Improve Your Spelling: Double Letters

One area that trips people up a lot with spelling is double letters. Some words have them, some words don't, and it's not often obvious from the way they're pronounced! Here is our list of the most commonly confused offenders.


Tip: If you are serious about improving your spelling, then Troy and I highly recommend you try the popular spelling program, Ultimate Spelling. Click Ultimate Spelling for further information.*


Keep in mind that there are major differences in the use of double letters between British and American English. In each case below the British spelling occurs first, and the American spelling occurs second.

  • abbreviate
  • acceptable
  • accidentally
  • accommodate
  • accompanying
  • according
  • aggravate
  • aggression
  • amend
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • apparent
  • balloon
  • becoming
  • beginning
  • bookkeeper
  • broccoli
  • business
  • Caribbean
  • catalogue — catalog
  • cellophane
  • chilli — chili (spice)
  • chilly (cold)
  • choose (pick out, select)
  • chose (picked, selected)
  • Cincinnati
  • collectible
  • committed
  • committee
  • commitment
  • Connecticut
  • coolly
  • counselling — counseling
  • decaffeinated
  • desert (sandy place)
  • desiccate (dry out, as in desiccated coconut)
  • dessert (sweet treat)
  • deterrence
  • different
  • difference
  • dilemma
  • disappear
  • disappoint
  • dissipate
  • drunkenness
  • dumbbell
  • embarrass
  • equalling — equaling
  • espresso (coffee)
  • exaggerate
  • exceed
  • excelling
  • finally
  • foresee
  • fuelled — fueled
  • fulfill
  • generally
  • guarantee
  • Halloween
  • happened
  • happiness
  • harass
  • hoping (wishing)
  • hopping (jumping)
  • ideally
  • illegal
  • illiterate
  • imitate
  • immediate
  • incidentally
  • innate
  • innocent
  • inoculate
  • intelligence
  • irresistible
  • jewellery — jewelry
  • labelled — labeled
  • lose (mislay)
  • loneliness
  • loose (untied)
  • magically
  • marshmallow
  • matinee
  • manatee
  • Manhattan
  • Massachusetts
  • mayonnaise
  • Mediterranean
  • millennium
  • millionaire
  • miscellaneous
  • missile
  • Mississippi
  • misspell
  • modelling — modeling
  • murmur
  • naturally
  • necessary
  • occasion
  • occasionally
  • occurred
  • occurrence
  • official
  • opportunity
  • overrun
  • omelette — omelet
  • omission
  • parallel
  • pastime
  • personnel
  • Philippines
  • Pittsburgh
  • possession
  • potassium
  • precede (come before)
  • preferable
  • procedure
  • proceed (begin or continue)
  • professor
  • programme — program
  • publicly
  • quarrelling — quarreling
  • questionnaire
  • really
  • recommend
  • reference
  • referred
  • Renaissance
  • repetition
  • roommate
  • savvy
  • scissors
  • Seychelles
  • sheriff
  • signalling — signaling
  • succeed
  • success
  • targetting — targeting
  • threshold
  • tomorrow
  • travelling — traveling
  • tyranny
  • until
  • usually
  • vacuum
  • valleys
  • vilify
  • wilful — willful
  • zoology

We suggest that you get a hold of the popular software package, Ultimate Spelling, and create a special word list using these words. The software will help you practise them until you've got them well and truly mastered!


*Troy and I recommend only products that we have tried and tested. These include Ultimate Spelling. We have agreed to receive a commission from some sales of Ultimate Spelling software because we are happy to endorse that software.

Last modified on Monday, 16 May 2011 04:35
English Language Skills (Denise)

English Language Skills (Denise)

I'm a syndicated puzzle writer, with 8 puzzle books to my name, including Word Searches for Dummies and Cracking Codes and Cryptograms for Dummies (with Mark Koltko-Rivera). I have a background in science and graphic design, and am a trained indexer. My favourite puzzles are cryptic crosswords. and my favourite books are murder mysteries and cookbooks. I am also a very keen knitter.

I write a blog all about puzzles, called Puzzling.

Website: sutherland-studios.com.au E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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