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Commonly Misspelled Words

Teacher/Instructor Katie Aquino
Katie Aquino

Writing, Grammar, Literature, ACT Prep
Education: M.Ed.,Stanford University

Katie is an enthusiastic teacher who strives to make connections between literature and student’s every day lives.

In grammar, there are sets of words that are commonly misspelled since they are confused with one another. Some of these examples include advice versus advise, conscience versus conscious, principal versus principle, accept versus except, then versus than, and lead versus led.

We're going to talk about now some commonly misspelled words and the reason that these words are typically misspelled is because they are often confused with other words. So we just want to review them really quickly so you guys can get a hold of them. I wish I had some special tricks to help you remember this but this really is just a memorization game.
So let's start with advice and advise. These often get misspelled flipped with the other one because the words get confused. So one thing to remember about advice; it's the noun. It's what you give when you advise somebody; which is the verb. So make sure you got the right 'c' or the 's' depending on your intention.
These two words often get mixed up too; conscience and conscious. So it's really important to think about what your trying to say. Conscience is like that Jiminy cricket inside of you, that little voice. So that's a noun, right and conscious is a state of being. It's an adjective when we're awake, when we're with it. we are conscious.
My favorite; principal and principle. Obviously these are really easy to get mixed up. I know I learned a trick in elementary school to help me remember these. The principal of my school was going to be my pal because he was there to help me out or she was there to help me out. So that's how I always remember, it's a school administrator. And then principle, spelled P.L.E is like a rule or maybe a statute, something that you live by. So 'pal' was the school one who was going to help me out and then I knew from there I could eliminate the other.
Alright, let's look at the final three, accept and except. Accept here, is a verb, it's something that you do, 'I accept you apology', right. Except is to leave something out, it uses a preposition. I tried to remember that with the E.X. kind of tells me that something is getting left out. So that's a preposition that you are going to use.
Now, then and than, often get mixed up, often get spelled wrong. Then is time. So 'I did this then I did that'. Than is comparison. So that's, 'He is taller than me'. So that's one thing to remember with those.
And then finally, led and lead or lead and lead depending on what you are trying to say. Easily mixed up because in one case, they sound the same they're homophone. 'That' would be past tense of the word 'lead', which would be 'led' over here 'led'. And then you might get it confused with like pencil lead or 'lead' which is the verb. So those are just some things to keep in mind. So hopefully you can avert those spelling errors in your writing.