How Do You Spell Paragraph — a Quick Spelling Guide

We’ve undoubtedly heard some words a million times in our academic lives, but we still make mistakes when writing. Even the most basic terms that we use on a daily basis are frequently misspelled. Speaking of that, how do you spell paragraph?

Did you ever replace one of the “a”s with an “e” or omitted it altogether? That’s alright! This article will help you spell and pronounce the word correctly. Keep reading.

What Is a Paragraph?

A paragraph is a collection of sentences or text sequentially set up to discuss, debate, or explain a concept or idea. A paragraph could be written to describe things, narrate a story, list a process, or offer a solution based on the content requirement.

Example: Please write your project idea in one paragraph.

Origin of the Word Paragraph

The Middle English word paragraph came from the French word paragraphe. It is also derived from the medieval Latin paragraphus, meaning “sign for the start of a new section of discourse.”

It can be traced back to Ancient Greek paragraphos, meaning “a small stroke that marks a break in a text.” It originated from two Greek words: para, which means “beyond” or “beside” and graphein, which means “to write.”

Sticks of purple flowers with an ink pen on a paper.
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

How Do You Spell Paragraph

‘Paragraph’ is a 3 syllable word, par-a-graph, which has a stress on the first syllable. We write the word as P-A-R-A-G-R-A-P-H with 3 vowels and 6 consonants. The phonetic transcription of ‘paragraph’ is /ˈparəɡrɑːf/. It’s important to understand the difference between the US and UK English pronunciation. The Americans pronounce the words as [peh·ruh·graf] while the British prefer [pa·ruh·graaf]

Spelling ‘paragraph’ correctly becomes a breeze if you can just split the word in its root word and prefix as in:

Para (prefix) + graph (root word) = Paragraph

Para-” is a Greek prefix that means “at or to one side of; beside; side by side. The word “graph” is also a Greek root word meaning “to write.”

Dictionary Definitions With Examples

Based on the dictionary definitions and uses in Modern English, the word ‘paragraph’ can function as a noun or verb. Follow the examples below.

As a Noun:

A distinct portion of writing that is denoted by a new line, indentation, or numbering and usually deals with a particular theme or idea.

You must include the topic sentence in the Introductory paragraph.

As a Verb:

To form, divide or arrange a piece of writing or text into paragraphs.

Your essay lacks the traditional paragraphing style that we follow.

Wrapping Up

It’s easy to write the word paragraph correctly if you break down the root word and the prefix into para + graph. So, how do you spell paragraph now? This article explains everything you need to know about the word ‘paragraph’ from its origin to spelling and applications.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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