Spell Harassment — A Quick Spelling Guide

With all its grammar rules and exceptions, the English language…

With all its grammar rules and exceptions, the English language makes it difficult to keep them all in mind while writing. As a result, the misspelled phenomenon has been prevalent for some specific words with silent letters or double consonants. Speaking of that, how do you spell harassment? Or is it harrassment?

Harassment Vs. Harrassment: Which Is Correct?

Harassment” with one “r” and double “s” is the correct and standardized spelling in the English Dictionary. It refers to any unwanted physical or verbal activity or even implied behavior that causes a person to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or mentally upset.

Harrassment” is a misspelled word due to the confusion of doubling the consonants. This word is often misspelled is, of course, not the suffix part “-meant” but the double consonants in the root word “harass.” Whether or not to add an extra “r” or “s” is something almost everyone was confused about at some point.

Person holding a ballpoint pen writing on a notebook
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

How to Spell Harassment

This is a 3 syllable word har-ASS-ment, with the stress on the second syllable, specifically in the United States.

The word is a combination of the base word “harass” and the suffix “-ment.” The rule to double the final consonants before adding a suffix doesn’t entirely apply to the term “harassment.” But it can help you remember the spelling.

Rule: In words with 2 or more syllables, only double the final consonant if the final syllable is stressed. Also, the word must end in 1 vowel and 1 consonant.

When you apply the rule in “harass,” the following points are checked:

  • The word has two syllables: har-ass.
  • The final syllable is stressed.

The only issue is with the word not ending in 1 vowel + 1 consonant. The base word “harass” already has a double consonant at the end, and it wouldn’t make sense to add another “s” before the suffix.

It is phonetically pronounced as [/ˈharəsm(ə)nt, həˈrasm(ə)nt/]. To specifically talk about American English, the word sounds like [hr·as·muhnt]. However, the British traditionally prefer the stress on the first syllable as in HAR-ass-ment.

Definition of Harassment With Examples

Harassment is a noun. It refers to the act of teasing or annoying someone by repeatedly attacking and criticizing them. Essentially, this is any unwanted repetitive behavior that causes distress and discomfort to someone.

  • Any act of harassment in the workplace should be reported immediately.
  • The school environment should be free from harassment by bullies.

To Wrap Up

Harassment is defined as someone abusing, insulting, or otherwise harming you on a regular basis. And there’s no such word as “harrassment” in the dictionary. So refrain from doubling the “r” in the word to avoid errors in your writing. If you happen to confuse the two ever again, remember to refer back to this article.

Spell Harassment — A Quick Spelling Guide

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.

How to Improve Your Spelling As an Adult

Both native speakers and language learners find English spelling tough to master. Because English is a language that absorbs new…

June 13, 2022

How to Spell Yesterday — a Quick Spelling Guide

There are times when English can seem confusing. Many of the words in English are freely borrowed from other languages.…

June 13, 2022

Can’t Spell Review? Read This Right Away!

There are times when English spelling can appear confusing. English borrows many of its words from other languages. This Germanic…

June 13, 2022

How to Spell None — a Quick Spelling Guide

Sometimes, English spelling can seem perplexing. Many of the words in English originated in other languages. Germanic language English consists…

June 13, 2022

Having Some Issues? Correct Spelling of Issue!

English may seem confusing at times. Many of the words in English were freely borrowed from other languages. Languages such…

June 13, 2022

The Correct Way of Spelling Decide!

English spelling can sometimes seem confusing. English borrows many of its words from other languages. English, a Germanic language, consists…

June 13, 2022