Is “Misspelled” One Word or Two?

Is Misspelled One Word or Two?

When a word is spelled incorrectly, you can say it is “misspelled.” Notice that “misspelled” has 2 s’s and 2 l’s, instead of the commonly used but incorrect one “s” like “mispelled.”

A common question though is if “misspelled” is one word or two.

In short, “misspelled” is one word. But let’s try to understand why.

“Mis-” is an antecedent

To understand why “misspell” is one word, and isn’t “mispell,” it’s important to understand antecedents and this word’s specific antecedent, “mis-.”

First, an antecedent is defined as “a thing or event that existed before or logically precedes another.” In this specific case, “mis-” is also a prefix because it is attached to the front of the word, in this case “spelled” or “spelled.”

So, “mis-” means “wrongly” and is then added to the start of “spell” or “spelled,” which makes the word “misspell,” literally meaning “wrongly spelled.” In British English, you may also write “misspelt.”

Why are there 2 “s’s” in “misspelled?”

There are 2 s’s in “misspell” because it is a combination of the two words “mis” meaning “wrongly” and “spell,” as in the letters used to properly form a word.

A good way to compare “misspell” to another word using “mis-” is “mistake.” In that case, “mis” and “take” are combined to form a new word.

Another example of a word with 2 “s’s” beginning with “mis-” is “misspoken.” It is a combination of “mis-” and “spoken,” which also starts with a “s.”

Can you give some examples?

Some examples using “misspell” are:

John misspelled his name on the application, leading it to be rejected and needing resubmission.

Sarah sent the legal notice but did not notice the misspelling in the title. She was embarrassed when she learned of her error.

What are some commonly misspelled words?

Other than “misspelled” often being misspelled as “mispelled,” there are some common words that are often spelled wrongly. Here are 100, via English Club:

correct spellingnotesmisspelling
absence-s--nceabsense, abscence
accommodate, accommodation-cc--mm-accomodate, accomodation
achievei before eacheive
acrossone caccross
aggressive-gg-agressive
apparently-ent-apparantly
appearance-anceappearence
argumentno e after uarguement
assassination-ss--ss-assasination
basically-allybasicly
beginning-nn-begining
believei before ebeleive, belive
businessbusi-buisness
calendar-arcalender
Caribbean-r--bb-Carribean
categorye in middlecatagory
cemetery-erycemetary
colleague-ea-collegue
comingone mcomming
committee-mm--tt--ee-commitee
completely-elycompletly
conscience-sc-concience
conscious-sc-concious
copyright-rightcopywrite
curiosity-os-curiousity
definitely-ite- not -ate-definately
disappear-s--pp-dissapear
disappoint-s--pp-dissapoint
ecstasy-syecstacy
embarrass-rr--ssembarass
environment-nm-enviroment
existence-enceexistance
familiar-iarfamilar
finally-ll-finaly
fluorescentfluor-florescent
foreigne before iforiegn
fortyfor-fourty
forwardfor-foward
friendi before efreind
furtherfur-futher
glamorous-mor-glamourous
government-nm-goverment
grammar-argrammer
gauge-au-guage
gratefulgrat-greatful
guardgua-gaurd
happened-enedhappend
harass, harassment-r--ssharrass, harrassment
honorary-nor-honourary
humorous-mor-humourous
immediately-elyimmediatly
incidentally-allyincidently
independent-entindependant
interrupt-rr-interupt
irresistible-ibleirresistable
knowledge-edgeknowlege
lightningno elightening
medicinemedi- like medicalmedecine
millennium, millennia-ll--nn-millenium, millenia
misspell-ss-mispell
necessary-c--ss-neccessary
noticeable-e-noticable
occasion-cc--s-ocassion, occassion
occurred, occurring-cc--rr-occured, occuring
occurrence-cc--rr--enceoccurance, occurence
parallel-r--ll-paralel, parralel
persistent-entpersistant
Philippines-l--pp-Phillipines
piecei before epeice
politician-cianpolitican
possession-ss--ss-posession
preferred, preferring-rr-prefered, prefering
privilegeno dpriviledge
pronunciation-nun-pronounciation
publiclyclypublically
really-ll-realy
receivee before irecieve
referred, referring-rr-refered, refering
religious-giousreligous
remember-mem-rember, remeber
resistance-anceresistence
sense-sesence
separate-par-seperate
successful-cc--ss-succesful
surprisesur-suprise
tendency-encytendancy
therefore-foretherefor
thresholdone h in middlethreshhold
tomorrow-m--rr-tommorow, tommorrow
tongueton--guetounge
trulyno etruely
unforeseen-re-unforseen
unfortunately-elyunfortunatly
until-luntill
viciousno s in middleviscious
weirde before iwierd
whereverone e in middlewhereever
weather-ea-wether, waether
whetherwh-wether
whichwh-wich

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