Guide to Spelling: Hooked on Phonics

Introduction

In This Section

  • Learn how to attach prefixes and suffixes
  • Form contractions, plurals, and possessives
  • Learn the rules!
  • “Waiter, waiter!” said the irate patron in the fancy restaurant. What's this fly doing in my soup?”
  • “Looks like the backstroke to me,” replied the waiter.

Right or wrong, good or bad—you know that spelling matters. A fly in your soup doesn't do much for your appetite; likewise, a misspelled word can destroy the effect of an entire document. This section gives you some quick and dirty ways to learn to spell. (Getting rid of the fly is a subject for another book, however!)

Bee a Good Speller

Can you spell? I dare you to prove it! Take this pretest to see how well you spell. Use what you learn here to focus on the sections that you need the most.

In each of the following groups of words, only one of the words is misspelled. For each group, select the misspelled word and spell it correctly. Write your answer in the space provided.

___________ 1. arguering knives shepherd thousandth
___________ 2. baggy unreleived canine vengeful
___________ 3. contagious obituary lonliness cadence
___________ 4. millinery sacrafice caramel burglarize
___________ 5. publicity promontory sieze patriarch
___________ 6. bridle loosely breakage symtom
___________ 7. civillian primeval apologetic truancy
___________ 8. uncanny statuesque ajournment aisle
___________ 9. trigonometry exhaust Artic visualize
___________ 10. bewitches satchel vegetable obstinite
Answers
1. arguing 6. symptom
2. unrelieved 7. civilian
3. loneliness 8. adjournment
4. sacrifice 9. Arctic
5. seize 10. obstinate
Score Yourself
8 to 10 correct You can proofread my work anytime.
5 to 7 correct You'll be okay with a good spell checker.
3 to 6 correct Treading on thin ice, kiddo.
0 to 2 correct Are you Mr. Potatoe, Dan Quayle?
book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.