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  1. #1
    crazYgeeK is offline Member
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    Default Difficult words to spell even to native speakers?

    As a Vietnamese native speaker, I have a few difficult Vietnamese words to spell correctly and quickly! Does this happen to you, native English speakers? I mean that do you have any English words difficult to spell (or pronounce) correctly and quickly? And could you please tell me what they are?
    I wanna really know them and try to spell them and wonder why they are so hard to spell?
    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Coolfootluke is offline Member
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    Default Re: Difficult words to spell even to native speakers?

    I am not a teacher.

    Sure. Try to keep these straight: pavilion, million, vermilion/vermillion and cotillion, not to mention bouillon.

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Difficult words to spell even to native speakers?

    I'm not a native speaker, but...
    muzjik (this one actually has several spellings, which makes spelling it easier), nylghau, tyiyn, syzygy, zyzzyva

    PS: Oh, and phthisis (and try to say it, too ).

  4. #4
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Difficult words to spell even to native speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    As a Vietnamese native speaker, I have a few difficult Vietnamese words to spell correctly and quickly! Does this happen to you, native English speakers? I mean that do you have any English words difficult to spell (or pronounce) correctly and quickly? And could you please tell me what they are?
    I wanna really know them and try to spell them and wonder why they are so hard to spell?
    Thank you so much!
    ***** NOT A TEACHER ******


    CrazYgeek,


    (1) You are 100% correct: even native speakers (writers?) have

    to use the dictionary for "hard" words.

    (2) That is why we are told to read, read, and read. After a while,

    your eyes become accustomed to the correct spelling, and when you

    read or write a word incorrectly, a little voice tells you: Hey! that's

    not correct!!!

    (a) For example, some people spell the word "wierd." But I know it is

    "weird" -- because I am an old man and have seen it spelled correctly

    many times in my life.

    (3) Sometimes, you have to make up your own memory aids. For example,

    I will always spell "embarrass" correctly because I simply remind myself

    it has 2 r's and 2 s's.

    (4) And I will always spell "believe" correctly because of the word

    "lie" in the middle of the word. ("I do not believe you because I know that

    you lie.")

    (5) Some children are taught this jingle:

    When the sound is long e,

    Write i before e,

    Except after c.

    Therefore: thief/ brief/ achieve

    but

    deceit/ receive/ receipt

    Sadly, however, there are exceptions to the rule, too. Such as:

    either/ seize/leisure/weird/neither.

    (I credit Guide to Modern English 10 for this jingle information.)

    (6) Please remember that English spelling is so difficult that people

    are not expected to know how to spell all of the more than 500,000 words

    in English. In fact, we are told that it is normal to recognize certain

    words (that is, know what they mean when we read them) but it is not

    expected that we will use them in speech or be able to spell them without

    a dictionary. I do not know about other languages, but it is impossible to

    write in English without a dictionary. (Unless you do not care about

    bad spelling.)

    (5) So do not feel bad about having spelling problems. We native

    speakers do, too. Welcome to the club!!!

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Difficult words to spell even to native speakers?

    I'm a terrible speller.

    I can never tell if ends in ible or able, or tion or sion, or which vowels to use in the middle of words.

    I am a reader, and I read a lot, but when I go to write my own words, it neither looks right nor wrong, whether correct or not.

    I'm happy that Word has the red lines to tell me I've made a mistake, but when I'm writing by hand, I have to have a dictionary.

    So, yes, native speakers struggle with this too.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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