Spelling

  • All ProQuest products will be unavailable from 7:00 pm to midnight on 2/28/15 due to scheduled maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Spelling

Misspelling any of these little words can result in BIG prejudices against you and your writing. To avoid these prejudicial misspellings:

  • Identify the troublesome part of the word.
  • Devise some memory gimmick for remembering the correct spelling.
  • Distinguish between frequently confused pairs of words by being certain of the correct spelling for one of the pair; the second word can be spelled by a process of elimination.

Use the following sentences to help you make the distinction.

it's - It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to. (it's = it is, contraction)
its - The cat licked its paws. (possession)

affect - How does this paper affect my grade? (verb)
effect - What is the effect of the pretest? (noun)

hear - I could hear the music from a block away. (verb)
here - The girl left her books here. (adverb-location)

know - I know the answer to that question. (verb)
no - The professor said no when I asked to turn my paper in late. ("nix")
now - Now is the time to ask. (adverb-time)

lose - She will lose her job. (verb)
loose - If she does, she won't have any loose change. (modifier)

quite - The world is quite large. ("very")
quiet - I need quiet to sleep. ("not noisy")

then - I woke up late and then forgot my book. (adverb-time)
than - I studied for the test more than you did. (comparison)

weak - The old man was hungry and weak. ("not strong")
week - Friday is my favorite day of the week. ("seven days")

to - She is going to the store. (preposition-location)
too - You're too funny. ("excessively" - extra "o")
two - After one comes two. (the number)

your - Spot is your dog. (possession)
you're - You're going to the store. (you're = you are, contraction)

accept - Please accept my apology. (verb)
except - They all went, except Bobby. ("excluding")

there - They live there. (adverb-place)
their - This is their house. (possession)
they're - They're living in this house. (they're = they are, contraction)

whether - Do you know whether tomorrow is o.k.? ("if")
weather - The weather will be warm and pleasant. ("rain, sunshine," etc.)

through - The ball went through the window. (preposition-location)
threw - She threw the ball. (verb)

a lot - I have a lot of stuff to do. (two words)

all right - It's not all right; it's only partly right. (two words)

separate - They slept in separate beds. ("sepArate")

studying - I have a lot of studying to do. ("studYing")

receive - You will receive a letter in the mail. (i before e except after c)

etc. - My list included bread, milk, eggs, etc. (Latin, et cetera = "and other things")

English - I'm proud to say that my major is English. (Capitalize languages.)


*List compiled by Carmen Werder; sentences contributed by Cara Ungar, Wendy Sloane, and Cheryl Adams.