Common words you need to stop misspelling

When a prospect is deciding whether to buy from you or not, and they don’t know you, they have no choice but to let their instinct – and your marketing materials – guide them.

So what they’re judging your ability on is what they see in front of them, be it a brochure or your website. Chances are they’ll subconsciously be evaluating the design, photography, and the wording… and the spelling.

Why good spelling matters

Simply put, good spelling indicates that you’re professional and pay attention to detail. Poor spelling indicates that maybe you’re not quite so professional. And while we can’t all be spelling experts, there are some common words people get wrong time and time again.

Even computerised spell checkers don’t pick up all the misspellings. So use the tips below as your quick guide to getting the spelling right.

Here’s your quick guide to overcoming these common spelling mistakes

It’s vs. Its

  • It’s: This is short for “it is” – the apostrophe indicates the contraction (shortening). For example: “It’s raining.”
  • Its: This shows possession. For example: “The dog likes to chew its bone.”

You’re vs Your

  • You’re: This is short for “you are” – again, the apostrophe indicates that there’s a contraction. For example: “You’re learning about spelling.”
  • Your: This shows possession. For example: “Your business is very professional.”

They’re vs. There vs. Their

  • They’re: This is short for “they are” with the apostrophe indicating the contraction. For example: “They’re going on vacation.”
  • There: This is used when you’re talking about a place, idea or situation. For example: “There is no milk in the fridge”, or “I went there yesterday.”
  • Their: This shows possession. For example: “Their car broke down.”

Lose vs. Loose

  • Lose: When you can’t find something, i.e. have lost something. For example: “I always lose at card games.”
  • Loose: The opposite of tight, i.e. when something is baggy. For example: “My jeans are loose on me since I lost weight.”

Stationery vs. Stationary

  • Stationery: things you write with or on. For example: “I need to add pens and envelopes to my stationery order.”
  • Stationary: not moving. For example: “The car was stationary in the traffic.”

Affect vs. Effect

  • Affect: to have an influence on something. For example: “The roadworks will affect my journey time to work.”
  • Effect: a result of something happening. For example: “The effect of the roadworks is that I was late arriving at work.”

If you struggle with spelling the words above, then bookmark this page – or print it out and keep it handy! Remember, correct spelling is vital if you want to present yourself (and your business) in a professional way.