As an editor, I see spelling mistakes everywhere. I thought I’d compile a list of the correct version of 20 common spelling mistakes in English that I often notice while out on the town or peering at a screen. Hopefully, this list can serve as a reminder to folks about how to be correct in spelling some of the trickier words in the English language.
Advice – Noun. Ends with an “s” sound. My doctor gave me some advice.
Advise – Verb. Ends with a “z” sound. My doctor advised me to eat an apple a day.
A lot – Two words, never one. The garden has a lot of flowers.
Breath – Noun. Rhymes with “Seth.” Take a deep breath.
Breathe – Verb. Rhymes with “seethe.” Relax and breathe.
Calendar – The vowels here are tricky.
Forty – The number 40 has no “u,” unlike the number 4.
Fourteen – The number 14 has a “u,” as does the number 4.
Its – The possessive form of the pronoun it. When I grabbed my book, its cover ripped.
It’s – A contraction that means it is. I have a book, and it’s not so pretty because its cover ripped.
Loose – Usually an adjective. Ends with an “s” sound. Means “free from restraint.” My hair tie is too loose.
Lose – Verb. Ends with a “z” sound. Means “to no longer have in one’s possession” or “to not win.” I will probably lose my hair tie because it is too loose.
Marshmallow – I personally don’t pronounce this word as it is spelled.
Minuscule – This word’s etymology derives from minus, not mini, hence the spelling.
Separate – The vowels here are tricky.
Their – The possessive form of the pronoun they. The aliens have three eyes. Their eyes are large and red.
There – An adverb of place. Look, over there! There are three eyes on that alien!
They’re – A contraction that means they are. Several aliens are approaching in their spaceship, and they’re approaching quickly!
Your – The possessive form of the pronoun you. I hope your day is going well!
You’re – A contraction that means you are. I hope you’re having a great day!