on which context you need to use; this will help you use the correct one.


2. Stationary and Stationery

By changing only one letter in these words (‘e’ and ‘a ), it can makes a significant difference in the meaning. The whole context is changed or can be misunderstood if used incorrectly.

The word “Stationary” is used to specify immoveable things. For example, snakes are known to be the stationary vertebrates, as long as they get food and shelter. They never change the area where they live.

The word “Stationery” refers to the items used for writing in offices, home or educational institutes.

For example, “The stationery supplier at my office charges 20% as a commission charge”.

However, the ending, “nary” is pronounced with an “a” instead of “e”, which is another reason of being misspelling it.


3. Effect and Affect

The two frequently misspelled words are noun and verb, respectively.  Usually, effect is noun and affect is verb.

“Affect” is referred as a verb, because it depicts an impact, consequences, etc.  For example, “John’s habit of drinking too much alcohol has affected his studies greatly.”

“Effect” is used to portray an outcome or a result. For example, “The after effects of earthquake were severe and only few are expected to survive.”

Here the meaning of the two words is very similar which causes confusion with using these 2 words. Knowing how they function in their respective context is a must.


4. Compliment and Complement

Both words “Compliment” and “Complement” are adjective that have a level of complexity that can make them difficult to cope with.

When you praise someone, you are actually conveying or giving a compliment. For example, “You are looking gorgeous in this dress”, is a compliment.

The adjective of “compliment” is “complimentary”, which has two meanings. For example, “She was very complimentary by saying how beautiful my dress was.”

However, “complimentary” also means free of charge. For example, “The hotel provides complimentary tour to its guests.”

“Complement” refers to things appearing nicely when they are together or “complimenting each other”. For example, “as a couple, the husband and wife complement each other.”

As an adjective, complementary is used like this: “Both sisters provide complementary skills, one is good with doing facials and the other is great with hair cutting.”


5. Lose and Loose

Both words “Lose” and “Loose” are misspelled all the time. These two words have no similarity in their meanings. In speech, the words are pronounced differently.  Listen to ‘Lose’ here. And Loose here.

“Lose” is the opposite of win; and “Loose” is opposite of tight.

For example, “I don’t want to lose you, but my mother is against our relation.”

“This shirt is too loose for me.”

Perhaps you can remember the difference by remembering that “loose” has two O’s which makes it a bigger word. Big, like a loose shirt.

Work on avoiding misspelling words in English. You shall find many guides that are available on Internet for your assistance. Your constant efforts will sure help you overcome these mistakes.

Leave a comment below with any other commonly misspelled words that you know to let me know if you learned anything new about the words in this article.

About the Author:

Rochelle Ceira is an specialist in English Language currently serving as an instructor in a private institute at her locality. She’s an avid reader of Dan Brown’s and G.R.R Martin, and loves to indulge herself in their novels whenever they get time.

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