Misspelt Words

Misspelt Words

English is said to have one of the most difficult spelling systems which people often confuse. The words are misspelt most commonly by the people who use this as a second language, especially, non-natives.

The Indian languages, like Hindi, Bengali or Marathi are based on the stress of the words used and thus the spellings are written on the basis of that. However, the phonetics of English is at times so confusing that the learners often make mistakes. There are basically two reasons for the misspelt words; firstly, the pronunciation of words changes, however, spellings do not. For example, “k” in knife and “yacht” is pronounced as “yot”. In the second case, the spelling changes but the pronunciation does not, for example, the word “b”  is not pronounced in “doubt”. Similarly, words that “ough” like though, bough may sound the same but cough does not.

Learning to avoid using misspelt words 

Misspelt words are common in the English language and to avoid this, a dictionary is being used. A dictionary provides a wide range of words alphabetically with the meaning and pronunciation of certain words that are used. However, the English language is very flexible and the pronunciation changes with time. English is a lingua franca and is thus used by the people from all the corners which gradually changes with location. The accent and phonetics changes with each region it travelled. For example, the Indians use English with the influence of Indian words`, and are thus known as “Indian English”. The American uses English with different accents and lexicons and is thus known as “American English”.

The spellings can be corrected and fixed, if the learner takes the following points into consideration:

  • The words should be written neatly and clearly, visualising the words in mind
  • The words need to be spelt out loud and pronounced perfectly
  • The syllables must be studied carefully and pronounced many times to confirm the usage of words
  • A list must be prepared by the learners for the commonly used words that have often been misspelt.  
  • Mnemonics or memory aids also help in learning the language using rhymes and word association. 

Commonly misspelt words are generally used unintentionally in general writing. However, there are certain causes that are usually responsible for the commonly misspelt words:

  • When the consonants are silent, like, a knife is spelt as “nife”
  • Words that break spelling rules, like yacht, is pronounced as “yot”
  • Variable spellings in the words ending with the same words, like “donut”, are a modern variation of “doughnut”.
  • Words that are difficult to pronounce, like, rural, squirrel and Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Immediately-Repeated Syllable Spellings, like, Quarantine

English is a flexible language with variety and the language is used by almost all countries to communicate in their national and international situations. Learners often commit mistakes and learn from the same mistakes using misspelt words. The correct practice of pronunciation, learning spellings and grammar helps them to enhance the learning of the spellings. 

The table given above presents the commonly used words that are misspelt. Apart from these, some common mistakes occur with the following circumstances:

  • Words ending with ar, er, or orre: beggar, borrower, theatre.
  • Words ending with al, el, le: Annual, Signal, Musical
  • Words ending with ur, ure, eur, our: Assure, Architecture, Rigour, Sulphur
  • Words ending with ry, ary,, ery, ory: Dowry, Bakery, Surgery
  • Words ending with ance, ence, ense: Acceptance, Defence, Influence, Presence
  • Words ending with able, ible: Advisable, Vegetable, Flexible, Sensible
  • Words ending with cial, tial: official, substantial, initial, session, station

Troublesome words: Accommodate, Beggar, Career, Ceremony, Behavior, Naughty, Goddess, Hungry, Tuition, Pursue, Harass, Height, Ancient

Sometimes the words sound the same but they are different in different spellings with different meanings. However, many times there are certain words that are often confused by the other words. Apart from this, many at times, the same words have different meanings and are thus being confused by the learners to use it correctly and properly. These are the general problems that students face during their learning phase. These mistakes are also made by adults, even those who are experienced in certain fields of education. The commonly misspelt words are a common mistake that may change the meaning of the centre along with an error in the construction and structure.


Words are often being confused for other words and this causes spelling mistakes. It is a common mistake in the learner’s development and they learn by using the words and forming the sentences correctly. The common mistakes occur due to changes in phonetics and pronunciation as it comes from different sources. The common feature of English being flexibility with borrowing words from different languages makes it more dynamic. This feature of English is also responsible for making mistakes in grammar. Spelling mistakes are generally known as typographical errors or misprints when typed and misspelt when handwritten. These commonly made mistakes are errors that become grammatical errors when used in a sentence.