How to Spell Unique — a Basic Spelling Guide

The English language is packed with grammar and spelling rules along with dozens of exceptions on top of it. From doubling consonants and silent letters to forming adverbs and stressing syllables, the spelling rules in English are indeed unique.

Speaking of that, did you ever misspell the word “unique” by omitting letters from it? If yes, don’t worry! This article will guide you on how to spell unique correctly without any errors.

Unique Vs. Uniqe: Which Is Correct?

Unique” is the only correct spelling of the word in the English dictionary. This is a commonly used word in our daily lives, but it is also a frequently misspelled word.

Some of the highly occurred misspelled variations of “unique” are aunque, uniqe, uniq, and unque. Though some sound like the original word, they are all incorrect spellings.

A person in brown garment is writing on a white paper
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

How to Spell Unique?

The trick to spell unique correctly is in its pronunciations. This is a 2-syllable word: u-nique with the stress on the second syllable. It consists of 4 vowels and 2 consonants. In both American and British English, the phonetic transcription of unique is /juːˈniːk/, and it sounds like [yoo·neek].

To help you spell the word right, you can also divide the word as:

uni- (prefix) + que = unique.

The prefix uni- is easy to get right. But to correctly spell the second part “-que,” remember the rule: U always follows a Q.

The letter “q” is usually followed by the letter “u.” For instance, queen, queue, and equity.

Dictionary Definitions of Unique With Examples

The word “unique” functions as an adjective. The word unique was derived from the Latin unicus, which means “one and only,” and it was then adopted in English for over centuries. All the definitions with examples are as follows:

1. Refers to something which is one of its kind.

There must be a unique solution for this specific math problem.

2. something entirely different in characteristics and unequaled.

Among all the students, John suggested a unique project idea.

3. Very unusual or rare but not one of a kind.

She had a unique ability to convince people.

A Unique or an Unique: Which Is Correct?

It should always be a unique. not an unique. Though the word begins with a vowel, it has a consonant sound (yoo). The sound of the first syllable determines whether we should use the article “a” or “an” before the word. So, the rule to using the correct article is to focus on the beginning sound of the word, not the first letter.

To Wrap Up

Misspelled words can make writing look unprofessional and question the credibility of the writer.

No writer wants to have spelling errors in their work, and no reader wants to read a piece that is riddled with spelling mistakes. This article is a guide onhow to spell unique correctly. Keep the rule in mind, and you won’t misspell the word again.

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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