Guide to Spelling Words Correctly in English

It matters not just when you write for school or if you’re sending an important email, but when you resume a new position. If you make a bunch of spelling errors in an email, you can look lazy or unprofessional.

Words in English are taken from many different languages, including Latin, French, and Greek. The small nuances between written English in different former colonies don’t make it any easier.

The spelling of words changes drastically between British and American English. That’s the reason we prepared this guide to help you understand and improve your spelling in English.

We will look at the reasons why English has such difficult spelling and what you can do to improve your spelling and pronunciation. So if you want to learn how to spell words correctly, keep reading until the end!

The Meaning of Spelling

A text in a store that is written in broken English.
Photo by Jakob on Unsplash

Spelling is the form of words or letters in the correct or accepted order. Words can be classified as letters by a series of letters.

Spelling words correctly isn’t a superhuman power that a few possess. You can become an even better speller if you follow these basic rules to guide English spelling.

The English language can be difficult to spell. However, it involves nothing more complicated than memorizing.

Why Is English so Difficult to Spell?

The pronunciation of words in the English language isn’t consistent. There hasn’t been a concentrated effort to standardize the spelling of words. 

Add this to the fact that the language has borrowed many words from other languages. In fact, though English is a Germanic language, most of its vocabulary comes from other languages. For example, almost 60% of all words in English come from French and Latin. Greek accounts for more than 5%. In contrast, Germanic languages only lent 25% of the words we use today.

Since we borrowed many words from other languages, their spelling has been inconsistent in our alphabet. Couple this with no effort on a standard set of spelling rules using the alphabet. 

You are going to end up with the inconsistent spelling of words.

How to Spell Words Correctly?

Language learners and native speakers alike find English spelling difficult to master. Since English originates from several different language families, it has many ways to spell the same sound and pronounce the same spelling.

However, improving your English spelling is not impossible. 

You will notice a noticeable improvement in your spelling if you use some techniques that good spellers use.

If you are prepared to study and practice the art and science of spelling, you can become a successful speller. Use of a dictionary, reading, and playing online word games can be helpful.

Develop skills such as summing out words and breaking them into parts. The learning of spelling rules is critical, too, but there are so many exceptions to those rules that can be frustrating.

Writers and editors hold a list of words they find difficult to spell accurately on or near their computers while they work. You may notice that you misspell certain words regularly, so consider learning from your mistakes and creating your own “difficult words” list.

Keep this list close at hand as you write so you will save time and perhaps eliminate many of your most common spelling mistakes.

An English spellchecker can be your first proofreading tool for spelling. 

It can catch any combinations of letters that don’t form a known English word. Your spellchecker should never be relied upon exclusively because it will miss many incorrectly spelled words that form another English word. 

To Wrap Up

In order to write English well, it is necessary to know and use the correct methods of spelling, reading, and pronunciation. It is also important to understand the meaning behind a spelling.

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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