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Can You Pass This Quiz of 4th Grade Spelling Words?

You probably haven't taken a spelling test since grade school. If that's the case, it's time to change that. No peeking at a dictionary or Google for this quiz of elementary school level, but surprisingly tricky, words.

describes deeply held valueNicole Fornabaio/

Which of these words describes a deeply held value or unbreakable rule?

A. Principle

B. Princeple

C. Principal

principleNicole Fornabaio/

A. Principle

For example, cheating on a test of 4th grade spelling words might get you sent to the principal‘s office. If you really want to challenge your spelling skills, get a look at the hardest winning words from the National Spelling Bee.

boston is the ____ of MANicole Fornabaio/

Which word goes here? “Boston is the ____ of Massachusetts.”

A. Capital

B. Capitle

C. Capitol

capitalNicole Fornabaio/

A. Capital

States have “capital” cities, and countries have “capitals,” but legislators meet in “capitol” buildings. We totally see why that one trips people up. Here are some more confusing words and phrases you’re probably using all wrong.

means permittedNicole Fornabaio/

Which of the following means “permitted” or “able to”?

A. Aloud

B. Allowed

C. Allowde

allowedNicole Fornabaio/

B. Allowed

It might sound identical to “allowed,” but “aloud” actually means the same thing as “out loud.” For example, “I’m not allowed to play my music aloud when my baby brother is sleeping, so I use headphones.” Just a few letters can make a big difference. Try naming these states without using vowels!

kind praising statement someone makes to someone elseNicole Fornabaio/

Which of the following is a kind, praising statement someone makes to someone else?

A. Compliment

B. Complement

C. Complament

complimentNicole Fornabaio/

A. Compliment

A “complement” is something that completes or increases the value of something else. “Complament” isn’t a word at all, but you might think it is because of the way most people pronounce the word. (These spelling mistakes are common–this is the difference between travelled and traveled.)

describing noticeable change or result

Which of these words is a noun describing a noticeable change or result?

A. Effect

B. Affect

C. Efect

effectNicole Fornabaio/

A. Effect

“Affect” is a verb meaning to produce a change or—you guessed it—an effect. To make matters more confusing, “affect” can also be a noun meaning a subtle display of emotion. See if you can pass this notoriously difficult test for second-graders.

i got all right ___ this oneNicole Fornabaio/

Which word goes here: “I got all these 4th grade spelling words right ___ for this one.”

A. Except

B. Accept

C. Ecxept

exceptNicole Fornabaio/

A. Except

“Accept” is a verb meaning “to allow or agree to,” while “except” is a preposition meaning “with the exclusion of.” In that way, their meanings are somewhat opposite! When you’re trying to figure out which to use, ask yourself if you’re “allowing” or “excluding.”

which means to get or take into your posessionNicole Fornabaio/

Which of these words means “to get or take into your possession”?

A. Recieve

B. Receive

C. Reiceive

receiveNicole Fornabaio/

B. Receive

This is one of the words that that old “I before E except after C” rule was created for. If you’re enjoying this 4th grade spelling words quiz, try another brain-busting test of elementary school words.

means experiencing shameNicole Fornabaio/

Which of these words means “experiencing shame or humiliation”?

A. Embarrassed

B. Embarassed

C. Embarrased

embarrassedNicole Fornabaio/

A. Embarrassed

Here’s a rule for spelling “embarrassed”—when in doubt, use double letters!

means engaged or curiousNicole Fornabaio/

Which of these words means “engaged or curious”?

A. Intrested

B. Interrested

C. Interested

interestedNicole Fornabaio/

C. Interested

If you’re interested in spelling, try your hand at this quiz of notoriously difficult words to spell.

means to misplaceNicole Fornabaio/

Which of the following means “to misplace or forget the whereabouts of” (or “to come off worse in a competition”)?

A. Loose

B. Lose

C. Louse

loseNicole Fornabaio/

B. Lose

No, you can’t “loose” your keys. But if you set your dog loose, you might lose him.

when you go to the gymNicole Fornabaio/

When you go to the gym, which of the following are you doing?

A. Exercising

B. Excercising

C. Exorcising

exercisingNicole Fornabaio/

A. Exercising

Hopefully, you’re not encountering any demons at the gym, as that’s the only time you would use the homophone “exorcising.” Here are some more homophones people commonly mix up.

means essentialNicole Fornabaio/

Which of these words means “essential” or “required”?

A. Nesessary

B. Nessecary

C. Necessary

necessaryNicole Fornabaio/

C. Necessary

C’s and double-S’s make the same sound in “necessary,” making it a tricky word to spell! Check out this funny collection of totally wrong—but hilarious—answers real kids have put on tests.

used when you talk about a topic of conversationNicole Fornabaio/

Which of these do you do when you talk about a topic of conversation or consideration?

A. Discuss

B. Disscuss

C. Discus

discussNicole Fornabaio/

A. Discuss

If Choice C also looked familiar, that’s because “discus” is a disk-throwing track-and-field event.

means absolutelyNicole Fornabaio/

Which of these words means “indisputably” or “absolutely”?

A. Definetely

B. Definitely

C. Definately

definitelyNicole Fornabaio/

B. Definitely

As in, if you got more than ten of these 4th grade spelling words right, you’re definitely a master speller! Officially feeling smarter than a fourth grader? See how you fare against these elementary school math questions.



Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.