What are your words? The ones you always have to look up and check spelling or meanings? Looking at a book with “the most common mistakes in English usage” I found a couple of my own.
Accept and except.
These even sound about the same. Do you know which is which? When do you accept and when do you except?
Lay and lie.
For me it’s really the word lay. A chicken lays eggs. Do people lay down or lie down?
Then, there are common mistakes I see myself. Not my own mistakes but those of others.
They’re and there.
They’re going to the park on the way there.
Your and you’re.
You’re going too fast your speed is too high.
Where and were.
Where were you?
A lot and alot.
Alot is not a word. It should always be a lot.
Do you know which is the principle and which is the Principal?
When is it better to further your efforts to go farther?
No doubt those aren’t glowing examples of grammar but sometimes knowing how words fit in helps you remember which one you need at the time.
Other confused words are anything with double “0’s”. Choose chose, too to, loose lose and so on.
But my personal worst mistake is its and it’s. I still can not keep them straight. Sometimes I get lazy and just type ‘its’ regardless of correctness.
I can stick up for my laziness by saying that’s how language is built, it evolves from laziness and a need for better understanding in communication. But, I know in the case of ‘its’ I’m just being lazy when I should, or at least could, be checking my handy dandy dictionary.