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 Ahmed Imam

Submitted by Ahmed Imam on Tue, 02/01/2024 - 11:18


Hello. Could you please help me? In the following sentence, are the punctuation marks used correctly? Could you explain more, please?
- We will be arriving on Monday morning – at least, I think so.
Thank you.

Submitted by Tahtooha on Tue, 04/04/2023 - 06:48


I think that's a very useful lesson to learn to write an email, thanks.

Submitted by Latty on Wed, 08/03/2023 - 05:03


Hi there,
Thank you for this test. It was really helpful.

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Thu, 26/05/2022 - 12:56


this is very useful information. generally, I do a lot of spelling mistakes in my email but I would like to improve it and before sending my email to someone I just check it out.

Submitted by Olga_Chernyav on Fri, 19/11/2021 - 17:59


Excellent spelling practice

Submitted by IlyaK on Tue, 16/03/2021 - 20:38

It is productive not to step on other people's rakes

Submitted by Ruffle on Fri, 11/12/2020 - 16:24

I think moderators should not delete comments with progress marks, because the site does not have functionality to confirm the completion of the course. A screenshot of the completion of each of the tasks of which about 25 in the course is not considered. As a result, students may not receive credit. Please, if it's not difficult for you, add progress marks. Thank you!

Hello Ruffle,

Thanks for your suggestion. Just so you know, while our free pages do not have progress marks, the courses available to our subscribers do track users' progress and marks. I understand that not everyone can become a subscriber, but wanted to mention it just in case.

I'm afraid we most likely won't publish comments in which users report they have completed a page, especially if there are many who do this. This is not what the comments section is for and makes it difficult for us moderators and other users to use the comments effectively for questions and answers.

Best regards,


The LearnEnglish Team