Spelling Mistakes: Common Examples & Quiz
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
I accept your decision. (accept means to receive what's offered)
I like everything except that. (except means all but what is excluded)
This stationery is made of the finest paper. (stationery is paper)
The man's head remained stationary while the surgeon worked on him. (stationary means not moveable.)
It's hot in here. (it's is a contraction for it is)
The car is parked in its place. (its is a possessive pronoun)
Other Common Mistakes
'could of, would of, should of' should all be spelled 'could have, would have, should have'
'accomodate' should be spelled 'accommodate'
'recieve' should be spelled 'receive'
'than' and 'then' (than is a comparison to something, then refers to a time in the past or future)
Spelling Correctly with -ible and -able
Words like 'laughable' and 'incredible' are misspelled sometimes because of their suffixes. The general rule is to use -able if the word can stand on its own without the suffix, as in laughable, and -ible if it can't, as in incredible.
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