The following are some of the most commonly/easily misspelled words in English. For many of the words listed below, the common misspelled form of the word is in parentheses.

Spelling Tips

  • a lot
    (mistakenly written as alot)
  • all right
    (mistakenly written as alright)
  • convenient
  • definitely
    (mistakenly written as definately)
  • dessert
    (as in the sweet stuff, not the geographical term; mistakenly written as desert)
    Tip: Remember that dessert has two s‘s because it tastes so good that we want more of it.
  • forty
    (mistakenly written as fourty)
  • its
    (for showing possession; mistakenly written as it’s, the contraction for it is)
  • lose
    (as in “unable to find”; mistakenly written as loose)
  • mnemonic
  • paraphernalia
  • receive
    (mistakenly written as recieve)
  • restaurant
    (mistakenly written as restuarant, restraunt, and countless other ways)
  • separate
    (mistakenly written as seperate)
  • truly
    (mistakenly written as truely)
  • you’re
    (contraction for you are; mistakenly written as your, which is for showing possession)
  • weird
  • (mistakenly written as wierd)

Saint Joseph’s online university, SJU online, features teaching certificate programs for aspiring English teachers.

Tips on How to Be a Better Speller:

  • Do not rely too heavily on your computer’s spell checking program. While spell check may recognize receive written as recieve as incorrect, it will not alert you when you spell dessert as desert. If in doubt, consult a dictionary.
  • If you find that you consistently misspell a word, practice writing it five or ten times the correct way. This will help you to remember the correct spelling the next time you use the word.
  • Use mnemonic devices to help you remember tricky words. For example, remember this rule for spelling words like receive: i before e, except after c, or when sounded like a as in neighbor and weigh. For the exceptions to this rule, remember the following sentence: Neither financier seized either weird species of leisure.
  • Read! By being an avid reader, you will be better able to recognize when the spelling of a word just doesn’t look right.

Leave a response to “Spelling”


  1. Igrat says:

    We all were taught in grade school this, but really helped. Thanks.

  2. shelly says:

    tis website is the best website for spelling

  3. Steve says:

    Has anyone else noticed that Janet Parshall (host of “In the Market with Janet Parshall on Moody Radio M-F 5-7P.) has an annoying habit of using the word phenomena when she means phenomenon, treating the singular as the plural?
    Of course, many people are guilty of this transgression, but I believe that, as the host of a national talk show, she needs to know that she’s not setting a good example for proper word usage. (Note also that people who do this always pronounce it “phenomenah”, not “phenomenuh”, as you would when you mean it in a plural sense.