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Commonly Misused Words for Young Writers

written by: Keren Perles•edited by: SForsyth•updated: 1/31/2013

Take a look at some of these commonly misspelled or misused words. Have you made these mistakes?

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    A Lot

    It’s two words. Although young children may write “I love you a lot" on cards to their grandparents, they should learn the correct way to write it. A lot.

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    This word is often spelled “complement." Surprisingly, this is a word as well. Cookies and milk complement each other; they each make the other one taste better. If a cookie tried to compliment milk, on the other hand, it would only be in a fantasy story.

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    If you ate a desert at the end of a meal, you would have a lot of sand in your mouth. A desert is an area that doesn’t get much rain. A dessert is a sweet treat at the end of a meal.

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    This is what goes inside of a pencil, not the past tense of “lead." If you lead your mule to the well today, you led it yesterday. Led, not lead.

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    This is not a word. No one uses it. Instead, they use “no one."

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    If you think you past someone a pitcher of water, you’re living in the past. Yesterday is in the past. But the past tense form of “pass" is “passed."

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    Want a peace of pie? I hope not. A “piece" of pie would be more likely. Instead, help to achieve world peace.

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    Tim is not taller then Chu. Tim is taller “than" Chu. The word “than" compares two things. The word “then" shows time sequence.

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    When people don’t read over there work, there is no end to the number of misspelled words there using. So get it straight. “They’re" is a contract made up of the words “they" and “are." “Their" is a possessive that shows that something belongs to “them." And “there" – well, it goes in every other place that the word “there" would make sense.

    Use this list as a reference and catch mistakes before they happen!