Spelling Tips: Silent Letter Errors

‘Shhh!’ said the letter N to the letter K. ‘Don’t make a sound. If the humans can’t hear you, they’ll never know you’re here at the start of “knickers”. And they can’t spell you if...

Spelling Tips: Understanding Prefixes

Sometimes, you can create a new word by jamming two terms together. And although we’re not as good at this as the Germans, English does have an exciting array of prefixes to choose from. ‘But what...

Spelling Tips: Letter Omission and Addition

One common cause of spelling errors is missing a letter from a word. Another is adding an unnecessary letter to a word. These are known as letter omission and letter addition. In this post, we take a ...

Word Choice: Bought vs. Brought

‘Buy’ and ‘bring’ are obviously different words. However, their past tense forms are only one letter apart. As such, it’s common to see ‘bought’ and ‘brought’ confused for each other...

Word Choice: Principal vs. Principle

They look similar written down and sound the same when spoken, so it’s no surprise that some people get ‘principal’ and ‘principle’ mixed up. However, these words have very different definit...

Word Choice: Lead vs. Led

‘Lead’ sounds exactly the same as ‘led’, which is the past tense of ‘lead’. However, this second ‘lead’ isn’t pronounced the same way as the first ‘lead’. Confused yet? We don’...

Is ‘Alright’ All Right? (Tricky Compound Words)

Compound words combine two or more terms to make a new word. They can be tricky, though, especially when working out whether to write a word as a closed compound (i.e. with no space between the terms,...

Word Choice: License vs. Licence

Sometimes we think the Americans are messing with English just to confuse the rest of us. If you can legally drive in the US, for example, you’ll be a ‘licensed driver’ and have a ‘driver lice...

Idiom Corner: Free Rein or Free Reign?

Today in Idiom Corner, we’re looking at a common expression: ‘free rein’. Or should that be spelled ‘free reign’? In short, no: ‘free rein’ is the original and correct term here. Neverth...

Spelling Tips: The Doubling Up Rule

As far as English spelling rules go, the ‘doubling up rule’ is one of the more reliable. This isn’t to say there are no exceptions (there are). But you can trust it in most situations. Knowing t...