Spelling matters. If you want to create a good impression in your writing and make sure you get your meaning across clearly, it’s important to get your spelling right.
This section contains lots of quick-reference spelling tips. For example, if you can never remember whether the plural of potato is spelled potatoes or potatos, then you can jump straight to plurals of nouns to get some straightforward advice. There’s also a handy list of common misspellings, arranged in alphabetical order of the incorrect spellings, and a guide to the differences between British and American spelling.
Endings beginning with vowels
-able, -ion, -er, -or, -ance, -ence, -ous, -ish, and –al: endings beginning with vowels
Spelling differences and changes
Spelling isn’t always set in stone. Explore spelling differences between British and American English, and how some words have evolved over time.
Adding endings to words that end in a double ‘l’
Here's what you need to keep in mind when adding endings to words that end in a double l.
Adding endings to words that end in -our
There are two simple rules you need to follow when adding endings to words from British English that end in -our.
Adding endings to words that end in -y
What rules apply when adding endings to words that end in -y? Find out in this short guide.
Adding -ful or -fully
There's one common mistake people always make when adding -ful to a word. Here's how to avoid it.
The ending -ly is often added to adjectives and nouns. Here's all you need to know about how to use it correctly.
Ante- or anti-?
Is it 'ante-' or 'anti-'? Find out the best way to remember which of these two spellings to use.
English’s sometimes bizarre (not bizzare) spelling can give anyone a headache; luckily, we make it our business (not buisness) to clear up common errors.
English spelling changes
The spelling of English words is not fixed for all time. This article shows some everyday words which were spelled differently in the past.
fore- or for-?
Sometimes you get as far as ‘for-‘ then it’s hard to tell whether ‘-e-‘ comes next. This guide will help you figure out when it’s ‘fore-‘ and when it’s ‘for-‘.
If you can’t decide if the –e in ‘comfortable’ stays or goes when you add a -y to make an adverb, our guide to forming adverbs has the answer.
Which Joe gave his name to ‘sloppy joes’? We look at five interesting sandwiches and their lexical origins.
How did the orangutan get its name? What about the aardvark or the squirrel? We delve into the jungle of animal etymologies.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.