Here is our top list of tricky words you can add to your writing. Read our guide.
Did you know that you can confuse some words with others even when you are a natural English speaker? Everyone has a set of words they find tricky to use in written or verbal communication. To boost your English vocabulary, you can learn and practice these tricky words in your writing or speaking.
What Are Tricky Words?
Many of the trickiest English words arise from confusion in young readers. These words confuse early students because of their sounds, spelling, and unique grammar rules. It’s essential to recognize them and avoid getting duped by these tricky words when you need to use them in sentences.
Commonly Misspelled Tricky Words
These tricky words often get misspelled because of their pronunciation or similarities with other words. Remember these words and how we use them when you’re writing to avoid grammatical errors.
The group thanked the organization for its hospitality and generous accommodation.
I wanted to give you a literary piece that is an excellent complement to your art.
With one sentence, she can compliment and insult you simultaneously.
Looking for more? Check out our list of the longest words without vowels for writers.
It is the only desert place that makes delicious syrupy desserts.
Emma was embarrassed to find out she’d taken the wrong bus.
Homer learned how to liquefy certain solids in school.
The princess felt nauseous after she drank the glass of wine.
The study showed that women preferred less masculine-looking men for long-term mates.
The kids laughed at the teacher’s pronunciation of Yñigo’s name.
The soldier patiently waited for the officer to receive his message.
Darwin ducked, and the vicious tiger slashed at the tree instead, releasing viscous sap.
She glared at me from the threshold of her room, arms crossed and foot tapping. Check out our list of high frequency words.
Phase 2-5 Tricky Phonics Words for Kids
These words confuse young children because they don’t sound the same way they’re spelled. Teach the following words to your kids so they can write and use the words without confusion.
She told those teenage girls that all her shoes were pink and sparkly.
Between you and me, these actors are too dramatic.
The twins wanted to be banana characters for Halloween.
He was sure his dog wanted to come to school with him.
Could you tell me what you saw?
Do you know where I can find the principal?
Trains can run on tracks, go into tunnels, and stop at different stations.
Why do you like to eat rice at all meals while some people don’t?
Some of these apples have gone bad, so we can’t use them for the pie.
I asked the teacher what she was going to have for lunch tomorrow.
Do you believe Jan Mark when I tell you he will fly a plane one day?
You told me that I couldn’t bring my cats to school. You might find our list of introductory words helpful.
Tricky Words with Silent Letters
One thing that makes some words tricky is the presence of extra letters you don’t need to pronounce. As a writer, you should practice writing the words below so you never miss those silent letters.
The curious whale almost disrupted the submarine’s quick ascent.
The banker threw the bag out, knowing a bomb was in it.
Don’t overcrowd the bridge unless you want it to fall.
Many of the ladies disliked his cologne, but he kept wearing it anyway.
Can you reach into the cupboard and grab a snack?
The paragliding crew will fasten your belts and double-check for you before takeoff.
Knowing Regina, she’ll never guess what happened between Danny and Mera.
Expert musicians can replace their strings and tune a guitar in only a few minutes.
The school founders hired unknown but talented lyricists to create the hymn.
The natives dipped a serrated knife into the hole to see how thick the ice was.
Psychology is his passion, but it also became the reason for his family’s destruction.
School employees need to mind their language and actions at work.
Taylor Swift’s newest album is the talk of the town.
How did a heavy vehicle make it past that flimsy bridge?
Tricky Words for Non-English Speakers
Non-native English speakers may have trouble pronouncing and spelling the following tricky words. Write and read them aloud to improve your spoken and written English.
Kids can learn more about marine sea life, like the different anemone types.
Agnes dreamed about a choir of angels wearing black robes.
The colonel told me about his state secrets, making him a spy.
Say the word hero with a silent H when you pronounce the word “gyro.”
The Isthmus of Panama is an underrated tourist spot.
Back in my day, poltergeists were only considered mischievous spirits.
The shorter way of saying otorhinolaryngologist is ENT.
Two-thirds of penguin species are threatened, making them one of the most endangered seabirds.
Visiting quiet rural places like this makes me happier than living in busy cities.
The sixth man from the left is my grandfather, and sitting on his lap is my brother.
A squirrel‘s teeth never stop growing, so it must gnaw constantly.
Tricky Words for High School Students
Being in high school is fun and exciting as it opens one’s mind to more complex words and language use. High school-level writers who want to improve their vocabulary should consider using these words often.
Your antipathy to capitalism is palpable in your writing.
Drew’s audacious screaming caused alarm in the quiet hostel.
Gerry told me that his experience with martial arts was cathartic.
Conscientious people are more likely to be organized, self-disciplined, and detail-oriented.
The peaceful activists wanted their political party to deliver a diplomatic demarche.
My brother and father deprecate needlessly talkative people.
The village revealed in the gaiety often associated with festivities like this.
Many parade goers enjoyed the superstars’ genial waving from their floats.
We will not accept your indefeasible comments.
Young leaders like Lily have an intrinsic sense of belonging and responsibility.
Everybody saw how his bodyguards protected the magnate during the incident.
This young lad gave us a clue about where we’ll find prodigious riches in precious stones.
Ludwig wrote this story as a requiem for his late lover, Feliciano.
Romano’s shrewd and straightforward nature often kept people away from him.
The court decided that Sorcha’s actions were tantamount to an admission of guilt.
Francis is great at writing musical poetry, thanks to his specialties in troubadour arts.
Tricky Words for College Students
There will never be a shortage of new English words to know. So, even in university, you will still encounter some tricky ones. Many college students regularly misspell the following words. Master these to avoid unwanted mistakes in your college writing.
The team wanted to accomplish a lot of things within a short time.
Warren’s ingenious systems made it possible for us to create this machine.
Your minuscule servings made people think you were cheap.
Paying the mortgage is Veronica’s top priority.
I saw a dark silhouette waving from the bathroom mirror beyond the open door.
Did the actor’s soliloquy make you empathize with him?
Johnny’s temperament is something few people have.
Modern technology holds a ubiquitous privacy risk.
In short, scientists figured out that space was a vacuum by climbing mountains.
We saw them holding hands at the park last Wednesday.
Tricky English Words Spelled Differently in the US
British English and American English are very alike. However, the few differences they have often confuse writers. Below are American English words that some people mistake for British English.
My dad loves to collect analog recording devices because it reminds him of my grandfather.
My professor wanted me to analyze this essay critically and carefully.
Jordan will not apologize for sharing his opinions; I think that’s okay.
Anthony wanted to give you a heads-up about our unruly catalog.
Shera created a circular geometric shape with a sunflower-inspired center design.
A Doberman and a miniature pinscher can share the same color.
The author wrote a dialog that wasn’t worth filming.
Her estrogen levels were unusually low, causing her health issues.
Sheena wouldn’t enjoy Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte flavor if not for the approval it earned her.
Ironically, Sophie found gallows humor funnier now that she has a terminal illness.
Kids in my town are practical and would gladly offer a few hours of labor for cash.
More men get diagnosed with leukemia than women.
Janzen forgot to grab his driver’s license from home, so he can’t drive this time.
Irma’s neighbor would always wake up at dusk to feed her farm animals.
Gulliver and Tanya kept up the pretense that they weren’t cheating on their partners with each other.
The traveler gave Jessie a strange memento of their shared mountain-climbing experience. Read more to know how to change American English to British English.