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    • Language hints and tips

    9 English conversation mistakes to avoid

    By Pearson Languages

    As humans, we learn and grow through our interactions with other people. Often these encounters are centered around great conversations – rich, meaningful exchanges among a small group of people where each person actively listens and shares. Great discussions are invaluable – they enrich our understanding of people and the world around us. Socially, being someone who can engage effortlessly with others allows us to create deep friendships and gain incredible personal growth and satisfaction. In our careers, we are more effective when we work well with others – the ability to collaborate and solve problems together makes us more effective professionals and makes our businesses more successful.

    Common English conversation mistakes

    But what if you must hold a conversation in English and it is not your native language? One of the many obstacles to learning something new, like English conversation, is that it can be difficult, time-consuming and even a little scary! That’s why we put together a list of nine English conversation mistakes to avoid that apply whether you are speaking with one or several people at once. Keep these tips in mind to help you improve your interactions with people all over the world…

    1) Faking interest in the person

    One of the things that separates a conversation from a 'transaction' (such as ordering something in a restaurant) is the genuine mutual interest of each person in the other. If one isn’t interested in knowing more about the other person, neither will engage meaningfully, and the interaction will become transactional or just 'small talk'. Most people are fascinating – take the time to learn what you can about them.

    2) Discussing negative and sensitive topics

    People are more engaged and willing to share when they are relaxed and happy. Especially when you don’t know someone well, it is always better to focus on the positives – avoid both sharing your biggest troubles and bringing up topics that could be negative from a cultural, religious, political, or even personal perspective. There is always something positive to share!

    3) Trying to 'win' an argument

    Particularly when speaking with someone you don’t know well and/or someone from another country or background, it is precarious for a conversation (especially one where you are practicing your English conversation skills) to evolve into a debate or argument. It is likely that for any two people, there will be many points of disagreement, and if such differences emerge, it’s better to attempt to understand the other person’s point of view rather than to 'win' an argument. It is perfectly acceptable to agree to disagree about specific issues and move on.

    4) Disrespecting others beliefs

    If you want a great conversation, others must feel you aren’t judgmental. When someone feels their ideas and beliefs are questioned or belittled, any meaningful exchange will often shut down. Instead, try listening for understanding, and you may learn something!

    5) 'Hogging' the stage

    It is said that great actors make their fellow performers look great. It is the essence of teamwork, and the same principle applies to great conversationalists. Ask questions that allow others to be positive, confident, and maybe even a little boastful, but certainly remember to do it in a genuine way. The positive energy will be contagious!

    6) Fearing learning something unknown

    There are over seven billion people worldwide, and none are exactly like you! The greatest learning experiences are often from interactions with those who are very different from ourselves. Embrace and celebrate those differences. Allow others to share their unique perspective and journey, always keeping in mind we all share so much in common. We all want to be happy, love others, and have meaning in our lives.

    7) Trying to be someone you are not

    There’s only one person you can be, so don’t try to be someone else or something you are not. A great conversation is based on authenticity; most people can easily sense when another is not truthful or authentic. While keeping in mind all of the other rules, it’s both acceptable and expected for you to share your own journey!

    8) Monopolizing the conversation

    We’ve all been in those conversations where the other person dominates by talking incessantly. At some point, we shut down, just waiting for it to end. Active listening and learning ceases. Engagement requires participation from both parties – don’t hold back from sharing, but at the same time, don’t be that person who dominates and effectively shuts down that engagement.

    9) Focusing on superficial topics

    What separates a great conversation from 'small talk' is the meaningful nature of the dialog. Talking about the weather doesn’t elicit much other than maybe politeness. A great conversationalist elicits meaningful thoughts from others, and those come from purposeful questions. People love to think; asking them something that requires thoughtfulness deepens the conversation's value and strengthens the relationship between the parties.

  • Woman wearing headphones outside, smiling and looking hopeful
    • Language hints and tips

    6 easy ways to learn English

    By Pearson Languages

    When you’re learning English, it’s important to keep your motivation up. As with any task, there may be times when it feels a bit more difficult, so switch up your methods and don’t be afraid to make mistakes – you’ll reach the level you want to be at.

    We’ve already provided some unique ways to teach English that you may now have experienced with your teacher. Here, we suggest some easy ways to learn English that you can try any time – at home, at work or on the move. Why not try them today? Surround yourself with English and you’ll see improvements in your language confidence and skills, while having fun at the same time…

    1. English words with friends

    Scrabble is a classic board game in which players use random lettered tiles to create words in a crossword fashion. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen your English vocabulary, and there’s also a Scrabble Junior version for beginners. Playing Scrabble challenges you to really think in English as you try to come up with different words using your set of letters.

    If you’re taking an English class, buy the board game and invite your classmates to play with you. You can also play Scrabble online through websites like Facebook, where it is called Words With Friends.

    2. Add some music

    Not only will your favorite song wake up your mind and put you in a positive mood to learn English, but the lyrics can help you expand your skills. Research demonstrates how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary and improve spelling.

    Songs almost always contain a lot of useful vocabulary, phrases and expressions. And since the intended audience is native speakers, the latest tunes include up-to-date language and colloquialisms. The language used in songs is casual and usable, if you pick the right music. Music also has an uncanny ability to stick in our heads, which can help you remember your new English words.

    3. Try, try and try again

    To commit new English words to memory, it’s important to keep using them. Keep a notebook of new words you learn, and try to use them in three different sentences. Write your sentences down and say them out loud. The repetition will help you remember the word, and working out different uses of the word will help expand your vocabulary bank. Remember, taking small steps like these will still help you to reach your goal.

    4. Join online English forums

    The key here is to join forums for subjects you are interested in – that way, your motivation will rub off on your English learning and you’ll be more inclined to participate. So, whether it’s photography, movies, traveling or cooking, discuss your passion with other like-minded people in English.

    If you feel nervous about people identifying you, make an anonymous profile. Then read through the forum to see what people are discussing. Once you feel confident, actively participate in the forum by answering questions posed by other people – or post your own questions and have a conversation with the other members who answer you.

    5. Get with the language

    One of the most effective and easy ways to learn English is to immerse yourself in the language fully. Find an English-speaking radio station to listen to, watch an English-speaking movie or TV show or surround yourself with people having conversations in English. Listen carefully to conversations in restaurants, on the bus or in shops and try to pick up the everyday use of the language.

    Not only will this help your listening skills, but you can also try to pronounce the words yourself in context to improve your speaking skills. With modern technology and apps, this can be done practically anywhere.

    6. Read to learn English

    You could really give your reading skills a boost here – but your speaking skills can benefit, too. The more you read English text to yourself or aloud, the more confidence you will have. If you feel nervous, start by practicing at home then move on to reading in front of an audience and asking for their feedback. Of course, it’s also enjoyable to read some wonderful stories.

    E-readers and tablets make learning English even easier because if you don’t know a word, you can click on it to read its definition. On the Kindle, you can add new words you’ve learnt to its Vocabulary Builder feature, which is stored on the device.

    Others recommend listening to and reading text at the same time as an excellent way to enhance the learning process. Kindle’s Whispersync for Voice is designed for just this purpose and includes audio with selected books, so you can listen and follow the text as you read.

  • A man sat at a laptop with headphones on
    • Language hints and tips

    7 tips for learning English online

    By Pearson Languages

    Learning English online is very different from studying in a physical classroom, and there is not always a teacher looking over your shoulder. And more often than not, you have to motivate yourself and keep yourself on track.

    In this blog, we’ll share seven tips to help you learn English online – including how to set goals, create a study schedule, and stay focused. Let’s explore:

    1. Set SMART goals

    Lots of students wonder how to learn English online. And we know getting started is often the most challenging part. So before you begin studying English online, we recommend setting some SMART goals. These are goals that are:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound

    Let's say you:

    • Have an ultimate goal to get a high score in an English language exam (like PTE Academic), so you can study abroad.

    You’ll need to plan how to reach this. An excellent way to start is to begin planning your short and medium-term goals. For example:

    • Short-term goal: Learn ten words each day
    • Medium-term goal: Improve practice test scores by 5% over the next month

    2. Make a study schedule

    Creating a well-thought-out schedule will help you to study English online and stay organized. It’ll also mean you dedicate enough time to each language skill – speaking, reading, writing and listening:

    • Pick times that work best for you – You may prefer studying at certain times of the day when you have more energy, or after doing something energizing like working out.
    • Stick to it – Once you’ve set a regular fixed time, stay with it to ensure it becomes a routine habit.
    • Make time – Give yourself as much time as possible to finish each task (especially in case life gets in the way) and some time to relax.

    3. Create a comfortable learning space

    Where you study can impact your cognitive performance. For example, sunlight can lead to better learning outcomes. Temperature and noise can also affect the way you learn. If you can, make sure that your learning space is:

    • well-lit
    • temperate
    • quiet (and private if possible!)
    • relaxing
    • organized

    You might also want to decorate your study space, perhaps with an indoor plant – they can improve concentration by 15%!

    Also, before you start, do you have everything at hand? Do you have water? Is your coursebook close by? And is your computer fully charged? Having all your supplies on hand will help you stay focused – and learn English online faster.

    4. Eliminate distractions

    To learn English online, you need to eliminate distractions. Logging off your social media accounts and anything else distracting you until you’re done studying is good practice. If you find yourself logging back in, you might want to use a focus app (like Leechblock, which can block up to thirty websites).
    If you can, turn off your phone altogether and put it away and out of sight. If you’re tempted to pick it up again, ask yourself why. Sometimes, there’s no good reason, and it’s best to keep studying.

    5. Try the Pomodoro Technique

    The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to break your studying into manageable chunks, which will also help you stay focused.

    The technique:

    • Set a timer for 20 minutes
    • Each time the timer goes off, write a tick on a piece of paper
    • Take a five-minute break
    • Continue to set the timer for 20-minute intervals
    • When you've got four ticks, take a 20-minute break

    This time management system works well because it gives you frequent breaks to look forward to and helps you concentrate. You can use this time to stretch, have a snack, take a walk – or do anything that gives your mind a rest.

    6. Use self-study resources

    There are lots of English learning materials available online – including worksheets, mock tests, games and grammar exercises. There are also various games and quizzes available online.

    7. Find a study partner

    We all know studying online can get lonely! That’s why we recommend you find a study partner. With a partner to work with, you can practice speaking and listening. You’ll have someone to check over your work. But most importantly – you’ll have someone to hold you accountable and help you stay motivated. Perhaps you know a friend or family member who is also studying English, and you can work with them. You can sometimes find local study groups or clubs depending on your location.

    If you're unable to find a local study group or an in-person partner, there are many places to find a study partner online – for example, Mooclab or dedicated social media groups. You might also want to try out silent Zoom meetings; students and professionals keep each other focused by simply working together on mute.

  • a hand holding a remote control
    • Just for fun
    • Language hints and tips

    8 easy tricks for improving your English skills

    By Pearson Languages

    As you work to improve your English skills, it’s always helpful to have some tricks and tips to help you stay motivated. With that in mind, we’ve collated these eight simple tips from fellow English language learners, to help you on your quest…

    1. Set yourself small goals

    Learning English is a long process, and it may take years to progress from one level to the next. That’s why it’s important to set yourself achievable goals. At Pearson, we work with thousands of English teachers worldwide to define what it means to ‘be at a level’ in English. 

    2. Create a study schedule

    Ensure this schedule works around your daily responsibilities and make sure to keep it simple! Try breaking up your English language learning over the course of an entire day, which may make it feel more manageable.

    3. Practice a little bit every day

    Even if it’s listening to an English podcast during your commute or practicing your favorite words while having breakfast, every little bit of practice helps!

    4. Discover what type of learner you are

    Auditory, visual, or tactile. Use this as a basis for how you spend time studying. For instance, a visual learner may benefit from flashcards (see point 7), while an auditory learner may benefit from watching a television program in English.

    5. Turn on music in English

    Rhythms and rhymes have been found to stimulate the brain and improve learning. Our research found that music can be an invaluable tool when learning English, as it helps with pronunciation, word boundaries and vocabulary.

    6. Watch movies with English dialogue

    Movies are a great source of native conversation and vocabulary. Plus, the visual nature of film allows you to experience nonverbal context too — such as facial expressions and hand gestures — accompanying and contextualizing the film’s dialogue. Above all, watching a movie is a fun and motivational way to develop English language skills.

    7. Learn new vocabulary with flashcards

    While this may be the oldest studying trick in the book, students around the world use flashcards because they work!

    8. Track your progress

    To gain a sense of accomplishment, it’s important to know where you’ve started. We’ve just introduced a new way to measure progress in English. Have a look at it to quickly discover what your areas of strength and weakness are.

    Finally, it’s important to remember that not every learning trick will work for you. So, if you find that chatting with native-English speakers helps you progress faster but you’re not always able to converse with them face-to-face, spend more of your time communicating online with your English-speaking friends and contacts.

  • A overhead shot of a  person sat on a chair with a laptop to their left is icons of envelopes
    • Tips for careers using English 
    • Language hints and tips

    6 things to take note of when writing English emails

    By Pearson Languages

    Every day, an astonishing number of emails are sent and received worldwide. While a considerable amount of these are informal messages between friends, the majority are for business purposes. Whether you’re emailing someone you work with, applying for a new job or making new connections, here are some general rules to follow when writing English emails…

    1. Know your tone

    Always consider who you are writing to and adapt your language accordingly. Emails are less formal than letters, so it’s fine to start your email with “Hi” or “Good morning” – but it may be better to write “Dear…” if you are emailing someone for the first time or if they are senior to you. Similarly, ending emails with “Best/kind regards” rather than “Yours sincerely/faithfully” works well, with the latter being more appropriate for a formal email. Whatever the relationship, though, don’t feel tempted to use laid-back, colloquial expressions like “Hey, you guys”, “Yo!”, or “Hi folks”.

    2. It’s all about the titles

    It’s increasingly common to use first names in international business communications, so don’t be afraid to do so. Another title to consider is your email subject header: a short, clear text is important as busy people often decide whether to even open an email depending on the subject header. Examples of a good subject header include “Meeting date changed”, “Quick question about your presentation”, or “Suggestions for the proposal”.

    3. Use a professional email address

    If you work for a company you’ll be using your company email address. But if you’re using a personal email account because you’re self-employed or looking for a new job, you should be careful when choosing that address.

    You should always have an email address that includes your name so that the recipient knows exactly who is sending the email. Email addresses that you created while you were in school or college (IloveJohn@… or “Beerlover@…) are not appropriate for the workplace!

    4. Limit the small talk

    Small talk can help to build relationships but it doesn’t need to be overly personal. A simple “I hope you are well” or “How are things?” will usually suffice. Also, be cautious with humor as it can easily get lost in translation without the correct tone or facial expressions that accompany face-to-face meetings. It’s safer to leave out humor from emails unless you know the recipient well.

    5. Keep it simple

    Emails are intended to be written, read and understood quickly, so only include the important details – and avoid saturating your message with unnecessary information.

    6. Proofread every message

    Always check your emails before pressing Send. Read and re-read your email a few times, preferably aloud, to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. And never just rely on the auto spell-check; spell-checking software doesn't always understand the context of your writing and can throw you off with incorrect suggestions. 

    Happy emailing!

  • A overhead shot of a group of people working at a desk with papers and notebooks
    • Language hints and tips
    • Study prep

    5 ways to make studying in a group work for you

    By Pearson Languages

    There are many benefits to studying in a group, ranging from reducing procrastination and boosting your confidence to gaining new perspectives and learning faster. Many English language learners enjoy working in a group, and many English language teachers recommend it. Here’s how to make studying in a group work for you or your students…

    1. Create an effective group

    Even though you love spending time with your friends, don’t base study partners on friendship. Instead, look for people who stay alert in class, take notes, ask questions, and respond to the teacher’s questions – and don’t make the group too big. An ideal size for a study group is three or four students.

    It’s a great idea to try to meet on the same day and time each week because treating the study session as you would a class helps you to keep to a schedule and ensure that everyone attends.

    Finally, hold study group sessions in a place free of distractions with room to spread out the materials. This will help to ensure that you don’t end up talking about the latest movies or songs instead of studying the future tense!

    2. Decide on the topics and set goals

    Before your study group, think about the topics you’d like to discuss – then agree on one. This will help you concentrate on that topic without straying away. Once you’ve decided on your subject, also consider what you want to achieve at each session – but don’t take on too much material for one session.

    For example, if you’re using a novel written in English to learn more about the language, just think about one aspect of it, such as a couple of the characters, rather than trying to discuss the entire book.

    3. Prepare effectively

    Before attending your study group, prepare by reading more about or researching the topic you’re all going to discuss.

    Also, make a list of anything you aren’t sure you understand so that you can discuss it with your fellow learners. There are sure to be different things you all need explaining in more detail, so you can help each other to understand. Which leads us on to…

    4. Learn from each other by communicating well

    Communicate openly – it doesn’t matter if one of you doesn’t understand something or needs more explanation. And don’t be shy about asking for your peers’ feedback: “Am I talking too much?” or “Did I present your point of view correctly?”. It is often said that it is best to teach other material you understand, and learn from others who understand the material better than you do.

    If your study session reveals points of disagreement or confusion that you cannot resolve as a group, make a note of it and ask your teacher.

    5. Make it enjoyable

    Last on the list, but very important: try to make studying enjoyable in whatever way you can by keeping it interesting. Pick novels about subjects you all really enjoy reading about. Go to see an English-speaking movie together and discuss it at your study group. Or try a quiz together (online or in person) to see how you've picked the subject matter up. 

  • a hand reaching for a book from a bookshelf
    • Language hints and tips
    • Just for fun

    9 great novels to help improve your English

    By Pearson Languages

    Reading is one of the most fun and effective ways to help improve your English language skills. It can help to expand your vocabulary and expose you to different sentence structures, all while you enjoy some wonderful stories.

    E-readers and tablets make learning English even easier because if you don’t know a word, you can click on it to read its definition. On the Kindle, you can even add new words you’ve learnt to its Vocabulary Builder feature, which is stored on the device. Others recommend listening to and reading text at the same time as an excellent way to enhance the learning process. Kindle’s Whispersync for Voice is designed for just this purpose and includes audio with selected books, so you can listen and follow the text as you read.

    9 great novels to help improve your English

    Below, we reveal nine novels, including William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and George Orwell’s Animal Farm, to help improve your English.

    1. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

    This classic tale takes place in the English countryside and shares the adventures of the animals that live by the river. Grahame’s simple use of language with imaginative stories makes this a pleasurable read for adults and children.

    2. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

    This book is a modern classic and a popular study text for schools all over the world. When a group of boys are isolated on a desert island, the society they create descends into ruthless behavior. Golding uses dramatic and descriptive language, almost like poetry, making you feel like you’re in the scenes yourself.

    3. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

    Ernest Hemingway is well-known for his clear, straightforward writing style and short sentence structure, which is great for English language learners and many people have read it in school. It’s the courageous tale of a Cuban fisherman and his battle to land a giant marlin and it’s a perfect introduction to Hemingway as an author.

    4. Animal Farm – George Orwell

    This short, allegorical novel tells the story of animals rebelling against their human masters, and is a satire of the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell uses simple English to appeal to all reading levels with a ‘less is more’ approach, and the animals speak in short, clear sentences.

    5. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

    When Mitch Albom reconnects with Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor, he learns valuable life lessons and shares with readers all the funny, insightful wisdom that Morrie reveals in the last months of his life. It’s a great book to pick up a more conversational reading and writing style. It’s also a great book to read aloud.

    6. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby

    A must-read for any music lover, this modern story uses a casual language style. It is written from the point of view of the main character, Rob, a heartbroken vinyl record store owner living in north London. It has a quick-pace feel with short, funny conversations between characters that really keep the story moving.

    7. The Giver – Lois Lowry

    Lowry uses short sentences and simple grammar to create an attention-grabbing story from the start. It’s about a boy called Jonas and his community – where freedom, individuality and choice don’t exist.

    8. Fantastic Mr Fox – Roald Dahl

    Roald Dahl is one of the greatest children’s authors and very popular with adults too. Beginning with a children’s book is an excellent way to begin reading English novels, as they often have exciting plots and fun dialogue.

    9. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

    This is the story about the adventures of a young boy with autism, Christopher. When he discovers the murder of his neighbor’s dog, he decides to investigate it. As it’s told from Christopher’s point of view, his matter-of-fact explanations for everything he sees are clear and easy to understand and take you on an intriguing journey.

  • A Young woman smiling and gesturing at her friend
    • Language hints and tips

    Improve your English without saying a word

    By Pearson Languages

    Communicating in English goes far beyond simply learning English vocabulary. In fact, there are many non-verbal strategies you can leverage to appear more confident as you improve your English. Below you’ll find three of the most important aspects of non-verbal communication to work on:

    Make eye contact when you speak in English

    When you’re talking to someone, it’s best to look them in the eye as much as possible. This shows that you are engaged in the conversation and listening intently when not speaking. Especially in loud environments, you may find your eyes drawn to someone’s lips as they talk. While it may help you better understand what they’re saying in a noisy place, like a restaurant, aim to maintain eye contact as much as you can (but do remember to take a quick break away once in a while so as to not stare too intently).

    Be mindful of body language

    What you’re doing with your hands and the facial expressions you make can say a lot—sometimes more than words! Not only should you be aware of the body language of who you’re talking with, but you also need to know what your body language is saying about you. Different cultures see hand gestures differently so it's good to be mindful of what gestures you make with your hands. If you want to appear open and friendly you may want to keep your arms open and avoid closed body language like crossing your arms.

    If someone is leaning away from you slightly, this may indicate they aren’t interested in the topic you’re speaking about. They may lean in closer if more interested in what you're talking about. If they smile a lot, this may mean they agree with you.

    Prepare yourself for English conversations you may have

    If you are planning to practice talking in English, it’s OK to prepare yourself for the conversation. Create a script for yourself to speak from that allows you to practice difficult terms and phrases. Not only will this give you real-time experience bettering your skills, but it will allow you to speak English with confidence.

    Either in work situations or casual conversations, there’s more than just English words being exchanged so remember to dedicate your full attention. It’s an excellent opportunity to practice and improve your English skills and you’re likely to learn more than just studying on your own.

  • A range of scrabble tiles lying on a pink surface in random order.
    • Just for fun
    • Language hints and tips

    The most commonly misspelled words in English

    By Pearson Languages

    If you've ever had the feeling a word doesn’t look right after you've typed it, you are not alone. The most commonly misspelled words from this list pose challenges for more people than you think. English native speaker or not, hard-to-spell words are determined to give you a headache. And if bad spelling does happen, it’s usually in very important contexts like a vital application letter or during a conversation with your crush – which can really change the tone and potentially cause confusion or embarrassment.

    English has drawn inspiration from many different languages, so it’s perfectly normal to get confused because of its double consonants and silent letters. We all know that moment when you stare at a word for ages and still can’t believe it has two sets of double letters. There are many such examples. In fact, “misspelled” is one of them and people often misspell it.

    Here are some of the most commonly misspelled words in English (both British and American, where necessary), along with their common misspellings.

    1. Accommodate not accomodate

    Also commonly misspelled as: acommodate

    Let’s start strong with a typical example of double consonants – two sets of them. 

    2. Acquire not aquire

    Think of this rhyme whenever you encounter the word: 'I c that you want to acquire that wire'.

    3. Awkward not akward

    It also describes how we feel when we realize we’ve just misspelled a word.

    4. Believe not belive

    Remember the rhyme ‘I before E, except after C’. The same rule applies to 'believe', so use this mnemonic when in doubt. There are some exceptions to the rule, so be careful.

    5. Bizarre not bizzare

    It’s bizarre that there is only one Z but that’s the way It is. 

    6. Colleague not collegue

    Also commonly misspelled as: collaegue, coleague

    It’s hard to get this one right! Make a funny association like 'the big league of the double Ls', you may just win the misspelling match.

    7. Embarrassed not embarassed

    Also commonly misspelled as: embarrased

    If you remember this one, you’ll reduce the chances of finding yourself in an embarrassing bad spelling situation. 

    8. Entrepreneur not enterpreneur

    Also commonly misspelled as: entrepeneur, entreprenur, entreperneur

    It’s not only hard to spell, but also hard to pronounce. The origins? It’s a French word coming from the root entreprendre (‘undertake’).

    9. Environment not enviroment

    The N is silent, so it’s quite easy to misspell this one too. Luckily, it’s similar to 'government' whose verb is 'to govern' which ends in N. A very long, but good association. 

    10. Definitely not definately

    Also commonly misspelled as: deffinately, deffinitely, definitley

    You’ll definitely get this one right if you remember it’s not a case of double letters. Neither does it feature any As. 

    11. Liaison not liasion

    There’s a reason why you’re never sure how to spell 'liaison', 'bureaucracy', 'manoeuvre', 'questionnaire' and 'connoisseur'. They do not follow the same patterns because they are all French words. 

    12. License not lisence

     In American English, it’s always spelled 'license' – no matter what. On the other hand, in British English, it’s spelled 'license' when it’s a verb and 'licence' when it’s a noun. Once you decide which spelling you’ll use – American or British – it’s best to go forward with that and stick to it. 

    13. Publicly not publically

    Words ending in 'ic' receive the 'ally' suffix when transformed into adverbs (e.g., organically). But 'public' makes an exception so it’s understandable if you misspell it.

    14. Receive not recieve

    Remember the 'I before E, except after C' rule? This is the kind of word where the rule applies. It also applies to 'niece' and 'siege', but it doesn’t apply to 'weird' or 'seize'. So remember the rule but keep in mind it has some exceptions.

    15. Responsibility not responsability

    People often get tricked by this word’s pronunciation. And if you think about it, it does really sound like it has an A in the middle. Safe to say – it doesn’t. So keep an eye out.

    16. Rhythm not rythm

    This is another borrowed word; in this instance it comes from the Greek word ‘Rhuthmos’ which mean a reoccurring motion. 

    17. Separate not seperate

    'Separate' is apparently one of the most misspelled words on Google and it’s understandable why. The same as with 'responsibility', its pronunciation can trick you into thinking there’s an E there.

    18. Strength not strenght

    Even spelling pros will sometimes have to think twice about this one. Our mind is probably used to seeing the H after the G because of words like 'through'. Not this time though (wink wink).

    Don’t forget that the same goes for 'length' (and not 'lenght').

    19. Successful not successfull

    Also commonly misspelled as: succesful, sucessful

    There are so many double consonants in English, that it can become tempting to double them all at times. But for the love of English, don’t do that to 'successful'.

    20. Succinct not succint

    Some people would say two Cs are enough. This is why the word 'succinct' gets misspelled so frequently. The third S is indeed very soft, but don’t let pronunciation deceive you.

    21. Thorough not thurough

    You may have heard of this tongue twister: “English can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.” It’s hard not to get confused with so many similar-looking words. You add an O to 'through' and its pronunciation changes completely.

    22. Until not untill

    In fact, 'until' was spelled with two Ls in the Middle Ages. If it helps you remember, you can think it just lost some weight but getting rid of the last L (unlike 'still').

    23. Whether not wether

    Not as confusing as the 'through' and 'thorough' example, but still pretty challenging.

    24. Which or witch not wich

    Do you know which one is which?

    Advice to avoid misspellings

    One obvious answer would be spell-checkers, but the truth is that spell-checkers won’t actually help you to improve your spelling. You will continue to misspell words and they’ll continue to correct them. This process is passive and won’t stimulate you to learn the correct spelling because somebody else already does the job for you. 

    The best advice? Practice, practice and practice!

    If you keep attempting to spell challenging words and checking them it will begin to sink in and become second nature over time. Using tools like dictionaries and language learning apps such as Mondly can help you practice and learn spelling. If you persevere and practice you can avoid any spelling mishaps.