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Frequently Misspelled Words

Updated June 6, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The Most Common Misspellings

English spelling can get rather tricky. It used to be much harder--the English language changed a lot after the Middle Ages in an event called the Great Vowel Shift. That was when we decided words like "Shoppe" should be spelled "Shop", or "Aprille" should be spelled "April." English still retains some of that old goofiness, though, as evidenced by how common misspellings are. Double letters, especially double consonants, tend to cause a lot of trouble. Other common culprits are exceptions to popular mnemonics, like how "weird" violates the commonly stated "i before e, except after c". 

We're going to list some misspelled English words, with the misspelling first and then the correct spelling of the word in parentheses. For more spelling tips, see our Guide to Spelling:

 

  • absense (absence)
  • adress (address)
  • advise, the verb, is often switched with advice, the noun.
  • alot (a lot)
  • aquit (acquit)
  • arguement (argument)
  • artic (arctic)
  • begining (beginning)
  • beleive (believe)
  • broccolli (broccoli)
  • borough and bureau are confused 
  • calender (calendar)
  • comraderie (camaraderie)
  • cieling (ceiling)
  • cemetary (cemetery)
  • changable (changeable)
  • collegue (colleague) 
  • consciencious (conscientious)
  • concious (conscious)
  • daquiri (daiquiri)
  • decieve (deceive)
  • definately (definitely)
  • desparate (desperate)
  • disasterous (disastrous)
  • dumbell (dumbbell)
  • embarass (embarrass)
  • enviroment (environment)
  • existance (existence)
  • experiance (experience)
  • facinating (fascinating)
  • Febuary (February)
  • firey (fiery)
  • flourescent (fluorescent)
  • foriegn (foreign)
  • goverment (government)
  • gratefull or greatful (grateful)
  • guarantee
  • harrass (harass)
  • hieght (height)
  • hipocrite (hypocrite)
  • humerous (humorous)
  • innoculate (inoculate) 
  • independant (independent)
  • jewelry (jewelery)
  • judgement is less proper than "judgment" 
  • (kernal) kernel 
  • liesure (leisure)
  • liason (liaison) 
  • libary (library)
  • lisense (license)
  • maintainance (maintenance)
  • medevil or mideval (medieval)
  • millenium (millennium)
  • miniture (miniature)
  • miniscule (minuscule)
  • mischievious (mischievous)
  • mispell (misspell)
  • momento (memento--momento is Spanish for "moment")
  • misterious (mysterious)
  • neccessary (necessary)
  • nieghbor (neighbor)
  • noticable (noticeable) 
  • occassion (occasion)
  • occurence (occurrence)
  • oddyssey (odyssey)
  • peice (piece)
  • playwrite (playwright)
  • preceed (precede)
  • presance (presence)
  • privelege (privilege)
  • prophecy is a noun, while prophesy is a verb.
  • pumkin (pumpkin)
  • rasberry (raspberry)
  • recieve (receive)
  • rtyhm (rhythm)
  • sacriligious (sacrilegious)
  • sience (science)
  • sissors (scissors)
  • seperate (separate)
  • sinserely (sincerely)
  • supercede (supersede)
  • thorough and through are often mixed up
  • truely (truly)
  • untill (until, or till)
  • Wensday (Wednesday)
  • wether (whether)
  • wich (which, or witch)
  • wierd (weird)
  • you're is often used in place of your

See also Spelling Demons

 
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