Previously, we did a post on five helpful spelling mnemonics (i.e., memory aids). But we have more helpful tips to share! As such, we’ve come up with this list of five more tricks you can use to avoid spelling errors in your writing.
1. “Necessary” Has One Collar and Two Sleeves
“Necessary” is an adjective meaning “essential” or “unavoidable”:
Egg whites are necessary for making meringues.
Most people see taxes as a necessary evil.
As you can see here, this word has one “c” and a double “s.” If you struggle to remember this, though, the following mnemonic should help:
Like a shirt, “necessary” has one collar and two sleeves.
Or, if you prefer, you could think about one coffee, two sugars!
2. “Accommodate” Has Room for Two Cs and Ms
“Accommodate” means “provide a space to live or store something.” However, the double letters in this word can be confusing, so many people misspell it.
The trick to avoiding errors is to remember how long the word is! It has plenty of space for double letters, so keep the following phrase in mind:
“Accommodate” can accommodate twoCs and twoMs.
Just remember that there is lots of room to accommodate those double letters. This also applies for related words, such as “accommodation” or “accommodating.”
3. Don’t Believe the Lies!
The word “believe” is often misspelled as “beleive,” with the middle vowels in the wrong order. Luckily, there is a simple phrase to help you avoid this error:
Don’t believe the lies!
Find this useful?
Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.
The key here is that “believe” contains the word “lie,” and a “lie” is something that you might (wrongly) believe! Once you know this, you know to use “-ie-” in this word.
“There” and “their” sound similar, but these words differ in meaning. “There” has several uses, but it often refers to a place, position, or location:
I last saw the dog over there.
“Their,” on the other hand, is a third-person possessive determiner, so we use it when something belongs to a “them.” For example:
I really like their new house
To remember which is which, keep the following in mind:
There contains the word here, both of which can refer to a location or position in space (e.g., He’s not over there, he’s over here).
Their contains the word heir, and you can be heir to someone’s possessions, so we can link these words as well (e.g., The heirs show off their possessions).
These memory aids can help you to avoid mix-ups!
5. Beauty = Big Elephants Are Ugly
The word “beauty” – as well as related words like “beautiful” and “beauteous” – can be difficult to spell due to the tricky vowel combination near the start. But there is a phrase that can help you avoid errors when using these words:
Big elephants are ugly.
The first letters of these words spell out the first part of “beauty.” Of course, if you don’t think elephants are ugly, you can always change the “are” to “aren’t”!
Try Proofreading for Free
We hope you find these spelling memory aids useful. If you’d like more help making sure your work is error free, you can also try our proofreading services for free.