Still working on that NaNoWriMo novel? Whether you’re trying to churn out a 50,000-word novel or just sticking to short stories for now, impeccable writing skills are key to success in the long run, and that includes proper grammar and spelling of everything from simple words to long phrases and idioms. There are plenty of everyday expressions that we’re used to hearing but not reading or writing, and this often leads to misspellings. It never hurts to keep notes of these misheard idioms for future reference, which is why I compiled another list of words and phrases from the Elevate – Brain Training app, this time from the Expression game.

So continuing on a trend of writing lessons from Elevate, here are 14 common expressions that you may be writing incorrectly. Enjoy!

elevate_expression1) All of a sudden: an alternative expression for “suddenly”. Write “all of a sudden”, not “all of the sudden”.

2) Compliments of the house: indicates that something is being given for free. Write “compliments of the house”, not “complements of the house”.

3) Couldn’t care less: expresses a complete lack of interest. Write “couldn’t care less”, not “could care less”.

4) Deep-seated: describes something firmly established at a profound level. Write “deep-seated”, not “deep-seeded”.

5) Due diligence: the reasonable steps taken to satisfy a legal requirement. Write “due diligence”, not “do diligence”.

6) En route: a French expression meaning “during the course of” or “on the way”. Write “en route”, not “on route”.

7) For all intents and purposes: indicates that a concept applies in all important respects. Write “for all intents and purposes”, not “for all intensive purposes”.

8) Free rein: indicates freedom of action or expression. Write “free rein”, not “free reign”.

9) Harebrained: describes an idea that is rash or ill-advised. Write “harebrained”, not “hairbrained”. (Thanks to Robert Kirkendall for this one!)

10) Lo and behold: presents a surprising situation with the suggestion that it could have been predicted. Write “lo and behold”, not “low and behold”.

11) No love lost: indicates a mutual dislike between parties. Write “no love lost”, not “no love loss”.

12) Rife with: denotes that someone or something is full of a given emotion or idea. Write “rife with”, not “ripe with”.

13) Sleight of hand: dexterity typically used in performing tricks. Write “sleight of hand”, not “slight of hand” nor “slide of hand”. (Thanks to M.C. Tuggle for this one!)

14) Through the wringer: indicates subjecting someone to a stressful experience. Write “through the wringer”, not “through the ringer”.

Have you ever gotten any of these expressions wrong? What other expressions would you add to this list?

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