15 Common Spelling Mistakes that Even Native English Speakers Make

Advanced English Grammar Course

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.
  • His curiosity got him into trouble.

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 embarrass, embarrassed, 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.

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