Common Student Spelling Errors

As you read through these,   a) Tick the ones you know you have gotten wrong in the past. (or want to learn!)
b) Then write them out in your book under the heading: Common Spelling Errors 
c) Write some funny sentences that use these correctly spelt
/ spelled words.
(Draw some cartoons to go with the sentences, if you like drawing.)

(v = versus or 'as opposed to '!)

a v an

a (one) v an (one - before a word starting with a vowel ) eg ... opening an original data source

access v assess

access (get at) v assess (to judge)

allot v a lot

allot (to assign) v a lot (many)

allowed v aloud

allowed (permitted) v aloud (heard)

anything v any thing

anything (a pronoun) v any thing (usually incorrect)


see our

bandwidth v band width

bandwidth (communication capacity) v band width (width of a band)

bare v bear

bare (nude) v bear (animal)

board v bored

board (piece of wood) v bored (teenager)

brake v break

brake (stop) v break (smash)

businesses v business's

businesses (several businesses) v business's (belongs to one)


contraction of 'can not'  
 (' this inverted comma, tells the reader that there are some letters missing)

check v cheque

check (correct) v cheque (money)

coarse v course

coarse (crude) v course (race)

commonplace v common place

commonplace (frequent) v common place

company's v companies v companies'

company's (belongs to a company) v companies (several companies) v companies' (belongs to several companies)


contraction of 'could have' - too informal for reports


note spelling

dependant v dependent

dependant (noun: a relative) v dependent (adjective: being dependent)


contraction of 'do not'

flaw v floor

flaw (error) v floor (in a room)

form v from


'gonna' (not a word)

going to


contraction of 'has not'

have v of v off

have (to possess) v of (part of something) v off (to take off). Most commonly confused in speech. Examples: ".. the method that could have been used was direct observation." "Please may I have a slice of that cake." "Get your kit off"


contraction of 'have not'

hour v our v are

see our


contraction of 'I would' or 'I should'

'innit' (not a word)

usually used to mean "isn't it" (contraction of 'is not it')

input v inputted (not a word)

input v inputted (not a word) eg .. the data was input last week


contraction of 'is not'

its v it's

its (belongs to it - note that this is a possessive without an apostrophe) v it's (contraction of 'it is')

knew v new

knew (knowledge) v new (just purchased)

know v now

know (knowledge) v now (this moment)


not 'no one'

of v off v have

see have

our v hour v are

our (belongs to us) v hour (60 minutes) v are (to be). Example: "These are our hours of work"

pane v pain

pane (window) v pain (hurt)

peace v piece

peace (calm) v piece (bit)

plain v plane

plain (not fancy) v plane (airplane)

practice v practise

practice (repeated performance, custom) v practise (doctor's)

principle v principal

principle (source, rule) v principal (head of a college)

red v read

red (colour) v read (a book)

right v write

right (not left) v write (to write)


an error intended as a contraction of 'should not have'

stationary v stationery

stationary (still) v stationery (paper)

status v statues

status (current position) v statues (sculpture)

there v their v they're

there (over there) v their (belonging to them) v they're (contraction of 'they are')


contraction of 'there will' - too informal for reports


contraction of 'there is'


contraction of 'they will' - too informal for reports

threw v through

threw (a ball) v through (a gate)

to v too v two

to (to jump) v too (also, extremely) v two (2). Example: "This program is still too complex to read"

wait v weight

wait (hang around) v weight (kilos)


contraction of 'walkthrough' but too colloquial

weak v week

weak (not strong) v week (7 days)

were v where

were (in the past) v where (a place)

weather v whether

weather (the rain) v whether (if). Example: "The forecaster determined whether the weather would be wet today."

whole v hole

whole (complete) v hole (in the ground)

won v one

won (a game) v one (1)


contraction of 'will not'

wood v would

wood (trees) v would (eg I would go)


contraction of 'you would' - too informal for reports


contraction of 'you will' - too informal for reports

your v you're

your (belonging to you) v you're (contraction for 'you are')