- Hello my dear English learners
and native English speakers.
This lesson is a little bit different
because we're talking about a topic
that is good for both English learners and native speakers.
It is the most difficult words to spell in English,
and most importantly, how to remember
the correct spelling of these words in English
so that you hopefully don't make a spelling mistake again.
Now, the most important thing
is to develop your memorization techniques,
because there are so many words
that are difficult to spell in English.
English is notorious for being a language
full of words that are spelled on paper
differently than they sound when you hear them.
And so, today I'm going to introduce three ways
that you can have a better memory for spelling,
and of course, the correct spelling
of 14 of the most difficult words to spell in English.
So, I think that's pretty straightforward.
So, let's jump right into the words.
Our first word is "liaison."
Now, English is a fascinating language
because we borrow so many words
from other languages like French.
So, we can kind of blame the French
for the difficult spelling in the word "liaison."
Many people forget that we have so many vowels in "liaison,"
but we can use a technique called association
where we associate the idea
that with a liaison we have people meeting.
And in this case, we have many vowels meeting, the I-A-I.
We need three vowels to all meet together
in the word "liaison" to spell it correctly.
So, this is one technique that you can use.
You can associate the spelling of the word
with another idea like letters or people
meeting up in a liaison.
And this is a beautiful word.
It's one of my favorite words in the English language
that we have borrowed from another language.
"Receive" is also a beautiful but difficult to spell word.
Many people mix up the vowels here.
You'll find that vowels in English can be pretty tricky,
but we have a special rhyme
that many grade-schoolers will recognize:
"I before E, except after C."
And so, here in the word "receive,"
we have that C and then, of course, the E-I.
So, usually I comes before E unless it's after C,
or if you have an exception,
and English is full of exceptions.
the very strange word, "weird."
And so, it's easy to remember that this word is so weird
that it does not follow the rule.
It is an exception to the rule.
W-E-I-R-D, and there's no C.
Also, the word "their," as in the possessive "them."
So, "their" doesn't follow the rule either.
So, we can remember that they are weird,
and so "their," possessive, is also weird.
Just like the same as the word "weird," E-I-R,
Next, this word.
Now, The way I remember this
is directly related with the spelling.
"Harass," someone who's being an ass will harass you,
and that's how we remember that there are two S's,
but this word is also harassing us
with a difficult spelling, and we don't have two R's.
It's trying to trick us.
So, just one R and two S's.
Now, when I was a grade school child
and I had to remember my spelling,
my parents would make me copy each word
on my spelling list from my teacher,
generally about 20 words each week.
They would make me copy each word 100 times,
and that was their way of helping me remember the word.
And yes, repetition is helpful.
However, it's not the only way to remember words.
So, in this case, we can remember
how to spell "harass" with these association tricks.
This word, "maintenance," is often misspelled
with an extra I like we spell "maintain."
However, when we change the word form
from the verb "maintain" to the noun "maintenance,"
we remove that I and it is like this.
So, we can remember how to spell it
by remembering "main," like the most important, "ten."
So, mainly we have to do
ten times the maintenance when Nancy,
(she laughs) Wait, what?
Personally, I remember how to spell "maintenance"
with a story that I tell myself.
Like, Nance, Which is a woman's nickname,
does ten times the work to maintain the household.
So, you can tell yourself a short story
to associate with the spelling of the word,
and as you repeat this a few times
you'll remember the spelling.
This word is tricky because we have a double M
that is difficult to remember, "recommend."
But we can use a mnemonic device
which includes sounds to associate
with the correct spelling.
so, I could think "Mm," two M's.
"Mm, this restaurant was a wonderful recommendation."
Or "Thank you for recommending this restaurant."
Or "I recommend this restaurant
"because it is, mm, delicious."
We can remember how to spell this word
because we need all of the double letters,
the double C, the double S, in order to reach success.
It takes every letter that we can put in there.
"Exaggerate" I remember because we don't need any eggs.
Now, I know this is a silly association,
but when you pronounce the word "exaggerate,"
it sounds like you're saying "egg," like the food,
but there's no eggs in the spelling of "exaggerate."
So, it's actually quite exaggerated,
the way that we're pronouncing it.
It's also exaggerated,
because we have a double G later on in the word.
So, we can just remember
that this word is quite exaggerated.
For so many years, and honestly, maybe even still,
I have trouble spelling this vegetable.
Thank goodness for spell check,
but now I'm going to remember it
because I came up with
a memorization technique with association.
You don't want E. coli in your broccoli.
So, "E. coli" only has one C.
So, in order to avoid E. coli in your broccoli,
make sure that you put two C's in the spelling of the word.
With some words like "Wednesday,"
you just need to sound it out
in order to remember the spelling.
So, when I write this word,
in my mind I actually think
of how it would sound if we pronounced each letter.
Of course, we don't actually say it like this,
but this helps me to remember the spelling,
and you can try it too.
This word is also quite difficult to spell,
but again, I think about how it would be pronounced
if we actually pronounced each letter in it.
So, instead of "rhythm," I actually think "r-hyth-m,"
which sounds ridiculous,
but it helps me to remember the spelling.
It's also an interesting word,
because it has six letters and only one is a vowel,
if you do include Y in the vowels.
And so, I think of "rhythm" as a kind of special skill
that many people are still developing
just like how to spell the word "rhythm."
"Pronunciation," this is a difficult word to spell,
but quite important.
And I remember this word,
because it is so difficult to spell that nuns,
nuns should only teach how to spell "pronunciation."
Now, many people make the mistake
of adding an O into that second syllable,
just like the word "pronounce."
But "pronounce" has the word "ounce" in it,
so you need an ounce of effort
to know how to pronounce words in English,
and only nuns should teach pronunciation
because only God knows
how to pronounce every word in English.
And finally, of course,
the word to misspell is quite difficult to spell.
We can remember it, well, simply because "misspell"
is difficult to misspell,
but we can also think about the fact
that this is a compound noun
where we have the word "miss" and "spell" together.
But imagine, if we put them directly together,
we would have three S's back to back,
and that simply doesn't exist in the English language.
So, at least we have this one clear rule
that we will never have three of the same consonants
back to back in English.
May I ask you which words in English
are the most difficult to spell?
Share them with us in the comments
and I'll be watching.
I'm very curious, because there are many more words
that are absolutely difficult to spell in English
that I just don't have time to include here today.
But I also hope that you enjoyed
some of these memorization techniques,
how to memorize the spelling of words.
Tell me your thoughts in the comments,
and if you enjoyed this lesson,
make sure to hit the big, red subscribe button
right down there so that you don't miss
another English lesson here at Go Natural English.
Now, let's continue with 10 words
that you may be pronouncing wrong.
You can click right over here to watch that now.
I'll see you there, bye for now.