Unit 8: Proofreading

Unit 8: Proofreading

Spelling errors make a poor impression! Learn about some common mistakes to avoid.


When you write quickly, it is easy to make mistakes. Always check your email carefully before you send it. It is a good idea to keep a list of words you have spelled wrongly in the past. Use this list to check that you have spelled them correctly. Also, use your computer's spell checker if you can. This will automatically correct spellings for you. Finally, here are a few other things to check for.

Words with similar sounds

Some words sound the same in English but have different spelling:

*Their not *hear yet. > They're not here yet.
*Wear do you want to *meat? > Where do you want to meet?

Short words

These are easy to spell, but they are also easy to spell incorrectly. Short words are the ones we type most quickly. It's easy to type some of the letters in the wrong order.

a lot *fo mistakes > of
Thank you *fro your letter > for
at *hte meeting > the

Silent letters

Many words that are common in emails have silent letters. Here are some examples (the silent letters are underlined):

know    write    wrong    forward    thought    right    interesting    Wednesday    Bye

Grammar: subject/verb agreement

You should always check that you have used the right verb in the right form. A common mistake is to forget the -s in the 3rd person singular (he/she/it).

The training *start at 9 a.m. > starts
My plane *leave at 4.35. > leaves
How long *do it take? > does
How many times *have he been here? > has


Remember to start every sentence with a capital letter, and to use a capital letter for place names, days, months, names, etc.

We will be in Newcastle with Mrs Hamilton on March the 4th, in Manchester with Dr Kassu on Tuesday the 5th, and Birmingham with Andrea Este on the Thursday.

We usually use commas when opening and closing emails, use a full stop at the end of a sentence and a capital letter at the start of a sentence. An exclamation mark (!) is OK in a friendly email, but it's better not to use them in formal emails.

Hi Mark,
Thank you very much for all your help this week. You must be glad it's the weekend!
With best regards,

Task 1




Here are the correctly spelt words: Hello, I look forward to, at the meeting, English lesson, let me know, next week, Dear John, With best regards, in the morning

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4


Language level

Average: 4 (4 votes)
Do you need to speak better English at work?
Learn to speak, read, write and understand English in a variety of work situations. Join thousands of learners from around the world who are making great progress with their English level with our online courses.

Submitted by Julia.a on Wed, 09/12/2020 - 00:28

Cool test, now I can find errors in other people's tests

Submitted by anna999 on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 23:56

I do not like to look for other people's mistakes!)

Submitted by EvgeniyKulikov on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 15:20

I figured out how to add multiple answers in the first task, so I would not make a mistake in section 5

Submitted by margarita.draganchuk on Mon, 07/12/2020 - 18:12

I took this material at the university, so it was interesting and not so difficult

Submitted by Pavel_Kharchenko on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 12:29

The tasks are very easy and are designed to consolidate the material studied.

Submitted by Nikita Maslov on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 13:48

Finding mistakes is always interesting

Submitted by vika_belan on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 13:47

I really liked the tasks, as I like to find mistakes and fix them.

Submitted by xeesid on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 11:18

Dear sir, I want to know two things in the following: “Those who are used to doing good things, pure souls, only go to the pure congregations, their heart inclines towards doing righteous things.” Here the speaker means to say that: pure souls attend only those sessions which are religious, they don’t attend bad gatherings. A. So, should it be the same you see above, or should it be like this: … pure souls go to only pure congregations… OR … pure souls go to pure congregations only … Please note the position of the word ‘only’ in all three. B. There are many people being talked about, so should it be the same you see above [their heart inclines…] or like this: … their hearts incline towards doing righteous things. Does it have to be: their heart inclines… OR Does it have to be: their hearts incline…
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 15:47

In reply to by xeesid


Hello xeesid,

All of the positions of 'only' in the sentences you ask about are possible and correct. The last one is a little more emphatic than the others.

You could say 'heart' or 'hearts' here. I of course don't know the speaker's intentions, but by using 'heart', to me it sounds as if the hearts of the pure are more similar than the hearts of the rest of us.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for your reply, sir. Actually there is a confusion. Look, if I say: There were children in the park. Their faces were shining. You see, the word 'faces', not face. As I was taught, we use plural case of limbs when our subject is plural. We can't say: I saw some kids. There was happiness on their face. Because they don't share a single face. Similarly, if there are millions of people as in my earlier question, they don't have a shared heart, but rather, they have separate hearts. Please guide.