Published on by

What are the Commonly Misspelled Words in English?

Spelling appears to be a small issue. However, it is considered to be one of the most difficult problems that we face in academics and business.

Poor spelling can affect your reputation in the business and if you are a student, your grades. 

But do not fret! On this page, we will enumerate the most commonly misspelled words in English along with what causes them so you will not commit such mistakes. Keep reading. 

British vs. American English Spelling

While both the United Kingdom and the United States speak the same language (English), no one can argue that the way some words are spelled differs significantly. 

People frequently misinterpret the spelling of several terms and are unable to determine which is proper, resulting in mistakes that could have been avoided.

The primary distinction is that British English retains the spelling of terms borrowed from other languages, primarily French and German.

While American English spellings are primarily determined by how a word sounds when spoken.

Here are the differences between British English and American English spelling and a few examples for your reference. 

1. Words that end in -re or -er

One of the most common English spelling mistakes is shown in this category of common English spelling mistakes. 

For this reason, nouns ending in -re are more prevalent in British English than in American English, where the identical terms are usually spelled with -er.

British English American English 









2. Words that end in -ise or -ize and -yse or -yze

The sole distinction between American English and British English in this category, according to the Oxford dictionary, is that in American English, verbs are always spelled with -ize and -yze at the end, whereas in British English -ise and -yse is preferred.

British English American English 











3. Words that end in -our or -or

Another notable distinction is the British choose to add -our at the end of a word, while the Americans prefer to use a plain -or instead.

British English American English 









4. An extra -l

The occurrence of a second ‘l’ in some terms is another typical English spelling error.

This is more common in British English than in American English since Americans tend to skip it entirely.

British English American English 









5. Words with double vowels 

In most circumstances, American English is simplified, and it appears that Americans feel that there is no need to add an extra letter where it does not appear to be required. 

British English adds an extra vowel to several words in this circumstance as well.

British English American English 









6. Words that end in -ogue or -og

This is true for some nouns with this specific ending. In British English, they should be spelled with –ogue, but in American English, they should be spelled with –og.

British English American English 








7. Words that end in -ense or -ence

Some nouns in British English have a ‘c’ ending, but they have an ‘s’ ending in American English. 

This is a typical writing error, but it is easy to avoid because these words do not have anything else to search for.

British English American English 







What are the Common Causes of Misspellings?

According to one survey, 43% of hiring managers dismiss a candidate’s CV if it contains spelling problems. 

Another study found that spelling and grammatical errors were the main ‘deal breakers’ in job hunting for 79 percent of recruiters and human resource managers. This just goes to show how important spelling words correctly is. 

Here are the most common causes of misspellings that you need to avoid so that your academic and professional life will not suffer. 

1. Mispronunciation

One of the most common reasons for misspelling is mispronunciation. 

As a result, when a word is mispronounced, the phonetic misspelling is widespread.

The word ‘realize’, for example, could be misspelled as ‘relise’.

2. Typing Errors

Because some people’s typing is not faultless, some spelling errors are introduced, such as:

  • letters are doubled, or in the case of ‘betwween’ and ‘betweeen’, double letters are tripled
  • letters are singled such as ‘between’
  • keys are sometimes transposed, ‘because’ has become ‘becuase’ 

3. Homophones

If two (or more) differently spelled words with distinct meanings are pronounced the same, they are homophones. This seems to be one of the major causes of misspellings as well.

Below are a few words that are often used incorrectly in place of their homophones. 

  • ‘advice’ instead of ‘advise’ or vice versa
  • ‘affect’ instead of ‘effect’ or vice versa
  • ‘breath’ instead of ‘breathe’ or vice versa
  • ‘principal’ instead of ‘principle’ or vice versa
  • ‘loose’ instead of ‘lose’ or vice versa

4. Personal Names

Personal names and surnames are spelled differently than standard English words: ‘balance’ and ‘John Balance’, ‘war’ and ‘Evelyn Waugh’ (if spoken without a rhotic accent); ‘marshal’ and ‘George Marshall’.

Of course, most personal names begin with a capital letter. 

Furthermore, personal names have several spellings, such as ‘Catherine’, ‘Katharine’, and ‘Kathryn’, or ‘Stewart’ and ‘Stuart’, and a writer may not be aware of the right spelling of a specific individual’s name.

5. Foreign Writers

Someone who is used to a different spelling in another language may make a mistake in English; for example, ‘address’ is translated ‘adresse’ in German and French. 

Many words from Spain are identical or similar to English ones, but with a ‘n’ is appended or a ‘m’ replaced, resulting in errors such as ‘inmigrant’ instead of ‘inmigrante’, ‘cementery’ instead of ‘cementerio’, and ‘confortable’ instead of ‘comfortable’

To Germans, the English word ‘loss’ appears to be pronounced as ‘lose’, because a lone ‘s’ in German often sounds like an English ‘z’, while a lone ‘o‘ in English rarely sounds like ‘oo’.

6. Apostrophe

A plural possessive form can cause some difficulty. When the singular is ‘book’s title’ and the plural is ‘books’ titles’, the plural can be ‘book’s or ‘books’s’. ‘Apple’s and pear’s’ can be written with an incorrect apostrophe (‘grocer’s apostrophe’ in Britain). 

The apostrophe denotes the elided ‘o’, therefore ‘doesn’t’ could be misspelled ‘does’nt’.

7. Silent Consonants 

Although this is a surprisingly common occurrence in English, spelling errors appear to be uncommon. 

In fact, pronunciation issues, such as mispronouncing both ‘b’s in ‘bombing’, appear to be more common.

8. The spelling of Another Word

The noun ‘improvement’ is an example of a word spelled as the spelling of a closely related word would suggest; it simply adds to the verb ‘improve’s basic spelling without changing it. 

The word formed from ‘maintain’, on the other hand, is ‘maintenance’ rather than ‘maintainance’, and as a result, it is often misspelled. This base spelling change is completely unpredictable; you only need to be aware of it.

9. Endings of the Same Word with Different Spellings

-Sion/-tion, -able/-ible, and -ent/-ant are three word ends that have different spellings. 

With the first of these, choosing the correct spelling is not necessarily an issue because there are certain fairly clear rules, such as that verbs ending in -d, such as suspend, become nouns ending in -sion, such as ‘suspension’.

10. Words That are Difficult to Pronounce

There are times when struggling to speak a word correctly does not result in a spelling error, but this does not happen all the time. 

Many East African language speakers, for example, have difficulty pronouncing the /ɪ/ sound in the middle of longish words like ‘discipline’, ‘hesitate’, ‘municipal’, ‘president’, and ‘studying’, as a result of which the corresponding letter is sometimes lost from the spelling.

What are the 100 Commonly Misspelled Words?

At one point or another, we have committed a spelling mistake.

Mistakes might be caused by a lack of proofreading time or a lack of understanding of proper spelling.

Sometimes it is because of a misunderstanding of how to use the word. 

The examples provided here will assist you in staying on track.

Correct WordMeaningSpelling TipCommon Misspellings
accommodateTo provide a place to stay or enough space forThere is a double ‘c’ and a double ‘m’accommodate

achieveTo succeed in completing something or achieving a goal, especially after a significant amount of effortRemember that ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except in ‘c’acheive
acrossFrom one end of the spectrum to the otherThe ‘c’ is singleaccross
addressThe specifics of where someone lives or where an organization is locatedThere is a double ‘d’ and a double ‘s’address

adviceGuidance or suggestions for sensible future action If it is the noun, use ‘c’, if it is the verb, use ‘s’advise
aggressiveReady, willing, or able to attack or challengeThere is a double ‘g’ and a double ‘s’aggressive

assassinationA murder committed in a surprise or covert strike, usually for political purposesThere are two double ‘s’esassassination

awfulVery unpleasant or bad Forget the ‘e’aweful
beginningThe point in space or time when something begins to happenThere is only one ‘g’ but a double ‘n’, think of the root word ‘begin’ beggining
believeTo accept something as trueRemember that ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except in ‘c’beleive
breatheTo take air into the lungs and then expel it, particularly as a physiological processThere is an extra ‘e’ at the end if it is the verb, if it is the noun, forget the ‘e’breath
businessThe act of making a living through commerce is a common practiceThe single ‘s’ comes before the double ‘s’bussiness
careful Ensuring that there is no danger, disaster, or harm; with caution Be careful not to add an extra ‘l’carefull
cemeteryA graveyard There is no ‘a’ in cemetery cemetary 
chauffeurA person who is compensated to drive a personal or rental vehicleThere are two ‘u’s; one after the ‘a’ and one after the ‘e’chauffer
comingDue to happen There are no double letters comming
committeeA group of people assigned to perform a specific task, usually made up of members of a larger groupThere are three double letters; ‘m’, ‘t’ and ‘e’committee

conscienceAn voice or inner feeling that serves as a guidance to the correctness or incorrectness of one’s actionsThink of the prefix ‘con’ added to the word ‘science’ conscience

convenienceThe state of being able to complete a task with minimal effort or difficultyAn ‘e’ follows the ‘v’, not an ‘i’convinience
curiosityA burning desire to study or know somethingThere is only one ‘u’curiousity
decideTo come to a mental conclusion as a result of deliberationThere is no ‘s’decide
definiteNot ambiguous or doubtful; plainly expressed or resolvedThere are two ‘i’s in between the two ‘e’sdefenite
desperateFeeling, displaying, or involving a dismal sensation that a situation is so horrible that it is unmanageableThere is only one ‘a’ – after the ‘r’desparate
disappearTo stop being visible Only one letter is doubled – ‘p’dissappear
differenceA distinction between individuals or objects at a certain period or in a certain wayDo not forget the ‘e’ after the double ‘f’diffrence
dilemmaA situation in which a difficult choice must be made between two or more options, particularly those that are both equally badOnly the ‘m’ is doubled dillema

disciplineThe system of teaching people to abide by norms or a decorum by enforcing penalty for noncomplianceDo not forget the ‘s’ before the ‘c’ or the ‘c’ after the ‘s’ discipline

ecstasyAn overpowering sense of joy or joyous exhilarationThere is only one ‘c’ and two ‘s’secstacy
embarrassTo experience discomfort, self-consciousness, or humiliationThere are two double letters – ‘r’ and ‘s’embarrass

environmentThe environment or circumstances in which a person, plant, or animal lives or worksDo not forget the ‘n’ after the ‘o’enviroment
exaggerateTo give the impression that something is bigger, better, or worse than it isOnly the ‘g’ is doubledexagerrate
excellentReally good; exceptionalDo not forget the ‘c’ after the ‘x’ The letter ‘l’ is doubledexcellent

exceptNot included Do not forget the ‘c’ after the ‘x’ exept
excitedExtremely ecstatic and eagerDo not forget the ‘c’ after the ‘x’ exited
experimentA technique used in science to create a discovery, test a hypothesis, or prove a known factThe ‘i’ comes after the ‘r’ expirement
familiarWell-known as a result of a long or intimate relationshipThere are no double letters familliar
finallyAfter a long period of time, usually with difficulty or delayOnly the ‘l’ is doubled; think of the root word ‘final’ finally

fluorescentVibrantly coloredDo not forget the ‘u’ after the ‘l’ and the ‘c’ after the ‘s’florescent

foreignPertaining to or dealing with foreign countriesRemember that ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except in ‘c’foriegn
fortyFour tens Forget the ‘u’ fourty
forwardToward the front; in the direction one is facing or travelingThere is no ‘e’ after the first ‘r’foreward
friendA person who is not an opponent or on the same sideRemember that ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except in ‘c’freind
gaugeAn apparatus or gadget that measures the size, quantity, or substance of anything, usually with a visual display of the resultsJust like in the alphabet, ‘a’ comes before the ‘u’ guage
generallyMost of the time; typicallyOnly ‘l’ is doubled; think of the root word ‘general’genneraly
glamorousExcitingly appealingDo not forget the ‘o’ after the ‘r’ glamorus
governmentA nation’s, state’s, or community’s governing bodyDo not forget the ‘n’ after the ‘r’goverment
gratefulThankfulness; feeling or expressing gratitude for kindnessAn ‘a’ follows the ‘r’ – not an ‘e’greatful
guaranteeSomething that ensures a positive outcomeThere is no ‘y’ Do not forget the ‘u’ after the ‘g’guarantee

happinessA state of mind characterized by feelings of happiness, contentment, and fulfillmentThere are two double letters – ‘p’ and ‘s’; hapiness
harassTo be subjected to coercion or intimidationOnly the ‘s’ is doubled harrass
heroesA person who is admired or idealized for their bravery, extraordinary accomplishments, or virtuous traitsDo not forget the ‘e’ before the ‘s’heros
imitationSomething that attempts to imitate or mimic something elseThere are no double letters immitation
immediatelyInstantlyThe ‘m’ is doubledAn ‘e’ comes after the double ‘m’ immediately

incidentallyUsed when someone has something else to say or is about to say something unrelated to the current topicDo not forget the ‘a’ after the ‘t’incidentlly
independentNot relying on others for a living or sustenanceThere is only one ‘i’; the beginning letter indipendent
intelligentHaving or demonstrating a high level of intelligenceAn ‘i’ follows the double ‘l’intellegent
interestingArousing or maintaining someone’s interest in something; retaining or capturing someone’s attentionDo not forget the ‘e’ after the first ‘t’intresting
interruptionA situation in which someone or something temporarily prevents something from happeningThe ‘r’ is doubled interuption
irrelevantNot important since it has nothing to do with what is being discussed or consideredOnly the ‘r’ is doubled irrelevant

irresistibleToo appealing and enticing to refuseAn ‘i’ follows the ‘t’ – not an ‘a’irresistable
lengthThe length or measurement of something from beginning to end; a body’s greater of two or greatest of three dimensionsDo not forget the ‘g’ after the ‘n’ lenth
lightningA natural electrical discharge with a very short duration and high voltage that occurs within a cloud, usually accompanied by a blinding flash and thunderDo not forget the ‘n’ after the ‘t’lighting
losingThe act of being defeated in a game or contest; sufferingThere is only one ‘o’ loosing
medicineA substance or preparation used to treat or prevent disease, particularly a medicine or drugs administered orallyAn ’i’ follows the ‘d’ – not an ‘e’medecine
millenniumA ten-thousand-year periodThere are two double letters – ‘l’ and ‘n’millennium

miniatureA little duplicate or model, especially one that is substantially smaller than typicalDo not forget the ‘a’ after ‘mini’ miniture
necessaryRequired to be done, accomplished, or presentOnly the ‘s’ is doubled necessary

noticeablePlain or obvious; easily seen or noticedRemember the words ‘notice’ and ‘able’ put together noticeble
occasionA specific moment or occurrence of an eventOnly the ‘c’ is doubled occasion

occurredTook placeTwo letters are doubled – ‘c’ and ‘r’ occured
officialPertaining to a government agency or public body’s tasks, actions, and obligationsThe ‘f’ is doubledoficial
omissionThe act of leaving something or someone out or excluding themOnly the ‘s’ is doubled ommision
parallelSide by side, with the same distance between them all the timeOnly the ‘l’ is doubledparallel

peculiarOdd or strange; unusualThere are no double letters peculliar
perceiveTo become aware of or mindful of something; to comprehend or recognizeRemember that ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except in ‘c’percieve
possessionOwning, or controlling something is the state of having, owning, or controlling anythingThere are two double ‘s’espossession

preferredTo like one item or person over another or othersOnly the ‘r’ is doubled preferred

prejudicePredetermined notions that are not founded on logic or experienceA ‘c’ follows the ‘i’ – not an ‘s’prejudise
privilegeA unique right, benefit, or immunity bestowed on or available to a single individual or groupThere is no ‘d’An ‘i’ follows the ‘v’ – not an ‘e’privilege

professionalPertaining to or being a member of a professionOnly the ‘s’ is doubled professional

pronunciationThe way a word is pronouncedDo not put an ‘o’ after the first ‘n’pronounciation
reallyIn reality, rather than what is claimed or thought to be true or possibleThe ‘l’ is doubled realy
receiveTo be provided, presented with, or compensated withRemember that ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except in ‘c’recieve
recommendTo put someone or something forth as being appropriate for a specific purpose or dutyOnly the ‘m’ is doubled recommend

referredTo imply or make a reference toOnly the ‘r’ is doubled referred

religiousRelating to a pious order or other group of individuals who share a common religious practiceDo not forget the ‘i‘ after the ‘g’religous
resistanceThe unwillingness to accept or comply with anything; the action or argument used to try to prevent something from happeningAn ‘a’ follows the ‘t’ – not an ‘e’resistence
separateDeveloping or being seen as a separate unit or by itselfAn ‘a’ follows the ‘p’ – not an ‘e’ seperate
successfulAchieving a goal or objectiveTwo letters are doubled – ‘c’ and ‘s’ succesful
thereforeAs a result; thusDo not forget the ‘e’ at the endtherefor
thresholdThe size or intensity that must be exceeded in order for a particular reaction, phenomenon, result, or situation to occur or exhibit itselfDo not double the ‘h’ after the ‘s’ threshhold
tomorrowThe day after todayThe ‘r’ is doubled – not the ‘m’tommorow
tongueA mammal’s fleshy muscular organ used for tasting, licking, ingesting, and (in humans) producing speechThe ‘u’ comes after the ‘g’ – not after the ‘o’ tounge
trulyIn a sincere mannerThe ‘l’ is not doubled trully
untilUp until the given point in time or occurrenceThe ‘l’ is not doubleduntill
viciousWillfully brutal or violentThere is only one ‘s’ – at the end viscious
weirdImplying something supernatural; bizarreThe ‘e’ comes after the ‘w’ – not after the ‘r’wired
whereverIn any place; regardless of where you areThere are no double letters whereever
whetherExpressing apprehension or a decision between two optionsDo not forget the ‘h’ after the ‘w’wether
writingThe act or talent of writing down a set of comprehensible words on paper and putting them together into a textThe ‘t’ is not doubled writting

Why Do Proper Spelling Matter in Writing?

While some spelling errors are harmless and funny, the majority are not. Not only may a simple error make us appear less smart than we really are. 

Poor spelling can lead to misunderstandings, a lack of clarity, and, in extreme circumstances, millions of dollars in lost sales and job prospects. 

It has the potential to sabotage our business and as a student, your chances of getting good grades could be jeopardized. 

Needless to say, it is important that we be extremely careful when it comes to spelling, as this could seriously affect our personal and professional life. 

Additional FAQs — Commonly Misspelled Words

What is the #1 Misspelled Word?

Based on 2020 research, the most commonly misspelled word is ‘quarantine’

To a point, there are even people who spell it as ‘corn teen’

Which Spelling Should I Use: British English or American English? 

While both spellings are accepted almost everywhere, it is advised that you lean towards the spelling being followed or preferred in the university/company/country you are in. 

For example, if you are in Australia, you should stick to British English spelling as it is one of the countries that follow British English spelling. 

Does Spelling Matter in English Proficiency Exams? 

Yes, spelling matters in standardized English proficiency exams such as IELTS, TOEFL, and Duolingo English Test

Spelling plays a crucial role in your IELTS marks but not as much in the TOEFL and Duolingo tests. 

The TOEFL and Duolingo examiners are keener on the content of your answers rather than the spelling, but it is important to note that poor spelling will surely affect your marks in these three exams. 


A group of language enthusiasts with a shared commitment to helping you succeed in your English language journey. With years of experience, relevant certifications, and a deep love for languages, we're here to provide you with the support and resources you need to excel in exams like IELTS, TOEFL, OET, Duolingo and many others. We take pride in helping individuals like you achieve their language goals.