Unit 18 - Spelling some common words

It is not always the long words that cause problems. Many people make mistakes with short words that are very common.

These short words can cause problems because;

1. Often they are not spelled as they sound

2. Many of them look quite similar

3. Sometimes a person has spelled the word the wrong way for many years and now that spelling looks right!

Spelling some common words

This unit will cover the words that cause most problems. They are grouped together in sets to help you remember them. The same word may be in more than one list.

Learning Tip for English spelling Read through each list. If you spot a word you are unsure of, make a note of it. If there is no 'LearningTip', invent your own.

Spelling some common words activities 1. Write the word many times,
using the 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' method.

2. Then think up several sentences containing the
word and write them.

3. Put the word in your spelling log.
Later, get a friend to test you.

Most of the 'question' words begin with wh.
Learning tip to help your spelling Write each word and make the letter h into a question mark: Spelling some common words
why Why are you crying?
when When is it time to go home?
which Which house does she live in?
what

Learning tip to help your spelling
What are you wearing that hat for?

Look for the word hat in the word what.
Spelling some common words
where

Learning tip to help your spelling
Where is it? It's not here and it's not there.


Where
is do with a place; so is here and there.
Each word contains the word here.
who Who ate the last chocolate cookie?
whose Whose smelly socks are these?

In these words ending in -ve the vowel has a short sound. The e has to go on the end because of the rule: No English word ends in just v.
live They live in a very small house.
give I'll give you a ride home.
love This letter comes with all my love.
have What have I done with my car keys?
English spelling learning revision Remember:
We drop the e when adding a vowel suffix but, even though the vowel is short, we never double the letter v:

living given lover having

Some more words with e on the end:
one One by one they went through the gate.
done At last I've done all my work.
gone They've gone to Florida for a week.
Learning tip to help your spelling Say this sentence until you know it:
Which one of you has gone and done this?
Then make up your own sentence with all three of the 'one' words.
some Would you like some fish and chips?
come I'll come round to your house.
were What were you doing out late last night?
before Ladies before gentlemen.
English spelling learning revision Remember:
/or/ on the end is usually -ore.
sure I'm sure I paid that bill.
because He's not coming because he's ill.
Learning tip to help your spelling

Remember 'because' by making up a sentence,
for example:

Spelling some common words

 

Big elephants can't always use small exits.
Try making up your own sentence for 'because'.

These words have some odd letters added in the middle. You need to think of a way to remember that letter is there.
friend - friend
Learn and remember:
I to the end
Will be your friend
Spelling some common words
build - build
Learn and remember:
U and I
Build a house
Spelling some common words
people - people How many people watched the game?
Learning tip to help your spelling As you write the word people, say it aloud - but pronounce it with the sound /o/:
beautiful -
beautiful
That's a beautiful dress you're wearing.
Learning tip to help your spelling As you write the word beautiful, say it aloud - but pronounce it with the sound /ē/ :
their - their Their means 'belonging to them.'
Learning tip to help your spelling Say this sentence until you know it:
The girls got dirt on their shirts and their skirts.

Write the sentence and highlight each ir pattern.

English spelling learning revision Remember:
Some words use the letter o to spell the short /ŭ/ sound:
some I'd like some help with this work.
come Come and sit beside me.
one You are the only one for me.
once I'll only tell you once.
done What have you done to your hair?
other Let's walk on the other side of the street.
another Would you like another cup of coffee?
love I'd love to visit Africa.

Many people find it hard to remember the -ould words:
could I wish I could remember this word.
would You would remember if you worked at it.
should You should learn every day.
Learning tip to help your spelling 1. Make up mnemonics to help you remember the -ould letter pattern. For example:
Old umbrellas leak drops Spelling some common words
Old uncles love doughnuts Spelling some common words

2. Try writing the ould letter pattern.
As you write it, say the words of your chosen mnemonic.

Learn these words in groups of three:
do I don't know what to do with this game.
does Why does this word look strange?
done The dog has done something on the carpet.
go Where did you go last night?
goes Jack goes to the pub every Saturday.
gone They've gone out for the day.
Now look at them again, this time in pairs. Learn the sentences:
does
goes
I wonder what he does when he goes out late.
done
gone
Which one of you has gone and done this?

The 'the....' words
they They are all my friends.
Learning tip to help your spelling To remember the e in they:
He, she and all of them are my friends.

Write the sentence and highlight each he pattern.
there There it is, over there, not here.
Learning tip to help your spelling
There is to do with a place; so is here and where.
Each word contains the word here.
their Their means 'belonging to them.'
Learning tip to help your spelling Say this sentence until you know it:
The girls got dirt on their shirts and their skirts.

Write the sentence and highlight each ir pattern.
they're They're all looking very happy.
They're is short for they are.
these What shall I do with all these papers?

To finish, a 'mixed bag' of words. They all have odd spellings:
any Do you need to learn any of these words?
anyone anybody anywhere anything
many I do know many of these words.
Learning tip to help your spelling Say this sentence until you know it:
Many a man loves any sport.

Write the sentence and highlight each
an pattern.
Spelling some common words
said She said we'd all done very well.
Learning tip to help your spelling See how many sentences you can make up for said,
for example:
Smelly Albert is dirty.
Sarah Ann is dancing.
Sam ate ice-cream daily.
busy Don't interrupt me when I'm busy.
Learning tip to help your spelling A bus is busy.

Remember:
busy + ness = business
Spelling some common words
sure Are you sure you saw a wild bear?
minute Sixty minutes make one hour.
Learning tip to help your spelling The same spelling is used for minute, meaning very small. Write and learn this sentence:

A minute is a minute length of time.
woman
women
This woman sailed alone around the world.
Are women allowed to join the army?
Learning tip to help your spelling woman: Wife Of man
women: Wives Of men

next part of the spelling course Go to the next page: Homophones for common words
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Unit 18: Common words with odd spellings

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