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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Test your spelling
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You can keep your results secret
How's your spelling? Probably none too clever, according to the publishers of the latest Concise Oxford Dictionary

Up to half of us are getting confused over simple words and phrases, according to the team at the Oxford University Press.

  • Breakfast talked to Catherine Soanes from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, and Professor John Wells from University College London

    Try Breakfast's very own spelling test to see whether you make the grade:

    Question 1
    If you let someone do what they want, do you give them
    A: free reign?
    B: free rain?
    C: free rein?
    Question 2
    When you try to calm a difficult situation, do you
    A: diffuse the tension?
    B: defuse the tension?
    C: diffuze the tension?
    Question 3
    If you stick to the rules, do you
    A: tow the line?
    B: too the line
    C: toe the line
    Question 4
    For my exams, I've been
    A: poring over my revision notes
    B: pouring over my revision notes
    C: pawing over my revision notes
    Question 5
    On the last day of school, the children ceremonially burned
    A: there uniforms
    B: their uniforms
    C: they're uniforms
    Question 6
    The train was crowded. There were
    A: to many passengers
    B: two many passengers
    C: too many passengers
    Question 7
    The two sides reached an agreement in
    A: principle
    B: principal
    C: principel
    Question 8
    Whenever spelling was discussed, there was always an
    A: argument
    B: arguement
    C: arguemant
    Question 9
    To reach the final of Strictly Come Dancing, Natasha had to
    A: practise for 180 hours
    B: practice for 180 hours
    C: practisse for 180 hours
    Question 10
    Tony Blair is in charge of the
    A: govamant
    B: government
    C: goverment

     Press the button and see how you have done

  • The latest edition Concise Oxford Dictionary is published by the Oxford University Press on July 8 at 20

    Breakfast's spelling discussion
    Catherine Soanes and Prof John Wells

    BBC Breakfast



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