Higher Education

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Spelling List


In addition to the words listed and discussed in the preceding pages, other words often cause spelling problems. Following is a list of frequently misspelled words. If you are at all weak in spelling, you should test yourself on these words, as well as those discussed earlier. But you should also keep your own spelling list: whenever you misspell a word, add it to your list, and try to decide which rule the error violates or which category of error it falls into. Write only the correct spelling of the word: never write a misspelled word—even deliberately—when making your list, since this may reinforce the incorrect spelling in your mind when your goal should be to forget it. If a word continues to give you trouble, it can help to concentrate not on the rules that govern its spelling but on how the word looks, by taking a mental “photo” of it. Practise spelling the words on your list until you have mastered them.


absence absorption accessible
acclaim accumulate acknowledgement
acquaintance acquire additional
advertise adviser (or advisor) aesthetic (or esthetic)
affection affadavit aging
allege alternately always
amateur amour analogy
analyze (or analyse) anonymous anticipated
apartment appall (orappal) approach
architect arctic arithmetic
article atmosphere audience
automatically auxiliary axe (or ax)
background beggar beneficent
benefit botany bullet
buoyant bureau burglar
buried cafeteria calendar
Calvinist camaraderie candidate
cannibal captain careful
carnival cartilage catalogue
category chagrin challenge
champion changeable chocolate
cinnamon clamour (or clamor) clothed
coincide colossal committee
complexion comprise comrade
concomitant conqueror conscious
consensus conservative consider
consumer continuing control
controlled convenient court
courteous create criticize (or criticise)
curiosity cylinder decorative
decrepit defence (or defense) defensive
delusion desperate devastation
develop diameter dilemma
diminution dining diphtheria
dispatch dissatisfied dissipate
divide doctor drunkenness
eclectic ecstasy efficient
elegiac eligible emancipation
ambarrassment emphasize (or emphasise) employee
emulate encompass encyclopedia
endeavour (or endeavor) enforced engraver
enterprise epilogue equip
equipment equipped erupt
euphonious exaggerate exalt
excel exercise exhausted
exhilarating exorbitant exuberant
facilities fallacy fascination
feasible fervour (or fervor) filter
flippant flourish flyer (or flier)
focuses (or focusses) foreign foresee
forty fulfill fundamentally
furor gaiety gauge
genealogy gleam goddess
grammar grey (or gray) grievous
guarantee guard harass
harmonious height heinous
heroin heroine hesitancy
hindrance homogeneous horseshoe
household humorous hygienist
hypocrisy hypocrite illegal
illegitimate illiterate imagery
imagination imitate immediate
impious implementation importance
imposter improvise inadequacy
incidentally incompatible indefinite
industrialization inevitable influence
initiative injuries innocent
inoculate inquire (or enquire) integrated
interrupt intimate intriguing
jealousy jeweller (or jeweler) jewellery (or jewelry)
judgment (or judgement) knowledge knowledgeable
laboratory leeches liaison
library licence (or license) (n.) license (or licence) (v.)
lieutenant likelihood lineage
liquefy liqueur liquor
luxury magnificent mammoth
manoeuvre (or maneuver) manual manufactured
marriage marshal mattress
meant medieval melancholy
menace metaphor mineralogy
minuscule mischievous misspelling
molester monologue monotonous
mould (or mold) moustache (or mustache) museum
naive, naïveté necessary ninety
nostrils nosy (or nosey) numerous
obstacle occasion occurred
occurrence offence (or offense) omniscient
oneself operator opulent
ostracize (or ostracise) paralleled (or parallelled) paralyze (or paralyse)
paraphernalia parliament partner
peculiar peddler perfectible
perseverance personality personify
personnel persuade pharaoh
phony (or phoney) plagiarism playwright
plough (or plow) poem pollution
porous positioning possession
practicality practice (n.) practise (v.)
predecessors prejudice prestige
pretense (or pretence) primitive procedure
proletariat prominent proscenium
psychiatry psychology pursue
putrefy puzzled quandary
quantity quatrain quizzically
rarefied reality recognize
recommend reflection registration
reminisce repel repetition
restaurant rhythm ridiculous
sacrifice safety scandal
sentence separate sheik
shepherd sheriff shining
shiny signifies simile
simultaneous sincerity siphon (or syphon)
skeptic (or sceptic) skiing skilful (or skillful)
smoulder (or smolder) solely soliloquy
species spectators speech
sponsor storey (or story) (floor) straddle
strategy stretched styrofoam
subconsciously subsequent subtly
superintendent susceptible suspense
symbolic symbolize (or symbolise) symmetry
synonymous syrup tariff
temperament temperature territory
theory therein threshold
tragedy trailed tranquility (or tranquillity)
transferred troubadour tyranny
unavailing undoubtedly unmistakable
until usefulness vehicle
veterinarian weary whisky (or whiskey)
wilful (or willful) wintry wistfulness
withdrawal writing written