Improve Your English Vocabulary with over 140 Tricky Words
3.9 (31 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,441 students enrolled

Improve Your English Vocabulary with over 140 Tricky Words

Memory tricks for confusing words to improve your work, for homeschool, business and foreign English learners.
3.9 (31 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,441 students enrolled
Created by Criss Ittermann
Last updated 4/2016
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Tips and tricks covering more than 70 of the most difficult English words to tell apart
  • 12 quizzes and a project to help you test your understanding.
  • Learn mind tricks to remember English words that sound alike
  • Write more confidently in English
  • Get your point across more accurately when writing in English
  • Improve written English test scores
  • Comprehend and communicate better on social media
  • Avoid some embarrassing auto-correct mishaps on mobile and computer devices
  • Improved understanding of spoken English
  • A desire to learn, ask questions, and interact with others
  • Conversational English is very helpful for this class
  • Intermediate level spoken English
  • A written or reading English vocabulary of 500-1000 words or more is helpful, but not necessary

7/12/15 update: 6 new lectures were added, all closed captioned. This brings the course from "over 70 tricky words" to OVER 140 TRICKY WORDS!

Note: All lectures are closed-captioned to help you understand the content. This course mainly covers US-English word use.

"...I like the visual illustrations to help remember as I am a dominant visual learner..." -- Erika

"...This course was well thought out..." -- Gary

"...this is the most fastest and easiest method to memorise vocabular[y]..." - Shane

"....such a great way to remember!" - Angelika

Build confidence in your English writing skills.

You can perfect your use of confusing English words, such as the sound-alikes "write" and "right" which mean something very different. This course will help you remember which word is the correct word, and you will learn and practice 144 commonly mistaken words.

You need to write these words when:

  • job hunting
  • running a business
  • work
  • school
  • social media
  • blogging
  • texting and emailing

Improve your English writing with verbal, visual and story-like tips on knowing the correct word to use. You can tell the differences between common problem words in English.

  • Look more professional
  • Avoid miscommunications
  • Say what you mean
  • Make a great first impression

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the course. Search on my name and my instructor page will come up in the results.

Enroll today and improve your writing right away!

Who this course is for:
  • People familiar with conversational English but who need to sharpen their English writing skills
  • Homeschoolers, homeschooling families
  • International English students
  • Advanced English learners who are still making mistakes with homophones (words that sound alike)
  • Intermediate English as a Second Language learners
  • Intermediate English as a Foreign Language learners
  • Business people
  • Native English speakers who make common mistakes with words that sound alike
  • Anyone who wants to improve their English writing
  • Lectures are closed captioned to improve listening comprehension
Course content
Expand all 28 lectures 01:42:20
+ Introduction & Housekeeping
3 lectures 02:35
  • Why you need this course
  • Tricky words
  • Learning by hearing, not reading
  • Hard to remember
  • English is not always phonic
Preview 01:49

    A little about me, and my background. I am not an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. I am a native English speaker, writer, poet and professional brainstormer. I make mistakes. Please catch me!

    Photo of Criss by Nuby DeLeon of ND Pro Media.

Preview 00:46

A document that you can print if you would like to track all the 140+ words we are covering in this course. Please feel free to make suggestions of other words to be added in the future, and I will add them to the list.

April 12, 2016: Version update: 5.1 includes a preliminary list of the 70+ words I plan to add to the course in the next 1-2 months.

What words are covered in this class? - version 5.1
3 pages

Do you need this class?

4 questions
+ Very Common Tricky Words
6 lectures 26:34

Even in lecture descriptions in this course, there are many common words that have sound-alikes in English. And there are two ways to get them right: you can memorize these words, which can take a long time, or you can prepare a mental trick, a mnemonic, that you can use to remember the right word. I used bold to highlight words in the lecture descriptions which apply to the current lecture, and italics for the words that you will find in another lecture. Now you can see some of the words in sentences and paragraphs as you go along.

Crown photo by Jason Train (Flickr, CC-By).

Introducing Very Common Tricky Words

It's almost impossible to write a sentence in English without using some of these words. For example, one (person) might try to write two sentences to describe a lecture and find that you wrote "to" three or four times.

Crown photo by Jason Train (Flickr, CC-BY). Goat/Horse/Turkey photo by galendara (Flickr, CC-BY).

Preview 05:51

Hi! In this lesson, we're going to learn about the words that allow us to meet people, make dear friends, and offer to buy them breakfast in the morning. It's almost impossible to get by without getting these words right.



Number & Greeting Quiz
6 questions

It's time for those dreaded apostrophes! How will you improve your written English if they're always putting apostrophes in the middle of their words? In this lesson, you're going to learn when to use the apostrophes, when not to, and the meanings of words that sound exactly like those tricky possessive pronouns and their sound-alike contractions.

Watch photo by Joe Haupt (Flickr, CC-BY).

Preview 06:47

Here's (here is) a quiz to help you with your understanding of possessive pronouns. Remember that possessive pronouns never have an apostrophe, and watch out for real nouns.

Possessive Pronouns Quiz
4 questions

Now we're going to cover some words which have loose similarities, but are commonly confused anyway. I thought I would add them to the course because it's better to learn these words than to make mistakes when you're writing.

Bonus Tricky Words
Bonus Word Quiz
4 questions

This wraps up our first section of the course. In this lecture, we do a very quick review of vocabulary with some hints for you to remember what you've learned.

Very Common Tricky Word Roundup

This is a test of all the words and bonus words in this section.

Section Quiz One
2 questions
+ Tricky Verbs
8 lectures 34:31

Next we go on to tricky verbs. After this section you'll be more certain that you're choosing the right action verb in your sentences.

Introducing Tricky Verbs

In this lesson we will go over the most confusing verbs and their sound-alikes. It may be hard to accept, but it would be great to write our English words right.

Fountain pen photo from Morguefile.

Tricky Action Verbs (Part 1)

You're doing great here! You are learning how to take the words we hear and break them down in understandable ways. After this lesson you can take a break, or you can go on to our next quiz.

Fresh grated cheese photo by Jay Davis (Flickr, CC-BY-ND). Grate discrepancy by JD Hancock (Flickr, CC-BY).

Preview 06:48
Action Verb Quiz
3 questions

I hope you're not getting bored with our lessons yet, because that could affect whether you have allowed these tips and tricks to help you write more effectively.

Other Tricky Verbs (Part 1)
Other Tricky Verbs (Part 2)
Other Verb Quiz
4 questions

You've now finished the 2nd set of words covered in the course. Please make sure you take the quizzes and review what you've gotten wrong; it will help you a great deal to practice what you're learning.

Car visor photo by Gumby Nut (Flickr, CC-By).

Tricky Verb Roundup
Section Quiz Two
3 questions

I hate to boast, but being able to publish 6 more lectures today really gives my spirits a boost! I could almost write a rap song about it. If I had known about Udemy sooner, I could have added many more courses by now.

Bonus: More Verbs 1

I assure you that you will have a great time with these new words. Being aware of good vocabulary will ensure that you are employable, no matter where you end up.

Bonus: More Verbs 2
+ Tricky Nouns
7 lectures 22:00

In this section we will cover 3 types of nouns:

  • People nouns
  • Place nouns
  • Things (animals, objects, etc.)

When you're done, you will find the differences between these words much less confusing and be able to pick the right words for your sentences.

Introducing Tricky Nouns

In principle, which words you choose when you write can affect how people view you. This is great when writing to affect a council's decision, to meet with a principal about your grades, or if you need to compliment a witch to avoid being turned into a deer. Bear with my counsel, and your writing will have a greater effect.

Preview 04:01
People Quiz
2 questions

I'll often write a letter to representatives in our state council, and it gets mailed to the capital city and then is delivered to the state capitol building. I suppose they often sleep at an inn while the council is in session, unless they're getting room and board somewhere.

Place Quiz
2 questions

Like dough to a counter-top, you've stuck with me this far! Let's see if you can bear to accept more of my attempts to complement each lesson by writing barely acceptable sentences. If you're sitting there doe-eyed with fright at my writing, let me know in the discussions and accept my apology, too.

Thing Quiz
3 questions

In this section we cover over 10 tricky nouns and their sound-alikes. Of course, to make sure you get them right practice with the quiz coming up next!

Tricky Noun Roundup
Section Quiz Three
2 questions

Dear Tricky Words Student,

I'd like to ask you to take your time learning how to use each pair of words. Write them down, use them in sentences, draw rings around them to help you remember. It will help you the next time you pick up a pen or have an axe to grind.

Preview 03:37

Rather than utter any foul language, you could alter your communication style, or just stay quiet.

Bonus: More Nouns 2
+ Your Bonus Words
3 lectures 12:42

This lecture adds 16 tricky words to our list. These are comparison words and their tricky companions and sound-alikes.


Do you want some free advice? When working on your résumé, make sure you massage the wording to appeal to the reader and accurately reflect your programming experience. Before writing your cover letter, carefully appraise the salary for the position you're asking for.

Bonus: Business Set 1

The receptionist said, "One of the perquisites of already having an appointment with the doctor is that I can skip you ahead in the queue. Occasionally someone will question why you went in before them. That's my cue to put on my best smile and quiet their doubts. Patience is a prerequisite for working with patients."

Bonus: Business Set 2
+ Practice
1 lecture 00:00

Joe used dictation software to write this letter to his friend, Dave. Apparently the software made many mistakes with homophones. See if you can find all the errors. The corrected letter and mistakes are in the resources section.

1 page