Commonly misspelled words

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The term "commonly misspelled words"[1][2] (or sometimes, "common misspelled words") is about words in English that are often spelled wrongly.

In writing, some words are often misspelled, such as the wrong spelling "concensus"[3] for "consensus" [4] found in many webpages on the Internet.[3] Other common misspellings include "equiptment" (for "equipment"),[3][5] "independant" (for "independent"),[3][6] "readible" (for readable),[7][8] or "usible" (for usable).[7][3][9][10][11][12]

Documented list of common misspellings[change | edit source]

This list of about 350 words, is based on documented lists[3][10] of the top 100, 200, or 400[7] most commonly misspelled words, rather than listing every misspelled word. Each word is followed by examples of misspellings:

A–B[change | edit source]

  • absence – absense, absance[7][10]
  • acceptable – acceptible [3]
  • accidentally/accidently – accidentaly [3]
  • accommodate – accomodate, acommodate[7][3]
  • achieve – acheive[7]
  • acknowledge – acknowlege, aknowledge[7]
  • acquaintance – acquaintence, aquaintance[7]
  • acquire – aquire, adquire [3]
  • acquit – aquit [3]
  • acreage – acrage, acerage[7]
  • across – accross
  • address – adress[7]
  • adultery – adultary[7]
  • advertise – advertize
  • advisable – adviseable, advizable[7]
  • affect – effect[7]
  • aggression – agression, aggresion[1]
  • alcohol – alchohol[1]
  • allege – alege, allage[1]
  • allegiance – allegaince, allegience, alegiance[7]
  • almost – allmost[7]
  • a lot – alot (must be 2 words)[3]
  • amateur – amatuer, amature [3]
  • amend – ammend[1]
  • among – amung
  • annually – anually, annualy[7]
  • apparent – apparant, aparent [3]
  • arctic – artic[7]
  • argument – arguement[1][3]
  • atheist – athiest[7][3]
  • athlete – athelete
  • average – avrage, averege[1]
  • awful – awfull, aweful[7]
  • balance – ballance, balence
  • basically – basicly
  • because – becuase[7]
  • becoming – becomeing[7]
  • before – befor
  • beginning – begining[7]
  • believe – beleive [3]
  • bellwether – bellweather[7][3]
  • benefit – benifit
  • buoy/buoyant – bouy/bouyant[7]
  • breathe – breath, brethe
  • brilliant – brilliant
  • burglar – burgler[1]
  • business – bisness,[1] bussiness,
    bizness, buisness

C–D[change | edit source]

  • calendar – calender[7][3]
  • camouflage – camoflage, camoflague[7]
  • capitol – capital[7]
  • career – carrer
  • careful – carefull
  • Caribbean – Carribean[7]
  • category – catagory[7][3]
  • caught – cauhgt, caugt[7]
  • ceiling – cieling
  • cemetery – cemetary,[1] cematery[7]
  • certain – certin
  • changeable – changable[7][3]
  • chief – cheif[7]
  • citizen – citezen
  • colleague – collaegue, collegue[7]
  • collectible – collectable[7][3]
  • column – colum [3]
  • comfortable - confortable
  • coming – comming[7]
  • committed – commited, comitted[7][3]
  • competition – compitition
  • concede – conceed[7]
  • congratulate – congradulate[7]
  • conscientious – consciencious [7][3]
  • conscious – concious, consious [3]
  • consensus – concensus[1][7][3]
  • controversy – contraversy[1]
  • convenience – conveniance
  • coolly – cooly[7]
  • criticize – critecize, critisize
  • daiquiri – dacquiri, daquiri [3]
  • deceive – decieve[1][7]
  • decide – dicide
  • definite – definate,[1] definit[3]
  • definitely – definitly, [3] definately, defiantly
  • deposit – deposite
  • describe - discribe
  • desperate – desparate[1][7]
  • develop – develope
  • difference – diffrence[7]
  • dilemma – dilema[7]
  • disappear – disapear, dissapear
  • disappoint – disapoint[1]
  • disastrous – disasterous[7]
  • discipline – disipline
  • doable - dooable
  • does – deos, dose
  • drunkenness – drunkeness [3]
  • dumbbell – dumbell [3]
  • during – durring

E–H[change | edit source]

  • easily – easely
  • eight – eigth
  • either – iehter, ether
  • embarrass – embarass[1][3]
  • environment – enviroment
  • equipped – equiped
  • equipment – equiptment (wrong in numerous webpages)[3]
  • exaggerate – exagerate
  • exceed – excede [3]
  • excellent – exellent, excelent
  • except – exsept
  • exercise – exercize, exersize
  • exhausted - exausted
  • exhilarate – exilerate [3]
  • existence – existance [3]
  • expect - exspect
  • experience – experiance [3]
  • experiment – experament
  • explanation – explaination
  • extreme – extreem[1]
  • familiar – familier
  • fascinating – facinating,[1] fasinating
  • fiery – firey [3]
  • finally – finaly
  • fluorescent – flourescent[1]
  • foreign – foriegn [3]
  • forty – fourty
  • forward – foreward
  • friend – freind[1]
  • fulfil – fullfil (American: fulfill)[1]
  • fundamental – fundemental
  • gauge – guage[1][3]
  • generally – generaly, genrally
  • government – goverment
  • grammar – grammer
  • grateful – gratefull, greatful[1][3]
  • guarantee – garantee, garentee, garanty[1][3][10]
  • guidance – guidence [11]
  • happiness – happyness
  • harass – harrass[1][3]
  • height – heighth, heigth [3]
  • heroes – heros
  • hierarchy – heirarchy [3]
  • hors d'oeuvres – hors derves, ordeurves[7]
  • humorous – humerous [3]
  • hygiene – hygene, hygine, higeine, hygeine[7]
  • hypocrisy/hypocrite – hipocrit[1][7]

I–K[change | edit source]

  • identity – idenity, identidy
  • ignorance – ignorence [3]
  • imaginary – imaginery
  • imitate – immitate[7]
  • imitation – immitation, imitashun
  • immediately – imediately[1][3]
  • incidentally – incidently
  • independent – independant [3][6]
  • indispensable – indispensible [3]
  • inoculate – innoculate [3]
  • intelligence – inteligence, intelligance [3]
  • interesting – intresting
  • interfere
  • interpretation
  • interruption – interuption
  • invitation
  • irrelevant – irrelevent
  • irritable – irritible
  • island – iland
  • jealous – jellous
  • jewelry (UK: jewellery) – jewelery [3]
  • judgment – judgement (issue in the U.S.)[3]
  • kernel – kernal, distinct from homophone colonel[3]
  • knowledge – knowlege

L–O[change | edit source]

  • laboratory – labratory
  • leisure – liesure [3]
  • length – lenght
  • lesson – leson
  • liaison – liason[1][3]
  • library – libary, liberry [3]
  • license – lisence[3] (US always license, UK noun licence)[1]
  • lightning – lightening [3]
  • loneliness – lonelyness
  • lose – loose
  • losing – loosing, loseing
  • lying – lieing
  • maintenance – maintenence, maintnance[1]
  • maneuver – manuever, manuver (UK: manoeuvre)
  • marriage – marrige
  • mathematics – mathmatics
  • medicine – medcine[source?]
  • medieval – medeval, medevil, mideval [3]
  • memento – momento [3]
  • millennium – millenium, milennium[1][3]
  • miniature – miniture[1][3]
  • minuscule – miniscule[1][3]
  • minute – minite
  • mischievous – mischevous, mischevious [3]
  • misspell – mispell, misspel[1][3]
  • mysterious – misterius,[source?] misterious
  • naturally – naturaly
  • necessary – neccessary, necessery[1]
  • niece – neice[1]
  • neighbor – nieghbor [3]
  • neither – niether
  • noticeable – noticable [3]
  • occasion – occassion[1]
  • occasionally – occasionaly, occassionally [3]
  • occurrence – occurrance, occurence [3]
  • occurred – occured[1]
  • official – oficial
  • often – offen
  • omission – ommision, omision[1]
  • operate – oprate
  • opportunity – oppurtunity
  • optimism – optimisim
  • original – orignal[1]
  • ought
  • outrageous – outragous[1]

P–Q[change | edit source]

  • paid – payed
  • parallel – parrallel, parellel
  • parliament – parliment[1]
  • particularly – particurly
  • pastime – passtime, pasttime [3]
  • peculiar – peculier
  • perceive – percieve[1]
  • perform – preform
  • permanent – pernament
  • perseverance – perseverence [3]
  • personally – personaly
  • personnel – personell, personel[3]
  • persuade – persaude
  • picture – pichure, pitcher
  • piece – peice
  • planning – planing
  • plagiarize – plagerize[7]
  • playwright – playright, playwrite[3]
  • pleasant – plesant
  • political – pollitical
  • possession – posession, possesion[1][3]
  • possible
  • potatoes – potatos[1]
  • practical – practicle
  • precede – preceed [3]
  • prefer
  • prejudice – predjudice
  • presence – presance[1]
  • principle – principal [3]
  • privilege – privelege, priviledge[1][3]
  • probably – probly
  • professional – proffesional
  • professor – professer[7]
  • promise – promiss [11]
  • pronunciation – pronounciation [3]
  • proof – prufe [12]
  • prophecy (as noun) – prophesy (valid as verb)[7]
  • psychology – psycology
  • publicly – publically[3]
  • quantity – quanity
  • quarantine – quarentine[7]
  • quarter - korter
  • queue – que (from Bar-B-Que)[7]
  • questionnaire – questionaire, questionnair[1]
  • quite – distinct from quiet

R–S[change | edit source]

  • readable – readible [8]
  • realize – relize
  • really – realy[1]
  • receive – recieve[1][3]
  • receipt – reciept [3]
  • recognize – reconize, reckonize
  • recommend – recomend, reccommend[1][3]
  • referred – refered [3]
  • reference – referance, refrence [3]
  • relevant – relevent, revelant[7][3]
  • religious – religous, religius[12]
  • repetition – repitition[12]
  • restaurant – restarant [3]
  • rhyme – rime, ryme [3]
  • rhythm – rythm, rythem[1][3]
  • ridiculous – rediculous, ridicolous
  • sacrifice – sacrefice
  • safety – saftey, safty
  • scissors – sissors
  • secretary – secratary, secretery[1]
  • seize – sieze[1]
  • separate – seperate[1][3]
  • sergeant – sargent [3]
  • shining – shineing
  • similar – similer,[1] simmilar, simular
  • sincerely – sinceerly
  • skilful – skilfull (American: skillful)[1]
  • soldier – solider
  • speech – speach, speeche (archaic)[12]
  • stopping – stoping
  • strength – strenght
  • studying
  • succeed – succede
  • successful – succesful, successfull, sucessful[1]
  • supersede - supercede [3]
  • surely – surelly
  • surprise – suprise, surprize[1]

T–Z[change | edit source]

  • temperature – temperture
  • temporary – temprary
  • their – they're [3]
  • through – thru
  • tomatoes – tomatos[1]
  • tomorrow – tommorrow[1]
  • tongue – tounge
  • toward
  • tries – trys
  • truly – truely, trully
  • twelfth – twelth [3]
  • tyranny – tyrany [3]
  • underrate – underate[3]
  • until – untill [3]
  • unusual – unuseual
  • upholstery – upholstry[3]
  • usable/useable – usible [9]
  • using – useing
  • usually – usualy
  • vacuum – vaccuum, vacume [3]
  • vegetarian – vegatarian[1]
  • vehicle – vehical[1]
  • vicious – visious[1]
  • village – villege
  • weather – wether [3]
  • weird – wierd[1][3]
  • welcome – wellcome
  • welfare – wellfare, welfair[7]
  • whether – wether[7]
  • wilful – wilfull (American: willful)[1]
  • withhold – withold[1]
  • writing – writting, writeing [12]

Common causes of those misspellings[change | edit source]

Mispronunciation[change | edit source]

Mispronunciation is one of the most common causes of misspelling.[13]

Typing errors[change | edit source]

Some spelling errors are because people's typing is not perfect, such as

  • letters are doubled or tripled, such as "careeer" and "betweeen"
  • letters are singled, such as "betwen"
  • keys are transposed, so "because" becomes "becuase".

Foreign words[change | edit source]

A misspelling in English might be a legitimate spelling in another language; for example, the word "address" is spelled in French or German as "Adress" (one letter "d"). "Immigrate" can be written "inmigrate" by speakers of Spanish.

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 1.63 1.64 1.65 1.66 1.67 "AskOxford: Commonly Misspelled Words", Oxford University Press, 2009, webpage: Ask-spell.
  2. "Canadian, British and American Spelling", LukeMastin.com, December 2008, webpage: LM-spelling.
  3. 3.000 3.001 3.002 3.003 3.004 3.005 3.006 3.007 3.008 3.009 3.010 3.011 3.012 3.013 3.014 3.015 3.016 3.017 3.018 3.019 3.020 3.021 3.022 3.023 3.024 3.025 3.026 3.027 3.028 3.029 3.030 3.031 3.032 3.033 3.034 3.035 3.036 3.037 3.038 3.039 3.040 3.041 3.042 3.043 3.044 3.045 3.046 3.047 3.048 3.049 3.050 3.051 3.052 3.053 3.054 3.055 3.056 3.057 3.058 3.059 3.060 3.061 3.062 3.063 3.064 3.065 3.066 3.067 3.068 3.069 3.070 3.071 3.072 3.073 3.074 3.075 3.076 3.077 3.078 3.079 3.080 3.081 3.082 3.083 3.084 3.085 3.086 3.087 3.088 3.089 3.090 3.091 3.092 3.093 3.094 3.095 3.096 3.097 3.098 3.099 3.100 3.101 3.102 "100 Most Often Misspelled Words in English", LoveToKnow, Corp., December 2008, webpage: YDict.
  4. "Merriam-Webster Online" (results for misspelling as "concensus"), Merriam-Webster, 2008, webpage: MW-concensus.
  5. "Merriam-Webster Online" (results for misspelling as "equiptment"), Merriam-Webster, December 2008, webpage: MW-equiptment.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Merriam-Webster Online" (results for misspelling as "independant"), Merriam-Webster, December 2008, webpage: MW-independant.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35 7.36 7.37 7.38 7.39 7.40 7.41 7.42 7.43 7.44 7.45 7.46 7.47 7.48 7.49 7.50 7.51 7.52 7.53 7.54 7.55 7.56 7.57 7.58 "Canadian, British and American Spelling – Some Commonly Misspelled Words", LukeMastin.com, December 2008, webpage: LM-misspelled.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Merriam-Webster Online" (results for misspelling as "readible"), Merriam-Webster, December 2008, webpage: MW-readible.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Merriam-Webster Online" (results for misspelling as "usible"), Merriam-Webster, December 2008, webpage: MW-usible.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "200 Most Commonly Misspelled Words (Part 1)", Richard Nordquist (see below: References).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "200 Most Commonly Misspelled Words (Part 2)", Richard Nordquist (see below: References).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 "200 Most Commonly Misspelled Words (Part 3)", Richard Nordquist (see below: References).
  13. "How to Prepare for the Canadian GED High School Equivalency Exam", Murray Rockowitz, Dale Shuttleworth, et al., 2002, ISBN 0764117890, p.177, Google Books webpage: GoogleB-9LU.

References[change | edit source]

  • "100 Most Often Misspelled Words in English", LoveToKnow, Corp., December 2008, webpage: YDict.
  • "Canadian, British and American Spelling", LukeMastin.com, December 2008, webpage: LM-spelling.
  • "Canadian, British and American Spelling: Some Commonly Misspelled Words", LukeMastin.com, December 2008, webpage: LM-misspelled.
  • "Merriam-Webster Online" (results for misspelling as "concensus"), Merriam-Webster, 2008, webpage: MW-concensus.
  • "200 Most Commonly Misspelled Words (Part 1)", Richard Nordquist, About.com, December 2008, webpage: Aboutcom-misspelled-A.
  • "200 Most Commonly Misspelled Words (Part 2)", Richard Nordquist, About.com, December 2008, webpage: Aboutcom-misspelled-B.
  • "200 Most Commonly Misspelled Words (Part 3)", Richard Nordquist, About.com, December 2008, webpage: Aboutcom-misspelled-C.

Other websites[change | edit source]

  • "100 Most Often Misspelled Words in English", LoveToKnow, Corp., December 2008, webpage: YDict-100.