THE MEMORY GURU OF INDIA-SPELLINGS

Spelling differences between American and British English

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ENGLISH SPELLINGS !!! REALLY WE ARE CONFUSED, THE REASON IS THE DIFFERENCES IN AMERICAN AND BRITSH ENGLISH. AFTER LEARNING THIS LESSON YOUR CONFUSION IS OVER FOREVER.

Spelling differences between
American and British English


 

-or
vs. -our

American

British

color

colour

favorite

favourite

honor

honour


 

-ll vs. -l

American

British

enrollment

enrolment

fulfill

fulfil

skillful

skilful


 

-og vs. -ogue

American

British

analog

analogue

catalog

catalogue

dialog

dialogue


 

-ck
or -k vs. -que

American

British

bank

banque

check

cheque

checker

chequer


 

-ense
vs. -enze

American

British

defense

defence

license

licence

 

 

 


 

-ze vs. -se

American

British

analyze

analyse

criticize

criticise

memorize

memorise


 

-er vs. -re

American

British

center

centre

meter

metre

theater

theatre


 

-e vs. -oe or -ae

American

British

encylopedia

encylycopaedia

maneuver

manoeuvre

medieval

mediaeval


 

-dg vs. -dge (or -g vs. -gu)

American

British

aging

ageing

argument

arguement

judgment

judgement


 

Other

American

British

jewelry

jewellery

draft

draught

pajamas

pyjamas 

plow

plough

program

programme

tire

tyre

In British English, words that end in -l preceded by a vowel usually double the -l when a suffix is added, while in American English the
letter is not doubled.  The letter will double in the stress is on the
second syllable.

Base
Word

American

British

counsel

counseling

counselling

equal

equaling

equalling

model

modeling

modelling

quarrel 

quarreling

quarrelling

signal

signaling

signalling

travel

traveling

travelling

excel

excelling

excelling

propel

propelling

propelling

  

Spelling of verbs

This is related to formation of the past participle for
verbs .  Below is a sampling of the three main categories of differeneces
with verbs.

-ed vs.
-t

The first category involves verbs that use -ed or -t for
the simple past and past participle.   Generally, the rule is that if
there is a verb form with -ed, American English will use it, and if there is a
form with
-t, British English
uses it.  However, these forms do not exist for every verb and there is
variation.  For example, both American and British English would use the
word ‘worked’ for the past form of ‘to work’, and in American English it is
common to hear the word ‘knelt’ as the past tense of ‘to kneel’.

Base
form

American

British

to dream

dreamed

dreamt

to leap

leaped

leapt

to learn

leareded

learnt

base
form vs. -ed

The second category of difference includes verbs that use
either the base form of the verb or the
-ed ending for the simple past.

Base
form

American

British

to fit

fit

fitted

to forecast

forecast

forecasted

to wed

wed

wedded

irregular
vs. -ed

The third category of difference includes verbs that have
either an irregular spelling or the
-ed ending for the simple past.

Base
form

American

British

to knit

knit

knitted

to light

lit

lighted

to strive

strove

strived

So what does tall his mean for learners of English? 
In the beginning, unfortunately, it means a lot of memorization (or
memorisation) and of course, a few mistakes.  For spoken English, the
differences are barely audible, so forge ahead and don’t be too concerned with
whether a word is spelled ‘dwelled’ or ‘dwelt’.  With written English,
however, if you are unsure about the spelling, better to ask your teacher or
look the word up in the dictionary and see what the experts say.

100 MOST OFTEN MISPELLED MISSPELLED WORDS100
MOST OFTEN
MISPELLED MISSPELLED WORDS
IN  ENGLISH

Dr. Language has provided a
one-stop cure for all your spelling ills. Here are the 100 words most often
misspelled (‘misspell’ is one of them). Each word has a mnemonic pill with it
and, if you swallow it, it will help you to remember how to spell the word.
Master the orthography of the words on this page and reduce the time you
spend searching dictionaries by 50%. (Use the time you save celebrating in
our gameroom.)

 

A

acceptable

Several words
made the list because of the suffix pronounced -êbl but sometimes spelled
-ible, sometimes -able. Just remember to accept any table offered to you and
you will spell this word OK.

accidentally

It is no
accident that the test for adverbs on -ly is whether they come from an
adjective on -al (“accidental” in this case). If so, the -al has to
be in the spelling. No publical, then publicly.

accommodate

Remember, this
word is large enough to accommodate both a double “c” AND a double
“m”.

acquire

Try to acquire
the knowledge that this word and the next began with the prefix ad- but the
[d] converts to [c] before [q].

acquit

See the previous
discussion.

a lot

Two words!
Hopefully, you won’t have to allot a lot of time to this problem.

amateur

Amateurs need
not be mature: this word ends on the French suffix -eur (the equivalent of
English -er).

apparent

A parent need
not be apparent but “apparent” must pay the rent, so remember this
word always has the rent.

argument

Let’s not argue
about the loss of this verb’s silent [e] before the suffix -ment.

atheist

Lord help you
remember that this word comprises the prefix a- “not” + the
“god” (also in the-ology) + -ist “one who believes.”

                                                                    B

believe

You must believe
that [i] usually comes before [e] except after [c] or when it is pronounced
like “a” as “neighbor” and “weigh” or
“e” as in “their” and “heir.” Also take a look
at “foreign” below.
(The “i-before-e” rule has more exceptions than words it applies
to.)

bellwether

Often misspelled
“bellweather.” A wether is a gelded ram, chosen to lead the herd
(thus his bell) due to the greater likelihood that he will remain at all
times ahead of the ewes.

C

calendar

This word has an
[e] between two [a]s. The last vowel is [a].

category

This word is not
in a category with “catastrophe” even if it sounds like it: the
middle letter is [e].

cemetery

Don’t let this
one bury you: it ends on -ery—nary an -ary in it. You already know it starts
on [c], of course.

changeable

The verb
“change” keeps its [e] here to indicate that the [g] is soft, not
hard. (That is also why “judgement” is the correct spelling of this
word, no matter what anyone says.)

collectible

Another -ible
word. You just have to remember.

column

Silent final [e]
is commonplace in English but a silent final [n] is not uncommon, especially
after [m].

committed

If you are
committed to correct spelling, you will remember that this word doubles its
final [t] from “commit” to “committed.”

conscience

Don’t let
misspelling this word weigh on your conscience: [ch] spelled “sc”
is unusual but legitimate.

conscientious

Work on your
spelling conscientiously and remember this word with [ch] spelled two
different ways: “sc” and “ti”. English spelling!

conscious

Try to be
conscious of the “sc” [ch] sound and all the vowels in this word’s
ending and i-o-u a note of congratulations.

consensus

The census does
not require a consensus, since they are not related.

D

daiquiri

Don’t make
yourself another daiquiri until you learn how to spell this funny word—the
name of a Cuban village.

definite(ly)

This word
definitely sounds as though it ends only on -it, but it carries a silent
“e” everywhere it goes.

discipline

A little
discipline, spelled with the [s] and the [c] will get you to the correct
spelling of this one.

drunkenness

You would be
surprised how many sober people omit one of the [n]s in this one.

dumbbell

Even smart
people forget one of the [b]s in this one. (So be careful who you call one
when you write.)

 

E

embarrass(ment)

This one won’t
embarrass you if you remember it is large enough for a double [r] AND a
double [s].

equipment

This word is
misspelled “equiptment” 22,932 times
on the web right now.

exhilarate

Remembering that
[h] when you spell this word will lift your spirits and if you remember both
[a]s, it will be exhilarating!

exceed

Remember that
this one is -ceed, not -cede. (To exceed all expectations, master the
spellings of this word, “precede” and
supersede
below.)

existence

No word like
this one spelled with an [a] is in existence. This word is a menage a quatre
of one [i] with three [e]s.

experience

Don’t experience
the same problem many have with “existence” above in this word:
-ence!

F

fiery

The silent
“e” on “fire” is also cowardly: it retreats inside the
word rather than face the suffix -y.

foreign

Here is one of
several words that violate the i-before-e rule. (See “believe” above.)

G

gauge

You must learn
to gauge the positioning of the [a] and [u] in this word. Remember, they are
in alphabetical order (though not the [e]).

grateful

You should be
grateful to know that keeping “great” out of “grateful”
is great.

guarantee

I guarantee you
that this word is not spelled like “warranty” even though they are
synonyms.

H

harass

This word is too
small for two double letters but don’t let it harass you, just keep the [r]s
down to one.

height

English reaches
the height (not heighth!) of absurdity when it
spells “height” and “width” so differently.

hierarchy

The i-before-e rule works
here, so what is the problem?

humorous

Humor us and
spell this word “humorous”: the [r] is so weak, it needs an [o] on
both sides to hold it up.

I

ignorance

Don’t show your
ignorance by spelling this word -ence!

immediate

The immediate
thing to remember is that this word has a prefix, in- “not” which
becomes [m] before [m] (or [b] or [p]). “Not mediate” means direct
which is why “immediately” means “directly.”

independent

Please be
independent but not in your spelling of this word. It ends on -ent.

indispensable

Knowing that
this word ends on -able is indispensable to good writing.

inoculate

This one sounds
like a shot in the eye. One [n] the eye is enough.

intelligence

Using two [l]s
in this word and ending it on -ence rather than -ance are marks of . . . you
guessed it.

its/it’s

The apostrophe
marks a contraction of “it is.” Something that belongs to it is
“its.”

J

jewelry

Sure, sure, it
is made by a jeweler but the last [e] in this case flees the scene like a
jewel thief. However, if you prefer British spelling, remember to double the
[l]: “jeweller,” “jewellery.” (See also pronunciation.)

judgement

“Judgement”
is governed by one of the rare rules of English orthography, so why not enjoy
it? After [c] and [g], [e] is retained to indicate the letter is
“soft,” i.e. pronounced like [s] or [j], respectively. Omitting it
indicates it is “hard,” i.e. pronounced [k] or [g], as in
“fragment,” “pigment”. If we write “management,”
“arrangement,” we should write “judgement,” “acknowledgement,”
“abridgement.” The presence of the [d] is of no significance to
English orthography.

K

kernel (colonel)

There is more
than a kernel of truth in the claim that all the vowels in this word are
[e]s. So why is the military rank (colonel) pronounced identically? English
spelling can be chaotic.

L

leisure

Yet another
violator of the i-before-e rule. You
can be sure of the spelling of the last syllable but not of the pronunciation.

liaison

Another French
word throwing us an orthographical curve: a spare [i], just in case. That’s
an [s], too, that sounds like a [z].

library

It may be as
enjoyable as a berry patch but that isn’t the way it is spelled. That first
[r] should be pronounced, too.

license

Where does
English get the license to use both its letters for the sound [s] in one
word?

lightning

Learning how to
omit the [e] in this word should lighten the load of English orthography a
little bit.

M

maintenance

The main tenants
of this word are “main” and “tenance” even though it
comes from the verb “maintain.” English orthography at its most spiteful.

maneuver

Man, the price
you pay for borrowing from French is high. This one goes back to French main
+ oeuvre “hand-work,” a spelling better retained in the British
spelling, “manoeuvre.”

medieval

The medieval
orthography of English even lays traps for you: everything about the MIDdle
Ages is MEDieval or, as the British would write, mediaeval.

memento

Why would
something to remind of you of a moment be spelled “memento?” Well,
it is.

millennium

Here is another
big word, large enough to hold two double consonants, double [l] and double
[n].

miniature

Since that [a]
is seldom pronounced, it is seldom included in the spelling. This one is a
“mini ature;” remember that.

minuscule

Since something
minuscule is smaller than a miniature, shouldn’t they be spelled similarly?
Less than cool, or “minus cule.”

mischievous

This mischievous
word holds two traps: [i] before [e] and [o] before [u]. Four of the five
vowels in English reside here.

misspell

What is more
embarrassing than to misspell the name of the problem? Just remember that it
is mis + spell and that will spell you the worry about spelling
“spell.”

 

N

neighbor

No wonder many
speaking Black English say “hood” for “neighborhood”—it
avoids the i-before-e rule and the silent “gh”. If you use British
spelling, it will cost you another [u]: “neighbour.”

noticeable

The [e] is
noticeably retained in this word to indicate the [c] is “soft,”
pronounced like [s]. Without the [e], it would be pronounced
“hard,” like [k], as in “applicable.”

O

occasionally

Writers
occasionally tire of doubling so many consonants and omit one, usually one of
the [l]s. Don’t you ever do it.

occurrence

Remember not
only the occurrence of double double consonants in this word, but that the
suffix is -ence, not -ance. No reason, just the English language keeping us
on our toes.

P

pastime

Since a pastime
is something you do to pass the time, you would expect a double [s] here.
Well, there is only one. The second [s] was slipped through the cracks in
English orthography long ago.

perseverance

All it takes is
perseverance and you, too, can be a (near-)perfect speller. The suffix is
-ance for no reason at all.

personnel

Funny
Story (passed along by Bill Rudersdorf):
The assistant Vice-President of Personnel notices that
his superior, the VP himself, upon arriving at his desk in the morning opens
a small, locked box, smiles, and locks it back again. Some years later when
he advanced to that position (inheriting the key), he came to work early one
morning to be assured of privacy. Expectantly, he opened the box. In it was a
single piece of paper which said: “Two Ns, one L.”

playwright

Those who play
right are right-players, not playwrights. Well, since they write plays, they
should be “play-writes,” wright right? Rong Wrong.
Remember that a play writer in Old English was called a “play
worker” and “wright” is from an old form of “work”
(wrought iron, etc.)

possession

Possession
possesses more [s]s than a snake.

precede

What follows,
succeeds, so what goes before should, what? No, no, no, you are using logic.
Nothing confuses English spelling more than common sense. “Succeed”
but “precede.” (Wait until you see “supersede.”)

principal/principle

The spelling
principle to remember here is that the school principal is a prince and a pal
(despite appearances)–and the same applies to anything of foremost
importance, such as a principal principle. A “principle” is a rule.
(Thank you, Meghan Cope, for help on this one.)

privilege

According to the
pronunciation (not “pronounciation“!)
of this word, that middle vowel could be anything. Remember: two [i]s + two
[e]s in that order.

pronunciation

Nouns often
differ from the verbs they are derived from. This is one of those. In this
case, the pronunciation is different, too, an important clue.

publicly

Let me publicly
declare the rule (again): if
the adverb comes from an adjective ending on -al, you include that ending in
the adverb; if not, as here, you don’t.

Q

questionnaire

The French doing
it to us again. Double up on the [n]s in this word and don’t forget the
silent [e]. Maybe someday we will spell it the English way.

R

receive/receipt

I hope you have
received the message by now:
[i] before [e] except after . . . .

recommend

I would
recommend you think of this word as the equivalent of commending all over
again: re+commend. That would be recommendable.

referred

Final consonants
are often doubled before suffixes (remit: remitted, remitting). However, this
rule applies only to accented syllables ending on [l] and [r], e.g.
“rebelled,” “referred” but “traveled,”
“buffered” and not containing a diphthong, e.g.
“prevailed,” “coiled.”

reference

Refer to the
last mentioned word and also remember to add -ence to the end for the noun.

relevant

The relevant
factor here is that the word is not “revelant,”
revelent,” or even “relevent.” [l] before [v] and the suffix -ant.

restaurant

‘Ey, you!
Remember, these two words when you spell “restaurant.” They are in
the middle of it.

rhyme

Actually,
“rime” was the correct spelling until 1650. After that, egg-heads
began spelling it like “rhythm.” Why? No rhyme nor reason other
than to make it look like “rhythm.”

rhythm

This one was
borrowed from Greek (and conveniently never returned) so it is spelled the
way we spell words borrowed from Greek and conveniently never returned.

S

schedule

If perfecting
your spelling is on your schedule, remember the [sk] is spelled as in
“school.” (If you use British or Canadian pronunciation, why do you
pronounce this word [shedyul] but “school,” [skul]? That has always
puzzled me.)

separate

How do you
separate the [e]s from the [a]s in this word? Simple: the [e]s surround the
[a]s.

sergeant

The [a] needed
in both syllables of this word has been pushed to the back of the line.
Remember that, and the fact that [e] is used in both syllables, and you can
write your sergeant without fear of misspelling his rank.

supersede

This word
supersedes all others in perversity. As if we don’t have enough to worry
about, keeping words on -ceed and -cede (“succeed,” “precede,” etc.)
straight in our minds, this one has to be different from all the rest. The
good news is: this is the only English word based on this stem spelled -sede.

T

their/they’re/there

They’re all
pronounced the same but spelled differently. Possessive is “their”
and the contraction of “they are” is “they’re.”
Everywhere else, it is “there.”

threshold

This one can
push you over the threshold. It looks like a compound “thresh +
hold” but it isn’t. Two [h]s are enough.

twelfth

Even if you omit
the [f] in your pronunciation of this word (which you shouldn’t do), it is
retained in the spelling.

tyranny

If you are still
resisting the tyranny of English orthography at this point, you must face the
problem of [y] inside this word, where it shouldn’t be. The guy is a
“tyrant” and his problem is “tyranny.” (Don’t forget to
double up on the [n]s, too.)

U

until

I will never
stop harping on this until this word is spelled with an extra [l] for the
last time!

V

vacuum

If your head is
not a vacuum, remember that the silent [e] on this one married the [u] and
joined him inside the word where they are living happily ever since. Well,
the evidence is suggestive but not conclusive. Anyway, spell this word with
two [u]s and not like “volume.”

WXYZ

weather

Whether you like
the weather or not, you have to write the [a] after the [e] when you spell
it.

weird

It is weird having
to repeat this rule so many
times: [i] before [e] except after…? (It isn’t [w]!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

150 MORE OFTEN MISPELLED MISSPELLED WORDS IN
ENGLISH

  

a while

absence

accelerate

accomplish

accumulate

acknowledge

acquaintance

acquire

across

aficionado

anoint

apology

axle

accordion

barbecue

beginning

broccoli

business

camouflage

candidate

cantaloupe

carburetor

Caribbean

cartilage

chauvinism

chili

chocolaty

coliseum

colonel

commemorate

congratulations

coolly

criticize

Dalmatian

deceive

defendant

defiant

desiccate

desperate

deterrence

development

diorama

disappear

disappoint

dissipate

difference

ecstasy

especially

excellent

exercise

explanation

Fahrenheit

finally

flabbergast

flotation

fourth

fulfill

generally

genius

government

grammar

gross

guttural

handkerchief

horrific

hypocrisy

imitate

inadvertent

incidentally

incredible

ingenious

irascible

irresistible

knowledge

labeled

led

liaison

lieutenant

liquefy

lose

lying

magically

marshmallow

mischief

misogyny

missile

nauseous

necessary

no one

occasion

occur/occurred

octopus

official

onomatopoeia

parallel

parliament

particular

peninsula

pharaoh

physical

piece

pigeon

pistachio

pleasant

plenitude

preferable

presumptuous

proceed

propagate

puerile

pursue

putrefy

raspberry

receipt

refrigerator

religious

remembrance

renowned

ridiculous

sacrilegious

salary

sandal

sandwich

savvy

scissors

seize

sensible

separate

septuagenarian

sheriff

shish kebab

siege

similar

special

subpoena

success

simile

tableau

tariff

tomorrow

tongue

too/to/two

tragedy

truly

ukulele

usage

vicious

village

withhold

you’re/your

 

 

 

  

 

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