Language Tips

Spelling tip of the week – pronunciation

© 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.

This week’s tip looks at a word that is frequently misspelled in searches of Macmillan Dictionary: pronunciation.

People searching for the word pronunciation in Macmillan Dictionary frequently misspell it *pronounciation. This is not surprising, since pronunciation comes from the verb pronounce which has an ‘o’ in the middle. But as with other similar verbs, such as renounce, denounce, and announce, the middle ‘o’ is dropped when forming the noun, giving us renunciation, denunciation  and Annunciation (with the religious meaning).

Pronunciation has had many spellings in the past, including occasionally *pronounciation, though the current spelling seems to have become fixed fairly early on, being pretty standard in sixteenth century texts. The sound of the word is a good guide here, and should help you remember that the noun is spelled without a second ‘o’.

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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