When I write a paragraph I make 5 to 7 spelling mistakes. Sometimes i even swap some of the letters in the word while writing or typing. (I know, I don't have the habit of reading English articles, and that may be the reason why I forget the spelling of simple words.)

I see in dictionaries every word is given with symbols to tell how to pronounce it. Nobody has taught me how to read those symbols. Can anyone help me to improve my language skill by giving some web links or advice?

  • 2
    Welcome to ELL! You seem to be asking two different questions: 1) How to improve your spelling, and 2) How to understand the pronunciation symbols. These should be posted as separate questions. The second question has been addressed in part here, about the IPA notation which is standard in linguistics and many British dictionaries; but many dictionaries (especially US dictionaries) use their own systems. Usually these symbols will be explained near the front of the dictionary. – StoneyB on hiatus Jun 30 '13 at 17:26
  • Hi Vignesh, welcome to ELL! Stoney has explained things pretty well, I think. You're asking two questions here; as the first is off-topic and the second is a duplicate, I'm going to close it as such. If you have specific words that you consistently misspell and would like advice on mnemonic devices or such to remember them, please feel free to edit the question to reflect and I'll be happy to reopen it. Please find the answer to your second question on the "duplicate" link that will shortly appear on your question. Thanks! – WendiKidd Jul 1 '13 at 2:37

English spelling is a problem for practically everyone. I had problems as a child with "guard" and "character", spelling them "gaurd" and "carachter". So, you're not alone!

There are many different pronunciations for some combinations of characters, and many different combinations of characters that are pronounced the same way. For example:

rough, dough, bough, through, cough, thorough

which are each pronounced differently, and:

was, does, fuzz, because

which are all pronounced the same. In the end, the spelling of many words simply has to be learned by rote.

| improve this answer | |
  • ...and it's further complicated by the fact that people with different accents pronounce some words differently from each other. So in my accent (I'm from the south-east of England), "was" and "because" rhyme, "does" and "fuzz" rhyme, but "does" and "was" do not. – Steve Melnikoff Jul 1 '13 at 14:53
  • was and because are more of an o sound there, and does and fuzz a u? – BobRodes Jul 1 '13 at 17:59
  • Yes, that's right. – Steve Melnikoff Jul 1 '13 at 22:53
  • I had forgotten that, after a 40-year absence from the area (Oxfordshire). Thanks for the reminder. :) – BobRodes Jul 4 '13 at 2:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.