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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

Intermediate: B1


Dear Sir:

I do have a question about the noun MEDIA. How must I teach this word, as a singular or plural noun?

Thanks for your time.
Best regards.

Hello Samavor,

'Media' can be singular or plural. If we are thinking about the media as a whole (as an institution) then we can use the singular. If we are thinking about the people or companies which collectively form the media then we can use the plural.

There are many nouns like this in English, including 'government', 'police', 'army', 'Manchester United', 'family' and many more.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thake you for your efforts. I made one mistake only, wish to get 100 % in all sections all time.

Dear Sir,
I am sorry they say about the spelling , so the meaning of this sentence isn't correct.

Best regards.

Dear Sir ,
I can't understand the following sentence : Wear do you want to meat?.
Yours truly

Dear Mr.Kirk
Thank you very much for your suggestion that is esactly what I want to say
Best regards
Andrew international

Dear Sir
Please let me know in the sentence given below' the time convenient' is correct or not
Because 'time' is uncountable and also countable Is alright to say 'the time'
eg. Let us know the time convenient for you.'
Andrew int

Hello Andrew international,

'time' can be a count or uncount noun. If you mean a specific time of day (e.g. 11.30), for example, then it can be a count noun. I'm not sure what you want to say with this sentence, but if you're asking someone to confirm the time of day that it would be convenient for them to do something, then this sentence could be confusing. I'd suggest something like 'Let us know what time is convenient for you' instead.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Could someone explain me why no common words are used in formal writing and what is difference between common words and not common words?

Hello kyawphonenaing,

It would take a very long answer to answer your question properly! In the end, it is just a convention that we speak one way and write another. It's kind of like learning about different customs.

If you want to learn more about this, I'd suggest doing an internet search for something like 'formal and informal writing styles'. There are a lot of good resources available on the internet to help you with this. If you read several examples of formal and informal emails, you'll start to see some of the differences.

I hope this helps you!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team