Spelling matters. If you want to create a good impression in your writing and make sure you get your meaning across clearly, it’s important to get your spelling right.

This section contains lots of quick-reference spelling tips. For example, if you can never remember whether the plural of potato is spelled potatoes or potatos, then you can jump straight to plurals of nouns to get some straightforward advice. There’s also a handy list of common misspellings, arranged in alphabetical order of the incorrect spellings, and a guide to the differences between British and American spelling.

For more ways to improve your writing see our writing help section, or for more spelling tips see the list below:

Adding Endings To Words That End In "-our"

There are two simple rules you need to follow when adding endings to words from British English that end in -our.

"Ante-" or "anti-"?

Is it 'ante-' or 'anti-'? Find out the best way to remember which of these two spellings to use.

Does The Rule "I Before E Except After C" Always Apply?

'I' before 'e' except after 'c'. Most people know this rule, but is it accurate? This article explores the subject in detail.

English Prefixes And Suffixes

Prefixes and suffixes are some of the important building blocks for creating new words in English. Find out more about words formed this way.

How Are Adverbs Formed?

If you can’t decide if the –e in ‘comfortable’ stays or goes when you add a -y to make an adverb, our guide to forming adverbs has the answer.

How Has English Spelling Changed Over Time?

The spelling of English words is not fixed for all time. This article shows some everyday words which were spelled differently in the past.

How to add endings to words that end in a double "l"

Here's what you need to keep in mind when adding endings to words that end in a double l.

How To Add Endings To Words That End In "-y"

What rules apply when adding endings to words that end in -y? Find out in this short guide.

How to add "-ful" or "-fully" to a word

There's one common mistake people always make when adding -ful to a word. Here's how to avoid it.

How to add the ending "-ly" to words

The ending -ly is often added to adjectives and nouns. Here's all you need to know about how to use it correctly.

How to form comparative and superlative adjectives

Forming comparative and superlative adjectives can be more complex than just adding -er and -est. Find out how to spot adjectives that do things differently.

How To Use Capital Letters

There are a number of situations where capital letters are needed. Are you confident that you know them all? Have a look at our guide to using capital letters.

How Words Are Built: Combining Forms, Prefixes, And Suffixes

Have you ever wondered how words are formed? This extensive list shows a selection of suffixes, prefixes, and combining forms

Is it "fore-" or "for-"?

Sometimes you get as far as ‘for-‘ then it’s hard to tell whether ‘-e-‘ comes next. This guide will help you figure out when it’s ‘fore-‘ and when it’s ‘for-‘.

Plurals Of English Nouns

How do you form plurals of nouns in English? While many just need ‘s’ added to the end, some do change their endings. Here’s a quick guide to figuring it out.

The most common English misspellings

English’s sometimes bizarre (not bizzare) spelling can give anyone a headache; luckily, we make it our business (not buisness) to clear up common errors.

These words have misleading prefixes

Ever tried to look up a word in a dictionary and not been able to find it because of the way it’s spelled? We look at some words with misleading beginnings.

Tracking the changes

How does Oxford Dictionaries keep track of changes to existing spellings? And when does a new spelling find its way into one of our dictionaries?

Verb Tenses: Adding "-ed" And "-ing"

Adding -ing or -ed to verbs is normally pretty simple, but what happens when you have a verb ending in -e, -t, or -l? Our guide to verb tenses has the answer.

Words Containing The Letter "Q"

‘Q is always followed by u’: this is one of the rules you’re taught early on when learning English. But it’s not true of the words on this list…