In everyday spelling, we all make some common mistakes. Here are 5 quick things you can do now to improve your writing.
lot, because, definite, doesn’t, friend,
necessary, occasion, separate, sincerely, and tomorrow. (For
a longer list,
please see our list of 102
Frequently Misspelled Words.)
You may have a lot of work to do, or a lot of bills to pay. You may be planning to have a lot of fun over the weekend.
But you will not (correctly) be doing alot of any of these things. A lot is spelled with TWO words.
This is not alot of money...
...but it is a lot of money!
Please note that there is a word allot. It is a verb that means to assign or reserve something.
For example, a company might allot one locker to each employee. Or, you might allot two shelves in your garage to food storage.
Study these commonly confused word pairs, and any others that are confusing to you.
accept – to receive, agree to or believe. He couldn’t accept the fact that he was fired.
except – not including. Everyone went to the store except Sally.
are – helping verb. We are happy that it’s snowing.
our – belonging to us. This is our new car.
desert – dry region. Few plants grow in the desert.
dessert – sweet course at the end of the meal. Mary likes to serve pie for dessert.
The poor apostrophe is greatly abused in many everyday spelling situations!
An apostrophe is used correctly in contractions, such as don’t, I’ll, and they’re. The apostrophe in it’s says the word means it is. In which sentence is the apostrophe used correctly?
(It is time to eat
The cat finished it’s food. (The cat finished it is food.)
Clearly, the apostrophe belongs only in the first sentence.
The apostrophe is also used in many possessive words. It is not used in plurals.How many times have you seen signs like this?
Our list of 50 sets of frequently-confused homonyms covers the ever popular their/there/they’re, to/too/two, and 48 more sets.
You will catch many of your own everyday spelling errors when you take just a couple of minutes to read your work over. Better yet, read it aloud. Best tip of all? Let someone else read it. The more important the document, the more crucial it is to proofread it.