Can You Spell These Everyday Words?

By: Mark Lichtenstein
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Auto correct. Spell check. There are lots of reason why people can't spell words correctly. Technology is doing it for them! Maybe you're a person who can tell at a glance that a word doesn't "look right", and is misspelled. Of course, if you're hankering to take this quiz, then you may be someone who competed in Spelling Bees and realize the importance of correct spelling, usage, and the conjugation of a word. 

Learning all there is about spelling never stops. There are new words to learn all the time, like" phishing", the act of using an email to get someone to send you their personal information. 

Although technology has helped the world communicate with correct spelling, there is the good old dictionary that helps us do that as well. It breaks down the word phonetically, gives the origin of the word, defines it and uses it in a sentence for greater clarity. It also provides synonyms, antonyms, the root word and how to pluralize it. Today's online dictionaries do one better by providing voice samples of someone pronouncing the word. Still, no matter what tools you use, you need to be savvy enough to know when to use "whole" or "hole", or that you should use "i" before "e" except after "c".

Don't let spelling go out of style. Take this quiz now and show off your knowledge about the words around you!

I'm okay with it. I find it:

Acceptable is interesting because it often pronounced as though it were spelled acceptible, though neither that, nor the corresponding spelling, is correct.

I'm tired. I'll have a nice hot shot of:

Espresso isn't an English word, so many can be forgiven for misspelling it, but given how often people are confronted by the word in Starbucks, it's a fairly lazy mistake.

I don't like it outside. I don't know _______ or not I'll go out.

Whether is an oft spoken and seldom written word for most people, making many people pause before writing the word in an email.

This recipe is derived from another one where you have to:

Basting is a process by which an item is repeatedly covered in its own juices, usually referring to the process done while cooking items such as chicken, steak, or leg of lamb.

My floor is dirty! I'd best clean up with my:

Vacuum can refer to a device used to suck up dirt, or the abyss of outer space.

I got a strange email today. I think it was meant to be:

Phishing is the act of using an email to get someone to send you their personal information under the pretense that you are a party entitled to such information, such as a bank or the IRS.

I saw a sad movie. It made me _____ up.

Tearing up is when your eyes well up with tears, the saline solution released by your eyes to clean them.

Grab the tiger by the:

A tail is an extremity usually extending from the base of the spine.

You can't have your cake ______ you've finished dinner.

Until is often misspelled, usually with two Ls.

Down with the boss! I will not accept his:

Tyranny is often misspelled using one N or two Rs.

It is mine! I _________ it!

Possess is a word that comes up often in conversation but rarely in writing, and thus its eccentric spelling is often done incorrectly.

My friends are planning _______ vacation.

This is one of the most common spelling mistakes. There refers to the placement of a person or thing. They're is a contraction of "they are." Their is a word describing who the possessor of something is.

___ all mine!

In the case of Its vs. It's, the apostrophe stands in for the I in "is," meaning that It's means it is. Its is the possessive, strangely. This sentence describes the state of being, the verb "to be" and thus "It is" or "It's."

I have time to see you tomorrow. Let me put it in my:

Schedule is spelled a lot like school, though in Britain it is pronounced "shedyool." Strangely, this British rule does not extend to pronouncing "school" like the yiddish word for a synagogue.

My concern for safety _______ my need for wealth.

Supersedes is one of those SAT words people like to throw into conversation occasionally, but seldom write down, or get corrected for spelling incorrectly. Thus, its various misspellings continue to survive.

The mass starvation left people:

Sperara means "to hope" in Latin, and "De" means "from" or "away from," among other meanings. Thus "de sperara" evolved into desperate.

This music has great:

Rhythm is as counter-intuitive to spell as it is to keep, for some.

That point is:

Irrelevant and relevant are two words that are commonly misspelled because regional pronunciations mean the word sounds like it should be spelled differently than it is.

After I pay, I'd like a:

Receipt is an odd word because it isn't meant to be pronounced anything like it is spelled, and people say it more than they speak it.

Baseball is America's national:

Pastime is a contraction of pass and time, and part of that is that it loses an S.

I admire your:

This word comes from the Latin word persevereus, which means to continue steadfastly. English spelling can be confusing sometimes because of the confusing linguistic roots.

I'm surrounded by:

The Latin word Ignoramus means "we are ignorant," thus the Latin rule for pluralizing nouns does not apply, and replacing US with I does not work. The plural is ignoramuses.

I'm in _________ of some valuable investments.

Many possess the desire to spell this word correctly, but few realize the number of double Ss in the word.

I still have a _________ of my time living in Europe.

You'd think no one would need a reminder of how to spell memento, but many forget how, and we all pay the price.

If you have the shot, you'll be ___________ against disease.

Inoculate really does sound like it should have two Ns at the beginning of the word, but it doesn't. It comes from the Latin "inoculatus" which means to implant or graft a bud into a plant.

I got in shape just by lifting this:

Dumbbell comes from the word for a device used to strengthen the arms of monks who had to ring church bells. It worked similarly to the action of pulling a rope to ring a bell, only it did not make a sound, thus: dumb bell.

I'm an __________ magician.

Amateur comes from the French, meaning one who has a taste for something. Many lack a taste for spelling it correctly.

I watched how you did and I must say you ________ yourself well.

This word comes from the Old French word aquiter, which means to release. Most know it from its use in the law, where it means to dismiss charges against a criminal. In this sense it means "to conduct oneself in a specific way."

I'm so tired, it's a struggle to stay:

This word comes from the Latin word scīre, which means "to know." It is generally understood to mean "to be aware of things," and does not always specifically apply to whether or not one is asleep, but it can.

You certainly ______ expectations.

Exceed has its Latin root in the word cedere, meaning to go. You'd think that since precede is to go before, exceed would be spelled excede, but it is not. That's English for you.

I can't go back into the pub because I've been:

To be barred means to be kept out, and is a term used for when someone is not permitted in a pub because of drunken behavior. This is not to be confused with The Bard, who is Shakespeare.

That guy was a crashing:

A bore is someone who is dull. Boring shares its meaning with this conjugation of the word. Of course, when applied to digging, boring means to tunnel, but when it comes to tunneling machines, I think there is nothing more exciting than the Tunnel Boring Machine used to connect England with France.

My failings were laid:

Baring something means to expose it. To lay something bare means to lay it all out, exposed. This is not to be confused with bears, which are furry killing machines, or to bear something, which means to carry it.

Made this delicious beverage for my:

Brood comes from the Middle Dutch word broet, which translates to that which is hatched by heat.

I got yelled at by my drill:

Sergeant is an often misspelled word, particularly because it is pronounced in a way completely different from the way it is spelled.

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