Spelling Mnemonics: Tricks to Learn Irregularly Spelled Words (2023)

There is a hell’ in Hello’, lie’ in Believe’ and if’ in Life’. Sounds like a life lesson, doesn’t it? Well, these are actually tricks to remember the spelling of the trickiest parts of those words. Otherwise, one might spell them Halo’ or Belive’.

The above mentioned trick is one of the most used techniques to teach students the correct spelling of a word.

It is called a spelling mnemonic, a device often used to teach words with irregular spelling.

Does the term sound foreign to you?

It isn’t.

Spelling Mnemonic Definition

So let’s start with the basic. What is Spelling Mnemonic?

Mnemonic is a tool or procedure used for improving memory. It takes information from what the learner already knows and connects those information with the target word or any other content.

Simply put, it helps us learn a new thing and remember it through sentences, images etc.

This way the learner can relate the newly learned content to their familiar things; therefore, becomes familiar with the content faster.

There are multiple techniques of mnemonic including phonetic mnemonics, spelling mnemonics, keywords, acronyms, the Yodai’ method etc.

When to Use Spelling Mnemonics

Consider the word Queue’. It is difficult for children or ESL students to remember the spelling of a word that sounds only like the first letter. That is where the mnemonics come handy.

Spelling Mnemonics are the best for spelling the words that doesn’t follow the traditional spelling rules. Here are some of the cases:

Silent Letter

Words with silent letters are tricky to spell, especially if you’re using phonetic spelling methods. For example:

  • Silent-C: Muscle, Scene, Conscious
  • Silent-D: Edge, Knowledge, Wednesday
  • Silent-G: Reign, Design, High, Gnome
  • Silent-K: Knowledge, Knight, Knit
  • Silent-T: Often, Listen
  • And many more

Double Letters

Some of the words contains double letters that can’t be heard when pronounced such as

  • Double-O: Zoo, Book, Spoon
  • Double-P: Happy, Disappoint
  • Double-E: See, Bee, Eel, Fees, Knee
  • Double-S: Assumption, Blossom, Processing

What other words with double letters do you find hard to spell?

(Video) Nessy 1-Minute Spelling Strategy | Learn How Mnemonics Can Help You Spell Tricky Words | Sight Words

Irregular Spelling Patterns

These types of words often sound different than they are spelled. The spelling rules are also invalid in these cases. For example:

Long e

Short e

Long a


Leaf, Plead








Achieved, Believe




Gain, Plain

Learning phonetic spelling can help you understand the proper pronunciation. Check out examples of phonetic spelling to accelerate your learning speed.

Common Irregularly spelled words

Cold, Brought, Eyes, Father, Enough, From etc.

Make Your Own Spelling Mnemonics

It is a proven fact that you remember topics better when you have some practical experience them rather than simple memorizing facts. So obviously, the best way to remember a spelling mnemonic is to make one yourself.

The process itself helps you to understand and remember the spelling better. You can make your own strategies, assign words that are easier for you to remember. Here is how you make your own mnemonic:

Sentence Making

  • Take the first letter of the word to remember and assign a word
  • Repeat it till the end of the word.
  • Make a sentence with the assigned words. It is okay if it doesn’t make much sense! The sillier they are, the better.
  • You can change the assigned words to make the sentence easier to remember.
  • It’s a clever idea to assign the new word to the first letter and make a sentence related to it.


Does: Dad only eats sardines.

Sail: Sail Across Inari Lake

Rhythm: Rhythm Makes Your Two Hips Move

  • You can assign a word to a chunk of letters instead of just one.


Friend: FRIday END

Foreign: FOR Eating Ice, Go North

Remember the Tricky Parts

  • Find the parts of the word you struggle to remember. Is it the double letters or the silent letter?
  • Assign words or items to those letter.


The word Necessary has a Collar and two Sleeves.

The word can accommodate 2 C and 2 M.

Find words inside the bigger word, make sentences to remember them.


Emma faced a dilemma.Spelling Mnemonics: Tricks to Learn Irregularly Spelled Words

Be sure of your measurements.

(Video) Can YOU pass this spelling test? 98% CANNOT! 50 most MISSPELLED words (+ Free PDF & Quiz)

Here, there, everywhere!

Are you curious to find out creative spelling art activities? Check out this guide!

Online Mnemonic Generator

There are a number of online mnemonic generator that will make mnemonics for the word you need to remember. But remember, the mnemonics they generate might be difficult for you to remember. So consider them as ideas to make your own.


Spacefem is an online mnemonic generator where you need to enter the target word and they will assign a word to each of its letter. They won’t generate a functional sentence though.

The Mnemonicizer

They help you make your own mnemonics using the letters of the word you want to learn. They provide a list of words for each letter and you can also add your own.

Popular Mnemonics

You can always use the popular mnemonics that never fails. They are widely used and easy to find on the internet. Here is a list of mnemonics for words that are often misspelled:

  • Never believe a lie.
  • That liar looks familiar.
  • Miss Pell never misspell
  • I Got Hairy Toes (-IGHT words such as Light, Might, Bright)
  • Have a piece of the pie.
  • A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream. (Arithmetic)
  • Slaughter is laughter with an S.
  • You need to get her and you’ll be together.
  • Desert is sandy but dessert is sweetly sweet.
  • Can’t Open My Eyes (Come)
  • You hear with your ear.
  • Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants (Because)
  • Your principal is your pal.
  • I saw an ad for a dress at this address.
  • People Eat Orange Peels Like Elephants (People)
  • Right! I Go Home Tonight! (Right)
  • I c’ that you want to acquire it.
  • Silly Aunts In Dresses (Said)
  • Laugh And You Get Happy (Laugh)
  • I put the sass in assassin.
  • Every New Ostriches Use Green Hat (Enough)
  • An island is land surrounded by water.
  • There is always a rat in separat
  • CIA has special agents.
  • Only Cats’ Eyes Are Narrow (Ocean)
  • Oh You Lucky Duck (Could, Would, Should)

What other mnemonics do you know that might help to remember a complex word?

Spelling Rhymes to Remember

Rhymes are a fun way to learn spelling and not just kids, even older students love it. Remember the movie Matilda’ where the students learnt spelling Difficulty’ with a rhyme?

Mrs. D, Mrs. I

Mrs. F-F-I

Mrs. C, Mrs. U

Mrs. L-T-Y

Let’s spell another word using this rhyme.

Mrs. M, Mrs. I

Mrs. S-S-I

(Video) Nessy Spelling Strategy | Words Ending in 'ould' | Educational Singalong |

Mrs. S-S-I

Mrs. P-P-I

Can you guess the word? That’s right.

It’s Mississippi!

Rhyming is a technique that always comes handy in teaching spelling. Students can easily memorize Rhyme Spelling Mnemonics as they are stored by acoustic encoding in their brains.

You can make a rhyme with the letters, or you might make rhymes about the rules too. For example:

I before E

Except after C

Or when sounded A

As in neighbour and weigh


Q and U

Stick like a glue

When -ing comes to play

E runs away

(Video) Spelling Technique - Mnemonics

You can also make rhymes with similarly spelled words to remember. That makes it easier for students to remember more words.

The cat ate a rat

And after that

The naughty cat sat

On a big yellow mat

Can you make a rhyme for a word the kids need to learn how to spell? How about you teach your students to make their own rhymes?

Try these fun activities in class to keep your students engaged with the seemingly boring lessons!

Learn more about the stages of spelling development. Check out our thorough guide now!

Spelling Mnemonics for Struggling Spellers

Think about soccer. If you don’t improve your passing skill, no matter which passing technique you use, the result will always be disappointing.

Just like that, spelling mnemonics instructions are mostly based on memory techniques. So you need to improve your child’s memory skill first.

The problem with spelling mnemonic is that it misses the idea of sequential learning. And that is for valid reason as it mainly deals with the words with irregular spelling.

But for children with learning disabilities, who mostly depend on the sequence, patterns and rules, this technique might be overwhelming. They might mix up those rhymes and other instructions which leads to incorrect spelling.

However, if you teach your child the skill of memory first, then they can use the technique without much effort. You can also check your child’s progress with SpellQuiz Spelling Test and find out if they are using the instructions successfully.

But spelling mnemonics can be of special use who struggles to learn with traditional methods, namely memorization. It is helpful to those who face difficulties with specific strategies. Spelling mnemonics give them a different way to approach the words. They can get creative with building their own mnemonics.

Final Thoughts

Always make sure you remember the spelling mnemonics correctly, especially the ones you made yourself.

(Video) 5 spelling tips to improve your English

  • Maintain a notebook and write down the mnemonics.
  • Print posters of mnemonics and hang them on the wall of your room or classroom.
  • Use images of assigned words and the target word.
  • Revise them once in a while.

The uses of mnemonics are not only limited to spelling learning. You can use those techniques to teach months of a year, planet names and many more. Try the methods given above to expand your vocabulary along with your students. Use SpellQuiz Vocabulary Test to assess your vocabulary collection.

Happy Spelling!


What is the mnemonic for enough? ›

Try getting your child to make up their own mnemonics for words that they always struggle with too, they can often be surprisingly inventive! Enough – Emma never orders utterly gorgeous honey (she is sweet enough!)

What is the mnemonic for difficult spelling? ›

5 Spelling Mnemonics to Help You Get Tricky Words Right
  • There's Always “a Rat” in “Separate” ...
  • Big Elephants Can't Always Use Small Exits. ...
  • Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move. ...
  • Your Principal Is Your Pal. ...
  • A Dessert Is a Sickly Sweet.
Feb 15, 2020

What are the 5 mnemonic strategies? ›

It explains the various techniques for remembering and gives examples of each type of mnemonic.
  • Keyword Mnemonics. ...
  • Chunking as a Mnemonic Strategy. ...
  • Musical Mnemonics. ...
  • Letter and Word Mnemonic Strategies. ...
  • Rhymes as Mnemonic Strategies. ...
  • Making Connections as a Mnemonic Method. ...
  • Method of Loci Mnemonic Strategy.
Sep 17, 2022

What are the 5 mnemonics? ›

If you're teaching the different steps of the scientific method, students can use the acronym mnemonic HOMER to help them remember the steps in order: hypothesize, operationalize, measure, evaluate, and replicate.

What are the 4 spelling strategies? ›

Good spellers use a variety of strategies for spelling. These strategies fall into four main categories—phonetic, rule-based, visual, and morphemic.

What are some examples of spelling mnemonics? ›

5 really useful spelling mnemonics.
  • qu - q is a lonely letter that needs you.
  • the - two heavy elephants.
  • said - silly ants in dresses.
  • because - big elephants can always understand small elephants.
  • was - worms are slimy.

What are the 9 basic types of mnemonics? ›

The 9 basic types of mnemonics presented in this handout include Music, Name, Expression/Word, Model, Ode/Rhyme, Note Organization, Image, Connection, and Spelling Mnemonics.

What is the most effective way to learn spelling? ›

Five Guidelines for Learning Spelling and Six Ways for Practicing...
  • Practice makes permanent. ...
  • Don't try to learn all the words at once. ...
  • Review, and review some more! ...
  • Practice spelling as if you expect to spell those words right when you're writing. ...
  • Use the words you've practiced. ...
  • Trace, copy and recall.
Jun 30, 2011

What is the number 1 hardest word to spell? ›

Top 10 Hardest Words to Spell
  • Misspell.
  • Pharaoh.
  • Weird.
  • Intelligence.
  • Pronunciation.
  • Handkerchief.
  • logorrhea.
  • Chiaroscurist.
Mar 10, 2016

Why can't I remember how do you spell words sometimes? ›

An injury to the left parietal lobe of the brain sometimes damages the ability to remember how to spell words. This skill is known as orthographic memory. With deep agraphia, a person not only struggles to remember a word's spelling, but they might also have a hard time remembering how to “sound out” the word.

What is the mnemonic for spelling rhythm? ›

Each word of the phrase begins with the letters of the word. So if you can remember the phrase then you can spell the word. For example, for the word 'rhythm' take the letters 'R - H - Y - T - H - M' and make the phrase 'Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move'.

How do dyslexics memorize spelling words? ›

Use cut out or magnetic letters to build words together, then mix up the letters and rebuild the word together. Use mnemonics - silly sentences where the first letter of each word makes up the word to be spelled. Find smaller words in the bigger word, for example 'there is a hen in when'

What is a mnemonic rule? ›

A common mnemonic for remembering lists is to create an easily remembered acronym, or, taking each of the initial letters of the list members, create a memorable phrase in which the words with the same acronym as the material. Mnemonic techniques can be applied to most memorisation of novel materials.

Do mnemonic strategies really work? ›

The answer is yes! Mnemonics are an efficient memorization technique because they help you learn, retain, and recall information easily. To put it simply, your brain encodes, stores, and retrieves memories. Mnemonics help improve your long-term memory.

What are popular mnemonics? ›

Mnemonics are used in remembering guitar string names in standard tuning.
  • Every Average Dude Gets Better Eventually.
  • Eggs Are Deliciously Good Breakfast Energy.
  • Eddy Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddy.
  • Every Adult Dog Growls Barks Eats.
  • Every Acid Dealer Gets Busted Eventually.
  • Even After Dinner Giant Boys Eat.

What are the four basic principles of mnemonics? ›

There are many different types of mnemonic devices which can be categorised into four main types – Acronyms and Acrostics, Rhymes and Songs, Imagery and Visualisations and lastly, Chunking. An acronym is a word (or words) formed by using the first letter(s) of the item you wish to remember.

What is the order of mnemonic? ›

Example 1. PEMDAS – Please excuse my dear Aunt Susie. PEMDAS is a common mnemonic for remembering order of operations in pre-algebra meaning: Parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, adding, and subtraction.

What is the spelling horn method? ›

The Horn (1954) method combines elements of spelling recall, written orthography, word pronunciation, visualization, and proofreading. Students proceed sequentially through each of these steps.

What is the 5 step spelling strategy? ›

Look, say, cover, write, check

With this method, your child will start with a list of spellings written down on paper. They then go through the following steps: Look at the word carefully.

What are the six most important spelling rules? ›

Q: What are the six most important spelling rules?
  • I before E except after C.
  • The Silent “e”
  • U follows Q.
  • Double Consonants.
  • Adding -ed to a word ending in -y changes the y to an i and adds -ed.
  • When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.
Apr 17, 2023

What are mnemonics in phonics? ›

Mnemonics, also known as mnemonic devices, are a technique that can be used to help us remember certain topics and ideas. There are many different types of mnemonic, and they can exist as songs, acronyms, rhymes and in many other forms. They can also help kids learn important facts and information.

What are commonly used mnemonic devices choose every correct answer? ›

The most commonly used mnemonic devices are acronyms, acrostics, rhymes, and jingles. Acronyms are words or phrases made up by using the first letter of each word in a list or phrase.

Is there an app to help with spelling words? ›

SpellingCity provides the repeated practice and multiple exposure proven to help kids learn new spelling words and remember them long-term! Better yet, kids are having fun while they learn!

What order should I teach spelling patterns? ›

Multisyllable words typically have several spelling patterns within the word. It makes sense then to teach new spelling patterns in single syllable words first, and then introduce those patterns in multi-syllable words.

What word takes 3 hours to spell? ›

The longest word in English has 189,819 letters and takes 3 hours to pronounce. This is a technical term for the chemical composition of titin. Titin is the largest known protein responsible for maintaining the passive elasticity of the muscles.

What is the shortest spelling in the world? ›

The shortest word is a. Some might wonder about the word I since it consists of one letter, too. In sound, a is shorter because it is a monophthong (consists of one vowel), while I is a diphthong.

What is the easiest spelling in the world? ›

Frequently Asked Questions on Easy Spelling Words

Some of the important easy spelling words for kids are tree, bee, doll, toy, chair, mother, father, piece, peace, camel, horse, family, friend, pony, jump, forest, deer, clouds, earth, moon, sun, jelly, bees, monkey, bull, etc.

Why do I keep on forgetting simple spelling? ›

It's just a common brain glitch called wordnesia. This problem crops up when you can't spell the simplest words.

Can the brain read misspelled words? ›

The word-scrambling phenomenon has a punny name: typoglycemia, playing with typo and glycemia (the condition of having low blood sugar). Typoglycemia can refer to to the phenomenon in which words can be read despite being jumbles, or it can refer to the ability to read such texts.

Why do I forget common words when speaking? ›

PPA is caused by degeneration in the parts of the brain that are responsible for speech and language. PPA begins very gradually and initially is experienced as difficulty thinking of common words while speaking or writing. PPA progressively worsens to the point where verbal communication by any means is very difficult.

What are the four progressions of spelling patterns? ›

The stages of spelling development are Emergent, Letter Name-Alphabetic Spelling, Within Word Pattern, Syllables and Affixes, and Derivational Relations. These stages describe students' spelling behavior as they move from one level of word knowledge to the next.

How do you remember to spell weird? ›

Weird. Weird looks so weird when it's spelled “wierd,” even though it commonly is. The well-known mnemonic “i before e except after c” does not work for weird. Another exception to that rule is to use “ei” instead of “ie” when the sound is an “a” as in neighbor and weigh.

Why is spelling hard for ADHD? ›

The spelling connection: Trouble with focus makes it hard to notice spelling mistakes. People with ADHD often leave out letters, use the wrong ones, or put them in the wrong order. ADHD can make it harder to commit words and spelling rules to memory.

What are the four types of dyslexia? ›

The 4 types of dyslexia include phonological dyslexia, surface dyslexia, rapid naming deficit, and double deficit dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disorder where the person often has difficulty reading and interpreting what they read.

Does your brain skip words with dyslexia? ›

Dyslexia: Kids affected by Dyslexia have difficulty in recognizing letters and associating them with the sounds they make. They easily forget the words they have already learnt and may also skip words while reading.

What are the 9 mnemonics? ›

The 9 basic types of mnemonics presented in this handout include Music, Name, Expression/Word, Model, Ode/Rhyme, Note Organization, Image, Connection, and Spelling Mnemonics.

What are the mnemonic codes? ›

Mnemonic codes are those codes that consist of alphabets or abbreviations as symbols for codifying a piece of information. E.g. HQ for headquarters, DLI for Delhi in train bookings.

What is the mnemonics for frugal? ›

Memory aid to help you memorize this

when you have many,it's costly.....and frugal means the quality of being economical with money or food... read it as, fru(free)+ gality(gali) free from waste(gali).

What is my mnemonic? ›

What is a Mnemonic? A mnemonic, also known as a memory aid, is a tool that helps you remember an idea or phrase with a pattern of letters, numbers, or relatable associations. Mnemonic devices include special rhymes and poems, acronyms, images, songs, outlines, and other tools.

How do you memorize a mnemonic? ›

Here's how:
  1. Take the first letter or a key word of the item to remember and write it down.
  2. Repeat for all items.
  3. Create a sentence. ...
  4. Write the sentence out a few times while saying the words that the acronym refers to.
  5. Practice reciting the items and the created sentence together until you've got it memorized!
Feb 8, 2010

What is a mnemonic using first letters? ›

Acronym. An acronym is a word that is made up by taking the first letters of all the key words or ideas you need to remember and creating a new word out of them. The word "HOMES" to remember the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.

How do you memorize all codes? ›

How to Memorize Codes: 6 Tips to Help You Retain What You're Learning
  1. Remember to Implement. ...
  2. Don't Just Watch or Read. ...
  3. Use Online Coding Tools. ...
  4. Developer Tools. ...
  5. Share Your Knowledge. ...
  6. Be Patient & Confident.
Dec 21, 2022

What is the mnemonic to spell beautiful? ›

beautiful Big elephants are ugly Big elephants always use taxis in Fulham birthday first bird dirty The dirty girl got a bird for her first birthday.

What is the mnemonic for solving word problems? ›

In the strategy presented, the mnemonic PIES is used to describe a 4-step process for solving word problems in which the acronym is described as P=Picture (draw a simple sketch) based on the situation described by the word problem), I=Information (circle key words in the problem and write next to picture), E=Equation ( ...

What is the 12 word recovery phrase? ›

The 12-word backup phrase is the key to your wallet and all the money it contains. It's a string of 12 lowercase words that is randomly generated for you when you're setting up your Atomic Wallet for the first time.

What is secret mnemonic? ›

A Secret Recovery Phrase (also known as a seed phrase or mnemonic) is a series of words generated by your cryptocurrency wallet that give you access to the crypto associated with that wallet. Think of a wallet as being similar to a password manager for crypto, and the seed phrase as being like the master password.

What are mnemonics for kids? ›

Mnemonics, also known as mnemonic devices, are a technique that can be used to help us remember certain topics and ideas. There are many different types of mnemonic, and they can exist as songs, acronyms, rhymes and in many other forms. They can also help kids learn important facts and information.


1. Top 10 Spelling Hacks For Common Words #spelling #education #spellinghacks
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2. Maria S Murray: Strategies for Teaching Irregular/Tricky Words
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3. 1 Simple Spelling Tip 📝 | Improve Your English Writing Skills
4. Nessy Spelling Strategy | Plurals -s -es | Learn to Spell
5. 1 Simple Method to Improve Your Spelling - How to Write Correctly & Avoid Spelling Mistakes
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6. Nessy 1-Minute Spelling Strategy | Learn to Spell Sight Words Using Pictures


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