Spelling Mistakes: Common Examples & Quiz

Supplemental Lesson
Share Feedback Rate
Instructor: Mary Firestone

Learn about some of the most common types of spelling mistakes and how to correct them. Read the lesson and take a brief quiz to test your new skills.

We also recommend watching How to Avoid Common Job Application Mistakes and When and How to Use the Common Application

Spelling Mistakes Happen

Everyone makes spelling mistakes at one time or another. Mistakes can be caused by not taking the time to proofread or lack of knowledge about what the correct spellings are, and other times it's from confusion about usage. The examples shown below will help you stay on the right track.

Spelling Mistakes and Homophones

Homophones are one of the main causes of spelling mistakes. A homophone is a word that sounds like other words, but is spelled differently. One of the best ways to remember the correct spelling is to consider their usage in the sentence, as shown in these examples:

their, there, they're

The neighbors are on their lawn. (their is a pronoun)

We haven't ever been there. (there is a place)

They're coming over to our house tomorrow. (they're is a contraction for they are)

through, threw

He threw out the garbage. (threw is past tense of the verb to throw)

I drove through a small town. (through can mean physically going from one side to another, or it can mean finished, as in 'I'm through now.')

to, too, two

Charles is going to work now. (to is an article)

I am going to work, too. (too means also)

The two of us work late hours. (two is a number)

use to, used to

I used to shop at that store. (used to is a habit done in the past)

This is the car I'll use to drive to the shore. (use to is a verb meaning to utilize something in the present)

break and brake

I'll need a break before going back to work. (break means to separate or interrupt)

This car needs a new set of brakes. (brake is a mechanism for slowing down or stopping)

complement, compliment

That pink blouse complements your gray pants. (complement means to make complete or makes perfect)

My instructor gave me a compliment on my essay. (compliment means to give praise)

advice, advise

Diane gave him great advice. (advice means to give recommendation)

The doctor will advise you about which exercises work best. (advise is a verb that means counsel)

affect, effect

This medicine has a long list of side effects. (effect is a noun that means result)

The amount of sunlight affects the way some people feel. (affect is a verb that means influence)

Continue reading...
Create An Account
To Start This Course Today
Used by over 10 million students worldwide
Create An Account
Try it free for 5 days
Start Your Free Trial To Take This Quiz

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 8,500 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

Free 5-day trial
It only takes a few minutes to set up and you can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 100 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Education Portal has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.


Watch all the video lessons you want free for 5 days
Select a plan to try & see why over 10 million users love Education Portal
Start Free Trial