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  • I remember stationery vs stationary by thinking about shops that sell stationery as stationers.

    Also, definitely: definite has a *finite* centre

    Accommmodation can accommodate two doubles.

    I still struggle to get to grips with practise/practice though, and to spell separate.

  • Stationery includes envelopes.
    There’s ‘a rat’ in ‘separate’
    Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move
    There’s a lie in what you believe.
    A piece of pie
    Don’t forget to get vegetables
    I’ll be your friend till the end
    Big Elephants Can’t Always Understand Small Elephants
    Be careful though (this isn’t a mnemonic!), mnemonics should only be used as a last resort. They are a crutch and stop you really learning the spelling – ie writing it automatically without thinking.


  • My year 3 teacher taught us: you FRI (fry) the END of your FRIEND
    This one I think I made up when I was 9: when you say ‘necessary’ you can hear two ‘ess’ sounds so there are 2xs (ss), but only one c. That’s not quite concise but I still use it if I hesitate.
    One thing that works for me sometimes is understanding the etymology of a word; http://www.etymonline.com is a great resource if you can’t access OED. And I think a lot of students are interested in where a word comes from. For example, jaundiced always seemed a really obvious word to me because I knew it came from the French ‘jaune’ which meant yellow.

  • These are great, thanks everyone! Keep them coming.

    Jodie – I still remember ‘necessary’ as Never Eat Cake Eat Sandwiches Sometimes And Remain Young, which I learnt in Primary School.

    Don’t forget, Macmillan Dictionary has lots of spelling and word history information on offer.