Editing is a fairly long process, sometimes taking longer than writing the first draft. However, without edits and revisions, many of our favorite books would be unreadable. When a writer works on a first draft, they may not be able to see the whole picture. Things we learn about the characters later on in the book may not be as obvious for the writer during that first draft.
Writing a first draft is mostly there so that the writer, their characters and the world they live in can become acquainted. The editing stage is when everything gets tied together in a pretty pink bow, but this isn’t always enough. In addition to filling plot wholes and looking for the usual spelling mistake, there are a few words we may miss.
These words are the type that sound the same, but are spelled differently. You can see a list of examples and how to properly use them below.
To, Two and Too
- She went to the store.
- I gave my lunch to them.
- I went, too.
- I got a big bowl of soup. She got one, too.
- We bought two apples.
- There are two cars in the parking lot outback.
Then and Than
- We’ll go to the grocery store and then check out the mall.
- First we had to watch a movie and then we had a test.
- I like apples more than I like oranges.
- My kitten is cuter than your puppy.
For and Four
- I got roses for my birthday.
- We went for a walk.
- This chicken costs Four dollars.
- We cut the apple into fours.
There, They’re and Their
- I’ll be there in a minute.
- My best friend used to live there.
- They’re coming over after dinner.
- They’re visiting for a week.
- The Davidsons left their books here.
- The kids have their moments.
Here and Hear
- Can you come here a sec?
- He’ll be here soon.
- I cannot hear you.
- Did you hear that thunderstorm last night?
See and Sea
- I see you.
- Did you see that?
- Their ship just went out to sea.
- I love looking at the sea.
Past and Passed.
- They drove right past us.
- It’s in the past.
- I passed the test!
- I passed out the papers.
Ant and Aunt
- Aunt Shelly is coming over.
- Have you heard from your aunt?
- Ants are so small!
- Have you ever looked at an ant under a magnifying glass?
Your and You’re
- I’ve never seen your house before.
- Is this your dog?
- You’re just jealous.
- You’re coming over on Saturday, aren’t you?
Another common mistake is the spelling between desert and dessert. A desert is sandy and hot. A dessert is usually something sweet like ice cream. A small trick you can use to remember the difference is by looking at how many S’ there are in each word. The word desert only has one S, whereas the word dessert has two. Who wouldn’t want two delicious desserts?
There are other similar spellings, but those listed above are the most common. Even know how and when to use each of these words, I’m not afraid to admit I’ve messed up quite a few times. When you’re in that writing groove, your brain sometimes doesn’t consider the right spelling, just that it sounds right. That’s why finding and correcting these mistakes is crucial during the editing process.