List of 73 Words People Say Wrong

Did you know?
For every order processes, we donate one book to a homeless shelter. If you'd like to support our social mission, you can order proofreading, translation, or resume writing.
You might be looking for a collection of words that are frequently mispronounced. Need to find examples? Check out this useful list of words people say wrong.
Antarctic Be sure to pronounce the c in this word.
arctic Make sure you enunciate the c in this word.
asterisk Don't forget the s in this word, which comes before the k, not after it.
athlete Some people insert an unnecessary syllable into this one, pronouncing it as "athelete"; it's "ath-leet," not "ath-el-eet."
Australia Be sure to pronounce the four syllables: "aus-tra-li-ya," not "os-tra-ya."
barbed wire Don't say "bob wire." The wire is not named after Bob.
barbiturate It's not "barbituate," so be sure to pronounce the second r in this word.
business "Bidness" is common in the Southern United States, but don't use this pronunciation in a formal context.
cache Pronounced "cash" rather than "catch" or "caysh."
cacophony Pronounced "ca-caw-fone-ee," not "caw-ca-fone-ee."
Calvary/cavalry Sometimes confused, "Calvary" refers to the hill where Jesus Christ was crucified, while "cavalry" means mounted troops.
candidate Sometimes pronounced "cannidate," which is incorrect.
carpal tunnel syndrome Sometimes mistakenly called "carpool tunnel syndrome"; carpal means "pertaining to the wrist"—it has nothing to do with cars.
chaos Always use a hard c sound; "chay-oss" and "shay-oss" are incorrect.
clothes Be sure to pronounce the "th" sound in this word.
cornet/coronet A "cornet" is a type of brass instrument, whereas a "coronet" is a small crown.
dilate Pronounced "dye-late," not "dye-uh-late." It may feel natural to add an extra syllable to this word, but it's incorrect to do so.
diphtheria The h after the p creates a soft consonant sound, not a hard one. Therefore, it is pronounced "dif-ther-i-ya."
dog-eat-dog world Sometimes mistakenly pronounced "doggy dog world." This phrase is about harsh competition—dogs eating dogs—not dogs just being themselves.
drown Some people tend to say "drowned" even when using the word in the present tense. Only pronounce the second d if you are speaking in the past tense.
electoral This word does not contain an i, so don't say "electorial."
escape Some people pronounce it as "excape." There is no x in this word, so use an s sound instead.
especially Some people seem to instinctively insert an x in this word, making it "expecially," which is incorrect.
espresso The word "express" leads people to expect an x in the name of this strong beverage, but it's "espresso," not "expresso."
et cetera There is no x in "et cetera," so don't pronounce it as "excetera."
February "Feb-you-ary" is near ubiquitous, but it's actually more correct to pronounce the r ("feb-ru-ary").
federal Pronouned "fed-er-al," not "fed-ral."
film The combination of l and m feels like it should create an extra syllable, but it doesn't.
fiscal This word has two syllables; don't pronounce it like "physical."
foliage The i comes after the l; therefore, it is pronounced "foh-lee-age," not "foy-ull-age."
for all intents and purposes This phrase is often mistaken for "for all intensive purposes."
forte This word is pronounced "for-tay"; the e is not silent.
foyer In American English, it's fine to say "foy-er"—you don't need to use the French-style "foy-ay."
height Some people pronounce this word as "heighth," rhyming it with "width,” which is incorrect.
heinous Pronounced "hay-nus," not "hee-nus."
hierarchy It's natural to want to contract words, but correctly pronounced this has four syllables ("hai-err-ar-key"), not two ("hai-ar-key").
larvae “Lar-vee” is the correct pronunciation, not “lar-vay.”
larynx Pronounced "lare-inks," not "lare-nicks." Don't reverse the y and n in this word.
lease Some people pronounce it the same way as "leash," which has a different meaning.
liable Be sure to pronounce the a in "liable"; omitting it results in the word "libel," which means something different.
library Make sure to pronounce the first r in this word. Many people miss it.
masonry This word has three syllables: "ma-son-ry," not "ma-son-a-ry."
mayonnaise Resist the temptation to contract it to "man-naise."
mischievous Pronounced “mis-chiv-us” rather than “mis-cheev-ee-us.”
moot Some people want to say "mute" but this word is pronounced like it is spelled.
niche Say "neesh" rather than "nitch."
nuclear "Noo-kyul-er" is a common mispronunciation; “noo-klee-ur” is correct.
often The t in this word is silent.
ordnance Some people pronounce it as "ordinance," which completely changes the meaning.
percolate The second vowel in the word is an o, not u, so "per-kyu-late" is an incorrect pronunciation.
peremptory Often confused with "preemptory," the two words are pronounced differently and have distinct meanings.
perspire This is sometimes incorrectly pronounced "prespire."
picture Make sure you pronounce the c in this word. Many people don't.
pollute Resist the temptation to contract this word to "plute"—it sounds lazy.
potable Sometimes mistakenly pronounced "pottable," the correct spelling and pronunciation have a single rather than double t, creating a long o sound.
prerogative Be careful not to omit the first r when pronouncing this word.
prescription Use "pruh-scrip-shun" rather than the common mispronunciation "per-scrip-shun."
probably The correct pronunciation is "prob-ab-lee," not "prob-lee."
pronunciation The second o from "pronounce" is dropped in "pronunciation," both when spelled and spoken.
prostate Be sure to say "pros-tate," not "pros-trate," which is a whole different word.
quinoa Pronounced "keen-wah," not "kin-oh-ah."
relevant "Revelant" is incorrect. Be careful not to reverse the consonant sounds in this word.
sherbet There’s no second r to make the word "sherbert," so use a short e in the second syllable.
suite Pronounced "sweet" rather than "soo-t."
supposedly Sometimes pronounced as "supposably," which means “able to be supposed." Don't confuse the two words with different meanings.
tact Many people tend to pronounce this word as "tack," which has different meanings.
tenterhooks Some people pronounce it as "tenderhooks." Tenterhooks are not tender, so be sure to pronounce the t.
triathlon This word has only three syllables, not four; it's "tri-ath-lon," not "tri-ath-a-lon."
utmost Be sure to say "ut-most," not "up-most."
verbiage Pronounced "ver-bee-age," not "ver-bage." Make sure to pronounce the i in this word.
voluptuous Pronouncing the word as "volumptuous" is incorrect.
Wednesday This word only has two syllables: "wenz-dey," not "wed-ners-dey."
zoology Pronounced "zoh-ol-uh-jee" or "zu-ol-​uh-​jee," not "zoo-loh-jee."