English Language SS1

Week 1


Commonly Misspelled Words


A. Commonly Misspelled Words

In written language, spelling is the choice and arrangement of letters that form words, it can also mean, forming of words with letters in an accepted order; orthography (the act or process of writing words using the letter conventionally accepted for their formation).

Note: Orthography is the art of writing words according to accepted usage.

Heterography: is the practice of spelling in way contrary to standard usage.

Here are some of the reasons people misspell words.


Mispronunciation is known to be one of the most common causes of misspelling. Hence, phonetic misspelling is common, once a word is mispronounced; for example, the word “realize” may be misspelled as “relize”.

Typing errors

Some spelling errors are introduced because people’s typing isn’t perfect, such as

  • letters are doubled, or more frequently double letters tripled, such as “betwween” and “betweeen”
  • letters are singled, such as “betwen”
  • keys are transposed, so “because” becomes “becuase”.

Some of the errors listed may be due to mistyping rather than ignorance, for example “solider” for “soldier”.

These misspellings can also happen in handwritten text.

Examples of commonly misspelled words are seen in the table below

Absence Absense
Accidentally Accidentaly, Acidentally
Accommodate Accomodate, Acommodate
Acknowledge Acknowlege, Aknowledge
Acquaintance Acquaintence, Aquaintance
Acquit Aquit
Advisable Adviseable
Aggression Aggresion, Agression
Annually Annualy, Anually
Atheist Athiest
Buoyant Bouyant
Camouflage Camoflage, Camoflague
Caribbean Carribean
Committed Commited, Comitted
Conscientious Consciencious
Conscious Consciuos
Consensus Concensus
Disappoint Disapoint
Drunkenness Drunkeness
Disastrous Disasterous
Embarrass Embarass
Fascinating Facinating
Fulfil Fullfil
Gauge Guage
Grateful Gratefull, Greatful
Harass Harrass
Hierarchy Heirarchy
Humorous Humerous
Inoculate Innoculate
Intelligence Inteligence
Leisure Liesure
Liaison Liason
Maintenance Maintainance, Maintnance
Millennium Millenium, Milennium
Misspell Mispell, Misspel
Necessary Neccessary
Neighbor Nieghbor
Occasion Occassion
Occurrence Ocurrence, Occurrence
Omission Ommission, Omision
Personnel Personel
Perseverance Perseverence
Plagiarize Plagerize
Playwright Playright
Possession Posession, Possesion
Privilege Privelege, Priviledge
Pronunciation Pronounciation
Questionnaire Questionaire
Referred Refered
Repetition Repitition
Rhythm Rythm
Separate Seperate
Skillful Skilfull, Skilful
Successful Sucessful, Successfull, Succesful
Supersede Supercede
Surprise Suprise

B. Idioms

An idiom is a commonly used expression whose meaning does not relate to the literal meaning of its words. A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. An idiom’s figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning. There are thousands of idioms, and they occur frequently in all languages.

Examples of Idiomatic Expressions

1. She is pulling my leg To pull someone’s leg means to trick them by telling them something untrue.

Literal meaning is physical pulling of the leg is quite different from the figurative expression.

2. Wow! It’s raining cats and dogs out there – It is raining heavily.

Literal meaning is instead of water from the rain we have cats and dogs which isn’t possible.

3. That shoe costs an arm and a leg. an arm and a leg means something is very expensive

4. Every cloud has a silver lining – Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.

5. Oh no! You spilled the beans! to spill the beans means to let out a secret.


Find the meanings of these idioms

1. Tolu let the  cat out of the bag

2. I warned you not to put all your eggs in one basket

3. I perceive there is a method to his madness

4. Hmmmm!!! Speak of the devil

5. Mr Mashana has kicked the bucket

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