Language tip of the week: useful

Posted by on October 19, 2011

In this weekly microblog, we bring to English language learners more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, etc) which learners often find difficult.

This week’s language tip is about the spelling of useful and similar adjectives.

Although the adjective full ends with a double ‘l’, adjectives like useful have only one ‘l’:
✗ Find a more usefull spare time activity than driving around in a car.
✓ Find a more useful spare time activity than driving around in a car.
Other adjectives ending in -ful are also written with only one ‘l’, for example:
careful, faithful, harmful, helpful, meaningful, painful, powerful, skilful, successful
Note however that adverbs formed from these adjectives are written with double ‘l’, for example:
carefully, faithfully, helpfully, usefully etc.

More language tips

Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

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