List of 37 Words That Sound Easy But Are Hard to Spell

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.
Want some examples of words that are trickier to spell than you might think? Here's a list of words that sound easy but are hard to spell. You'll find the vocabulary you're looking for here.
accommodate It is difficult to remember which consonants are doubled; also, the second o is not spelled phonetically.
acquiesce The first c can seem unnecessary; the sc sounds like a double s.
antediluvian The e and the first i are not spelled phonetically.
chauffeur As the word comes from French, the vowels are not phonetic.
chrysanthemum Substituting the y with an i is an easy mistake to make.
conscientious Pronounced differently from "conscious" and "conscience"; the nt is pronounced more like sh.
dilate Often (wrongly) pronounced "di-a-late," causing confusion when it comes to writing.
fuchsia The middle consonant sound has a non-standard spelling.
gobbledegook The second e can sound like an i.
handkerchief Contains a silent d.
idiosyncrasy The placement of i's and y's in the word can get confusing.
indict Contains a silent c.
ingenious The second and third syllables sound like "genius" but are spelled differently.
irascible The sc can easily be mistaken for a double s.
liquefy The e is easily mistaken for an i, especially given the spelling of "liquid."
logorrhea Contains a silent h, and the second r is essentially silent too.
malfeasance The ea sounds like a double e.
milquetoast The que in the word sounds like a k so it feels natural for an English speaker to spell it "milktoast."
minuscule Because of the word "mini," it feels natural to substitute the first u with an i.
misspell It is very easy to misspell this word by giving it only one s.
mischievous The mistaken pronunciation "mis-chee-vee-ous" leads people to spell this word incorrectly, placing vowels in the wrong location.
nauseous This word has a vowel order that is hard to remember, and the middle consonant has a non-standard pronunciation.
onomatopoeia The fourth o in the word is silent.
orangutan Many people add a g to the end of this word when saying it, leading to spelling errors.
paraphernalia People often drop the second r when pronouncing this word, which causes it to be misspelled.
pharaoh It is easy to mistake ao in the word for oa.
playwright A playwright is someone who writes a play, so it is natural to spell the second syllable the same way.
precocious Some people may substitute the second c with a t.
pronunciation The spelling of the word "pronounce" leads many people to insert an extra o into this word.
pterodactyl The p in this word is silent.
questionnaire The second i of this word is silent and people sometimes forget the double n.
sacrilegious The pronunciation of this word, and its similarity to "religious," leads people to replace the e with an i.
sherbet Many people pronounce it "sherbert," which leads to a corresponding spelling error.
surveillance It is easy to forget the double l.
vengeance The soft g in this word sounds like a j and the second e is silent.
Wednesday This word is pronounced "wensday," leading to confusion when it comes to the spelling.
weird It is easy to mix up the order of the vowels in this word.