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  Ways to remember those tricky words


In the English language there are several words which are so similar it can be difficult to remember which one you use or even how to spell them.  Each person will, of course, experience problems with different words. 

Here are a few mnemonics, shortcuts and phrases I have come across, but I am sure you will have some of your own, so please let us know.  Send them into us at so we can add them to this page and help others -


Five Red Indians Eating Nuts Downstairs

Meggan & Justin Robertson

If you "fri" your friend he'll come to an "end".


Friends end in end.

Amante Darmanin

Friday is the end of the school week.                                                                       Luan Carter



A Negative Score Will Equal Relegation

..for those footie fans this should be an easy one to remember.

Shelagh Spurway


Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move


Rhythm Has Your Two Hips Moving                                                                     Amante Darmanin)




Amber Patupis-Retsas


Carry A Royal Rooster In A Gold Egg

JAMES and Tracey Glendinning-Smith


CH on the right  CH on the left  and (you are)  U R in the middle.

Amante Darmanin


Gary Eats Old Grey Rats And Paints House Yellow

Rhonda Courtney

or Amante Darmanin suggests

George Eliot's old grandmother rode a pig home yesterday.


Maxine Dorot has kindly shared the following tricks with us:-


People frequently spell "cemetery" with an 'a', in order to spell it correctly, simply remember that late at night all the ghosts come and and go "eeeeeeeee"!


Can't remember how many s's there are in the word "dessert" (pudding), well just think, when you eat dessert you always want "one more".

Darcy has sent in the following comments -

Remembering the difference on how to spell dessert and desert. One usually wants seconds of dessert so there are 2 s's. One usually wants less desert (I know I do, I live in one) so there is only one s.


In the U.S. (and sometimes in the U.K.) the headmaster is called the Principal.  To remind you that the ending of this word is 'p-a-l' and not 'p-l-e' remember he/she is your 'pal'. 

The word principle means a personal code of conduct or fundamental truth.



Dash In A Real Rush, Hurry Or Else Accident!


I have a feeling the children are going to remember this one although I appreciate it could be somewhat distasteful to some (sorry)

Doesn't It Always Really Run Horribly Over Each Ankle

Sarah Brown

Nikki Chaplin has sent in the following two tips used by her children -



To remind children that a Q is followed by the letter U - the Queen always carries an Umbrella.


Big Elephants Can Add Up Sums Easily

Nikki Chaplin


Big Elephants Can't Always Use Small Exits!

Caroline Noon


Big Elephants Cause Accidents Under Small Elephants

Gillian Jackson


Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants.

Amante Darmanin


Betty Eats Cake And Uncle Sells Eggs

Meggan & Justin Robertson


BEC Always Uses Silly Excuses



To distinguish between PRACTISE (verb) and PRACTICE (noun) think of ADVISE and ADVICE.   To ADVISE is the verb so PRACTISE is the verb.

Jordan Walters

To distinguish PRACTICE (noun) from PRACTISE (verb) and 

ADVICE (noun) from ADVISE (verb),

just remember that ICE is a noun and IS is a verb.

John Mihaljevic

PractiSe - verb, spelt with an s, S for sports.


PractICE - I went to the doctor’s practice and he put ice on my leg.

Ice is in practice.

Debbie Aicken


STATIONERY  meaning paper and Envelopes   

Mary Ihla

STATIONARY meaning "not moving"

This can be remembered if you think of "E" stands for Envelopes, therefore, Stationery with an "e" is paper etc. and a CAR not moving, therefore, the word meaning "still" ends in ARY.

StationAry - StAnd still

StationEry - PEns, PEncils






Anna Middleton says the following helps her class remember how to spell these words:-

"o u lucky duck"


THEIR meaning "belonging to them".

THERE meaning "in that place"

This can be remembered by "HERE and THERE", therefore, "in that place" is the one ending in the word "here".


STALAGMITE meaning a deposit of calcium carbonate formed by the dripping of water into the shape of a large inverted icicle rising from the floor of a cave.

STALACTITE   meaning a deposit of calcium carbonate formed by the trickling of water from the roof of a cave.

There are several ways to remember which is which -

  • Remember this by a stalagmite pushes up with all it's might and a stalactite holds on tight to the roof.

  • Perhaps an easier way to remember these has been sent in by Vineet -

STALAGMITE      -  From the Ground

STALACTITE       -  From the Ceiling

  • Or as Alan Ashmole suggests StalagMites Mount

A slightly risqué method of remembering the difference between stalaGmites and stalaCtites. 

Gee, the mites fly up and see the tights fall down!    

Think of ants in your pants: The mites go up and the tights come down.

Chris Roerden

(I would point out to non-English English speakers that tights are pantyhose).  


In fabric which direction do the warp and weft run.

WEFT goes left to right across the fabric.

WARP goes vertically top to bottom.

Weft = left to right, therefore, warp must be top to bottom.


It is NECESSARY to have one (C)ollar and two (S)leeves

Katie Sassoon

Or you can use the following phrases to remember how to spell this word.


Never Eat Cucumber Eat Salmon Sandwiches And Remain Young


Never Eat Crisps Eat Salad Sandwiches And Remain Young  

Jaimie Ramsay


Never Eat Chips Eat Salad Sandwiches And Raspberry Yoghurt.   Unlike the variants on your web site, this carries a very sensible health message that does not breach trade description legislation!    


Never Eat Cress Eat Salad Sandwiches And Remain Youthful.


A vicar has one collar and two socks. - NECESSARY

Amante Darmanin

I can't guarantee the sandwiches work, but hope the phrases help!


A Red Indian Thought He Might Eat Toffee In Church

 Kate Williams.

It has been brought to my notice that the term "Red Indian" is offensive to some people so perhaps the following is a less sensitive alternative.

A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream

Don't forget if you have any of these little "tricks" or your own, please share them with the rest of us.


Mrs D, Mrs I, Mrs FFI, Mrs C, Mrs U, Mrs LTY

Fiona Flynn


On occasion, you might travel over two seas, but seldom on successive sojourns.



Occasionally, you might travel over two seas, but seldom on successive sojourns, excepting to visit an ally.

Peter Dunn


Ducks Eat Apples Rotten

Meggan & Justin Robertson


Eat Quickly U (as in you) Are Late

Meggan & Justin Robertson


There is a lie in the middle of believe and belief

Never believe a lie

Alex K


A Secretary has a secret.


Two cots need two mattresses in any accommodation.


There is a rat in separate.


There is a parachute in separate.


Old elephants usually manoeuvre poorly.


You take the bus to business.


Sue Rogers, a teacher at Chipping Hill Primary School, Witham. Essex contacted me saying that some of her class were having difficulty remembering how to spell BEAUTIFUL. They came up with the following which they thought maybe of help to others:

Big Elephants Are Under Trees In Forests Until Light

Thanks to all the pupils in Mrs. Rogers class at Chipping Hill Primary School


Being Evil is Always Ugly - tiful

Anya Carroll and Mum

To be beautiful is to be yourself, be authentic.

Alex K


Mysticile Island Sitting Silently Eating Dinner

Kimberly Woolley


Sally Ann Is Dancing

Lucy Stevens

Sam Ate Iced Donuts  (doughnuts)

Karen Hopps


Wonky Hats Always Topple

Karen Hopps



JeaLOUSY is a LOUSY feeling.

Alex K




KNARESBOROUGH (an historic market town in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.)

Kings Not Always Read Easy Story Books Or Ride Old Ugly Green Horses.

Becky Clarke

Becky was also searching for a Mnemonic to help her 6yr old with the spelling of Gymnasium - I came up with the following which is not that good but may help some.

Give Your Mum Nuts And Strawberry Icecream Until Monday

Other examples can be see here and, if that is not enough you will find more on this page and several other pages on the site - why not check out the Library Index to see what else you can find!

Mnemonics, Palindromes and word related items of interest




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