Language Tips

Spelling tip of the week – disrupt

© Macmillan
Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of spelling tips we will be looking at some of the most commonly misspelled words in English and suggesting ways to improve your spelling.

People searching in Macmillan Dictionary for the verb disrupt often search for *distrupt instead.

The reason seems to be related to frequency. While there are only 11 entries in Macmillan Dictionary that start disr-, there are twice as many beginning with the combination distr-, including distract, distress and district. While disrupt is not a rare word, it is less frequent than many of those starting distr-, so if you are unsure of the spelling it is logical to go for the more frequent letter combination that is also used at the start of some frequent words. This is the wrong choice though; there is only one ‘t’ in disrupt.

You can find some information on why English spelling is so difficult, as well as helpful tips on mastering it here. You can search for other posts in this series using the tag ‘spelling tips’.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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