5 Common Spelling Mistakes To Avoid

Two weeks ago, we talked about why grammar is so important. I gave some silly examples from a website about how grammar really affects what we're trying to say.

Last week, we talked about apostrophes, contractions, and how to use the pronouns "I" and "me" correctly. (If you missed those posts, be sure to check them out!)

This week and next week, we're going to cover TEN COMMON SPELLING MISTAKES YOU MUST AVOID. I think people will get the idea of what you're trying to say, but it will make you look good if you avoid these ten words.

Today, we're discussing five of them!

Let's go!


You've probably heard of synonyms and antonyms before, but what in the world are homonyms?

Google defines homonym like this: "each of two or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins."

Let me give you an example:

Eye vs. I

Say these words out loud. They sound exactly the same, don't they? But by just looking at the spellings, you can see that they have very different meanings. I doubt you ever get these words confused.

But some words are super tricky, and I'm going to give you FIVE of them today. These words will sound the same and will have close spellings, but their meanings will be different.

Affect vs. effect

I see this one misused A LOT. Here are the Google definitions to help you keep them straight!

Affect: "have an effect on; make a difference to."

Effect: "a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause."

"Affect" is the verb, while "effect" is the noun.

"The tornado had a dramatic effect on the town."

"The tornado affected the entire town." Here, the tornado is doing the affecting directly.

Accept vs. except

While I don't see these two words mixed up very often, it does happen.

Accept: "consent to receive (a thing offered)."

Except: "not including; other than."

Here is a sample sentence using these two words: "I would accept your invitation, except that I have to take care of my sick sister."

Principle vs. principal

Sometimes it's hard to keep these two words straight, but it's much easier when you understand what each word means.

Principle: "a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning."

Principal has two definitions: 1) first in order of importance; main, and 2) the person with the highest authority or most important position in an organization, institution, or group.

A principle is like a truth or rule that you stand by. "He stood by biblical principles."

Principal can be used as an adjective, but we tend to think of a principal as a school principal.

Capitol vs. capital

I had to do a bit of research myself when it came to these two words! There's only a tiny spelling difference between them, but it's still important!

Capitol, as defined by Dictionary.com, is "a building occupied by a state legislature." That's what the Capitol Building is—just make sure to spell it with an "-ol," not "-al"!

Capital is "the most important city or town of a country or region, usually its seat of government and administrative center." This is what we often think of when it comes to this word.

Here's a sample sentence: "The Capitol Building is in the capital of Maryland, Washington D.C."

Lose vs. loose

I've gotten this one wrong before! It takes me a second to think about it!

Lose: "be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something)."

Loose: "not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached." (This is an adjective, but it can also be used as a verb.)

Here's a sample sentence: "I hope I don't lose my loose change!"

So there you go! Five common spelling mistakes to avoid in your own writing! Next week, I'll give you five more!

Here's a quick review list:

  1. Affect/Effect
  2. Accept/Except
  3. Principle/Principal
  4. Capitol/Capital
  5. Lose/Loose
talk to me!
Have you mixed these words up before? Which ones are the hardest for you?



  1. Capital verses capitol drive me crazy XD

  2. These were great explanations! I've always gotten confused about affect/effect, so this was super helpful! :D


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