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What Are the Most Frequently Confused and Misspelled Words?

Updated on January 28, 2020


50 of the most frequently confusing and misspelled pairs of words and their meanings in light-hearted rhyme for you to peruse over time. As a start; Misspelled is also commonly misspelled as mis-spelled.

A is for Accent

accept and except

To take or receive something you would accept, if it was not for, or excluding, then it would be except.

advice and advise

To give your opinion or recommendation would be your advice, to advise another with a worthy suggestion may just suffice.

affect and effect

If your actions or words produce a change in something or someone; that’s your affect, the consequence of a power or influence on something or someone then effect should be checked.

allude and elude

To refer or mention casually or indirectly then you allude, to avoid or escape or fail to understand then elude should be pursued.

ascent and assent

To climb or move upwards you’re on the ascent, to agree or comply an assent is what is meant.

B is for Brogue

breath and breathe

If you run until exhausted then you may be gasping for breath, you need to breathe air to avoid your early death.

bridle and bridal

Use a bridal harness on a horse you intend to ride, wear a bridal gown at the wedding if you are the bride.

C is for Communication

canvas and canvass

Start with a blank canvas if you intend to paint or draw, or canvass opinion or get some votes from someone you saw.

chose and choose

Don’t chose to do the wrong thing or you will lose, but pick or decide that’s when you choose.

chord and cord

With emotion or feeling or a musical tune you may strike a chord, take a small piece of rope or string and you have a cord.

coarse and course

If your manners are rough or harsh then you are coarse, take a better direction or route that is your course.

collectable and collectible

A collectable would be an item of interest such as an antique, a sought after item would be a collectible a collector would seek.

complement and compliment

To complement something is to make it complete or bring it to perfection, while to admire, commend or give praise a compliment is your selection.

confidant and confident

Your confidant is one to share and discuss secrets told, confident is being sure of yourself, having a strong belief and being bold.

council and counsel

A legislative body or local administration a council would be, someone giving advice, instruction or direction is to counsel me.

D is for Dialect

dam and damn

A stretch of water could be held back by a dam, to ruin or condemn or doom is to damn.

defuse and diffuse

To making less tense or embarrassing or risky you would use defuse, to scatter, spread or pour out, diffuse you would choose.

demur and demure

If you want to make or raise an objection then you would be demur for sure, if you are quietly shy and modest then that’s your demure.

dependant and dependent

You’re a dependant if you rely financially on a family member, while you’re dependent if you need support from any contender.

desert and dessert

Out in a desert filled with sand and heat; take a sweet dessert of chocolate to eat.

discreet and discrete

Being careful to avoid embarrassment or keep something secret is to be discreet, while discrete is detached, individual and distinct and a little offbeat.

dual and duel

Dual is consisting of two in a group, such as people, items or parts, a duel is a contest between two people or two groups such as in darts.

E is for Expression

elicit and illicit

If you want to get a reaction or answer from someone then to elicit is right, while for something unlawful, unlicensed, banned or disapproved of illicit you’d write.

ensure and insure

To make sure or make certain then ensure is for you, to provide cover against loss, damage or harm then insure would do.

F is for Fluent

faint and feint

Feeble, dizzy or slight can be faint as can a light not to bright, feint is to move and deceive or distract such as during a fight.

find and fined

To discover or locate by chance then find is assigned; if you break the rules or some minor laws then you will be fined.

flair and flare

Being stylish, having ability or a natural talent is to have flair; while to flare is to burn with a sudden burst of flame so beware.

forbear and forebear

When you forbear you keep back or withhold; while forebear is your ancestors really quite old.

foreword and forward

Your foreword is a short introduction to a book such as crime; but if you want to move forward then advance ahead to a place or time.

formally and formerly

Formally is the observation of traditional or conventional ceremony, behaviour such as black tie; while in an earlier time or age formerly would apply.

H is for Hyperbole

hoard and horde

To accumulate money, food, or possessions in a secret place is to hoard and keep stored; but a large group, pack or swarm of animals or insects is a horde.

I is for Intonation

inquiry and enquiry

An inquiry is to seek or request knowledge, facts, or information; while enquiry is just the same in conversation.

incite and insight

To urge or encourage into taking action is to incite; but insight is being able to understand someone’s actions or thoughts, that is right.

indiscreet and indiscrete

When you are lacking good judgement, caution or discretion then you’re being indiscreet; while indiscrete means not divided into distinct parts so still complete.

K is for Keening

know and now

To perceive or understand clearly and with certainty then you would know; now is the present time and moment or without delay that is so.

L is for Language

lightening and lightning

You are lightening the road by making it brighter or giving it light; lightning is the electric spark discharged during a thunderstorm and is very bright.

loath and loathe

If you are reluctant or unwilling then you are loath; to loathe is to have a strong hatred or disgust or maybe both.

loose and lose

To be loose is to be not bound together and unstrained and free; to lose a possession, or sporting game is not for me.

M is for Monologue

material and materiel

A group of ideas or facts or raw matter still to be made are material all; while materiel are military weapons or things used in a business or operation big or small.

moral and morale

A moral person is honest and knows the difference between wrong and right; with emotional cheerfulness and confidence morale is might.

P is for Phrase

personal and personnel

If it is intended for use by an individual then personal it would be; while personnel are employed in a place of work as you can see.

practice and practise

If you need more practice then the noun is ok; but if you should practise more then the verb you display.

principal and principle

The principal is the highest in rank or importance and that’s no surprise; to have a sense of the right conduct or actions then principle applies.

Q is for Quack

quiet and quite

If you are quiet then you make no noise or don’t say a lot; if it is actually, really, or entirely then the word quite should be sought.

R is for Rhetoric

rational and rationale

A rational person would be agreeable, sensible and have good judgement you see; the reason or reasons to account for something then rationale it must be.

review and revue

An article or report on a book or a film would be a review; some entertainment with dances or songs then revue will do.

S is for Sound

stationary and stationery

When fixed in one place or position then stationary you will be; with writing materials such as pen and paper that’s stationery to me.

T is for Terminology

their and there

If associated with or belonging to then they are their; when in or at a place or point in an action it’s there, so be aware.

to and too

When approaching or reaching a place or condition you are going to; in addition too, which is more or also, or excessive will do.

Y is for Yowel

your and you’re

When it’s something belonging to or associated with you, then it’s your; a squeezing of “you are” would make it you’re, like you’re from Peru.


@ 2014 Brian McKechnie (aka WorldEarth)

Cute dog, but hopeless at spelling !!
Cute dog, but hopeless at spelling !!

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