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. argueringknivesshepherdthousandth
___________2. baggyunreleivedcaninevengeful
___________3. contagiousobituarylonlinesscadence
___________4. millinerysacraficecaramelburglarize
___________5. publicitypromontorysiezepatriarch
___________6. bridlelooselybreakagesymtom
___________7. civillianprimevalapologetictruancy
___________8. uncannystatuesqueajournmentaisle
___________9. trigonometryexhaustArticvisualize
___________10. bewitchessatchelvegetableobstinite
1. arguing6. symptom
2. unrelieved7. civilian
3. loneliness8. adjournment
4. sacrifice9. Arctic
5. seize10. obstinate
Score Yourself
8 to 10 correctYou can proofread my work anytime.
5 to 7 correctYou'll be okay with a good spell checker.
3 to 6 correctTreading on thin ice, kiddo.
0 to 2 correctAre 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 and Barnes & Noble.