Language Tips

Spelling tip of the week – assessment

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 for the noun assessment in Macmillan Dictionary sometimes miss out one of the ‘s’s, and spell it *assesment. Assessment comes, of course, from the verb assess, which is one of very few English words that contain the sequence -ssess. We looked at another of them, possess, in an earlier post.

Like possess, assessment seems to suffer from ‘too many of the same letter’ syndrome, although oddly enough other forms such as assessor, assessed and assessing don’t seem to cause problems to the same extent. Also, as we have often seen in these posts, unusual combinations of letters can throw people off: assessment is one of very few words in Macmillan Dictionary that contains the sequence -ssm-, and a couple of the others, embarrassment and harassment, present their own spelling difficulties.

Remembering that assess is the root of assessment should help in remembering that double ‘s’ in the middle of the word.

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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