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 (7 votes)
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Tue, 01/01/2019 - 07:25

In reply to by Mihalev


Hello Mariyan

I'm afraid I don't understand what the sentence means, either, but I put this down more to not knowing enough about the insurance industry. For example, is a 'damage tree' a kind of insurance term? Or are you speaking about some trees that were damaged? If it's the latter, then it should be 'damaged trees'. I might also say 'implicated parties' if that's referring to people. In short, if you could explain what you want this sentence to communicate in other words, we'll be happy to help you understand it.

All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Martou_1234

Submitted by Martou_1234 on Thu, 07/06/2018 - 17:48

But now, i know it's very important to take attention when you write an email before you send it. And verify if something is bad.
Profile picture for user Martou_1234

Submitted by Martou_1234 on Thu, 07/06/2018 - 17:43

That was very important for me,and i am so happy to make exercises. Because, i usually make mistakes about spelling , punctuation...
Profile picture for user benleng

Submitted by benleng on Wed, 25/04/2018 - 09:24

Which is proper: Each of you is/are allowed to make a presentation.

Hello Ibe Ben,

Normally a singular verb ('is) is used here, though sometimes in informal situations some people might use a plural one. I'd recommend you use the singular one, however, as it is the one that is traditionally considered correct.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team