The Tutoring Center, Santa Clara CA



Help Avoiding Common Spelling Mistakes

Here are some mnemonic devices to help you remember to distinguish these words. The mnemonic devices are only suggestions. Use whatever works best for you.

Ascent vs Assent

"Ascent" come from the verb "ascend" and means to climb. "Assent" means agreement. To tell them apart, remember that when you climb a mountain, you get a "scent" of fresh air.

Pray vs Prey

To "pray" is to speak to a deity. To "prey" is to hunt, or it is a noun meaning the object of a hunt. Remember that "prey" has an "e" because it gets eaten.

Lie vs Lay

These words are very commonly misused. "Lie" is for people and animals and has the following tenses- lying, lay, and has/have lain. Thus the confusion, because to "lay" means to put something down. Lay's tenses are laying, laid, and has/have laid. Remember that people can tell lies, so they lie down.

Reign vs Rein vs Rain

To "reign" is to be in power, or a period of power. "Rein" comes from a strap to control horses and means to control or guide. "Rain" drops from the sky and gets you wet. The "g" in "reign" stands for government and the "a" is in "rain" because, "A, I'm getting all wet!"

Dual vs Duel

"Dual" means two of something, having two parts. A "duel" is a fight between two people. "Duel" has an "e" because it involves two "enemies".

Overdo vs Overdue

To "overdo" is to do something excessively. "Overdue" means something that is late.

For Tutoring in Santa Clara, CA

Our expert tutors have mnemonic devices for every learning style. Call The Tutoring Center in Santa Clara at 408 816 7825 for a free diagnostic assessment. The results of this assessment determine the best individualized program for your child. For more information, check us out online.


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