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Kyle Kirschbaum Lists: Top 30 Misspelled Words

by Kyle Kirschbaum

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The English language is notorious as being one of the most difficult and confusing to learn. A lot of the trouble comes from our inconsistent spellings. Here are thirty words that even natives commonly misspell.

  1. Accommodate – Many people forget that this word has two sets of double letters and will try to spell it with only one.
  2. Amateur – The French suffix -eur makes this word confusing for many people.
  3. Believe – Most people have heard the saying “I before E except after C” and use it as a universal spelling rule, but it has many exceptions that cause people to make mistakes.
  4. Cemetery – Though it sounds like it should end in -ary, this word uses an E instead, just to make things interesting.
  5. Conscience – SC does not usually make the CH sound, but in this word it does, and that makes it everyone’s spelling nightmare.
  6. Daiquiri – This is a word that English adopted from Cuba. It is the name of a Cuban village, and the spelling is confusing because of its origins.
  7. Definitely – Most people think this word should have an A in there somewhere, or they forget the E before the ending.
  8. Discipline – English is famous for its silent letters, and this word is a perfect example. The S and the C make the same sound.
  9. Embarrass – People trying to spell this word often forget that it has two sets of double letters.
  10. Exhilarate – The H is nearly silent and makes it difficult to remember how to spell this word.
  11. Exercise – With both the C and the S making the same sound, it is easy to confuse them and misspell this word.
  12. Foreign – Not only does this word violate the “I before E” rule, but it also has a silent G. Very confusing.
  13. Gauge – Remembering whether the A or the U comes first in this word often throws people off. Not to mention the two different G sounds.
  14. Guarantee – Even though it sounds like “warranty”, this word is not spelled similarly. There is a pesky silent U.
  15. Height – The silent GH in some English words drives people nuts and causes lots of spelling problems
  16. Hierarchy – Many people confuse the I and the E in this word as well as the -chy ending.
  17. its/it’s – This is the mistake that really drives people nuts. “Its” is a possessive whereas “it’s” is a contraction meaning “it is”.
  18. Library – Because it is often pronounced “libary”, many people misspell this word.
  19. License – The C and the S making the same sound makes this word a confusing one for many people to spell.
  20. Mischievous – This word is packed with tricky letter combinations that turn it into a spelling nightmare.
  21. Neighbor – The silent GH strikes again, and this word also has an EI combination. Many people err on the spelling because of these letters.
  22. Noticeable – Many times a silent E is dropped if a suffix is added to a word. Not in this case. Notice how noticeable gets to noticeably keep its silent E.
  23. Occasionally – This word confuses people because of the double consonants.
  24. Privilege – That second I is almost silent, and many people leave it out when trying to spell this word.
  25. Rhyme – A silent H and a silent E make this word very confusing and difficult to spell.
  26. Separate – Most people who misspell this word want to spell it “seperate”. This is closer to how the word is pronounced, but incorrect in the spelling world.
  27. Twelfth – This is another word that many people misspell because the pronunciation sounds different than the spelling. Most people drop the F when speaking this word, and they want to drop it in their spelling too.
  28. Their/they’re/there – Only English would have three words that all sound the same but are spelled completely different and have different meanings. These words get confused all of the time.
  29. Vacuum – How many words do you ever see with two U’s? Very few.
  30. Weird – Most people want to switch the E and the I in this word, but this is completely wrong.

Remember, misspelled words, though common, can give negative impressions of your professionalism, competence, education and intelligence.  Hopefully this list will help keep you from making some of these common spelling mistakes!

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