Can You Complete These Words With the Right Letter?

EDUCATION

Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: izusekt / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

You've probably seen a paragraph like this (or something similar) on social media:

"I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae."

It's curious how the human mind works. For most of us, we can read this with little difficulty. Why? Science says it's because we look at the entire word rather than individual letters. Could you read this first sentence, though, if letters were missing rather than jumbled?

"I c_uldn't  b_li_v_ wh_t I _a_ ac_ua__y rea__ng." 

That's a little trickier to decipher, isn't it? That's probably because as we're reading, our brains are trying to insert the right letters to fill the gaps. It's like a crossword puzzle for the mind! 

It got us to wondering: Cou_d y_u fi__ in t_e b_a_ks on th_s_ mi__ing le__er_? (That's "Could you fill in the blanks on these missing letters?")  We'll give you that one for free, but now we want to see what you've got. See if you can identify the letters that have disappeared from the words in this quiz. We're counting on you to r_c_ it _u_! (Want to wager a guess on that one?) 

His mother told him that his grades for the semester were not accept_ble. What letter is missing?

Just like his mother wants for his grades, we need to add an "A." The word "acceptable" is frequently misspelled by adding an "I" in the A's place. When something is acceptable, it is considered satisfactory. His grades were not. Uh-oh.

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William Arthur Ward once said, "If you believe it, you can ach_eve it." What letter got left out?

"If you can believe it, you can achieve it" is a pretty motivational quote to keep in your back pocket. William Arthur Ward was a writer, with his work appearing in publications like Reader's Digest.

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She said she couldn't go to the movies bec_use she had to work. Which of these letters needs inserted?

We guess that skipping out on a bit of fun to stay committed to your job is a good enough excuse not to join your friends at the movies. Why? "Because" you need money to pay your bills, obviously!

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People magazine puts together an annual list it calls, "People's Most Beaut_ful." What letter do they need added?

The word "beautiful" is one that is frequently misspelled – perhaps because it has so many vowels! "People's Most Beautiful" is an annual collection of the most beautiful celebrities and famous people from around the world.

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I told her I'd put it on my calend_r, but I forgot. I also forgot a letter. Which is it?

This one is tricky to spell because you may be tempted to insert the wrong letter based on how the word is pronounced. Today, most of the world uses the Gregorian calendar, which was named for its creator – Pope Gregory XIII.

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He wanted to congra_ulate her for a job well done, but he left a letter out. Which is the right fit?

We know, we know. You came within a hair of picking "D" (or maybe you did – oops!). Again, our lazier way of speaking makes it seem like "D" is the logical choice here, but it's actually a "T." Now, work on how you say it out loud!

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You defin_tely need a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle. You also need which of these missing letters?

If you don't have a driver's license and get pulled over, you're probably (definitely) going to get a ticket ... at a minimum. The addition of the letter "I" here makes this word properly spelled.

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How much experi_nce do you need to get your first job? There's a letter missing; which one is it?

It can be hard to get your first job out of college when you have very little practical experience. But, keep plugging along! Soon, you'll have your first job and plenty of hands-on knowledge to propel your career forward.

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Good dental h_giene can help prevent bad breath and protect gum health, among other things. What letter is missing?

"Y" would you want good dental hygiene? (See what we did there?) It's simple! Taking good care of your teeth and gums can help stop bad breath, protect your teeth and gums and help prevent periodontal disease.

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She needed advice about college classes so she sought out her guid_nce counselor. What letter needs plugged in the gap?

Most high schools employ a guidance counselor, whose job it is to offer students help with college classes and future career choices. A good guidance counselor can help shape a student's future!

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If you're not affiliated with either of the major political parties, you might consider yourself an Independ_nt. Which of these letters is missing?

Voters registered as Independent have made the decision to not be affiliated with either of the major political parties in the United States, Democrats or Republicans. In some places, you cannot vote in a primary as an Independent, however.

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President Harry Truman was in office when the Central Intellig_nce Agency was founded. What letter is missing from its name?

Created in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency was formed to help protect the national security of the United States around the world. President Harry Truman was in office then and oversaw its implementation.

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It was such a tiny amount; it was min_scule. What letter is missing from this tricky word?

What's a good word to describe something tiny without saying "tiny?" Try minuscule, but be sure you spell it correctly! The word "minuscule" is derived from the Latin word "minuscula."

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Amazon creates recommendations based on previous relev_nt purchases you've made. Which of these fills in the blank?

Darn you, Amazon! Every time we log in, you're recommending something relevant to our lives. The online e-commerce leader is able to do this using algorithms and data based on your previous purchases.

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The twins frequently wore simil_r outfits, but never matching ones. Which of these letters needs plugged in?

The similarity (another version of our quiz word "similar") between the twins ended with their appearance. Some twins like to dress alike, while others prefer to embrace their unique identities.

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The president's spe_ch was aired on national television. What letter completes the word?

The president of the United States gives frequent addresses, or speeches, that are covered by national news outlets, including the State of the Union Oval Office addresses. President John F. Kennedy gave one of the most popular presidential speeches of all time.

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He had sep_rate phones for his personal life and his business. Which letter correctly fills in the blank?

We'll teach you a little trick that someone once taught us: Remember, when it comes to the word "separate," there's "a rat" in the middle. This tip has saved us from many embarrassing emails.

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The NFL is cracking down on vi_ious hits by its players. What letter is missing?

The number of vicious hits in the NFL has seemingly gone down since the league started taking player welfare more seriously. Today, a vicious hit by a defensive player, for example, can result in a penalty, fine or even ejection from the game.

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The doctor's handwriting was barely read_ble. What letter do you need here?

Sorry, doctors, you most frequently get a bad rap for having handwriting that it not readable. If spelling the word "readable" is a bit tricky for you, you could always use the word "legible" in its place.

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She loved going to the movies, but she hated getting popcorn _ernels stuck in her teeth. Which is the appropriate letter for the missing blank?

It's popcorn kernels! But, there's also a spelling that starts with a "C," as in "colonel," a title/rank used in United States military circles. Have you ever gotten a popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth, though? That's the worst!

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If a zombie ever gets you, you may need to be placed in quar_ntine. What letter is missing?

A "quarantine" is when an individual is isolated to help stop the spread of a disease or infection. So, if you're ever attacked by a zombie, odds are you might be quarantined ... if there's any of us left, that is.

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He decided to buy a mus_le car instead of something more sensible. What letter will tell you the type of car he purchased?

A true "muscle" car is one that a high-performance engine and other high-quality options. Some pony cars, like Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros, are considered muscle cars if bought with specific packages.

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People who have as_hma may require an inhaler. Which of these letters completes the word?

"Asthma" is a word that definitely isn't spelled like it sounds. The condition, however, can be debilitating for those who have it. Asthma makes it difficult for its sufferers to breathe, which sometimes warrants the use of an inhaler.

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Her displeasure with the boss' decision was obvious when it needed to be su_tle. What letter is missing?

The silent "B" in the word "subtle" makes it a perennial addition to "commonly misspelled words" lists. The act of being subtle means that you are subdued or slight in your response or behavior.

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She left the house without running a com_ through her hair. Which letter should you add?

It's always a good idea to take a look in the mirror and run a comb through your hair before stepping out in the world. That is, unless you're going to Waffle House, where it's probably OK.

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He had a _nack for knowing when something wasn't quite right. What letter is needed to fill in the blank?

You may be tempted to pronounce this word ku-nack, but don't. The "K" in the word "knack" is silent, leading your ears to believe that the word starts with an "N." Not so fast, my friend. You need the "K."

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We think you're pretty han_some. No need to thank us; just tell us which letter is missing. What is it?

When someone tells you you're "handsome," just roll with it – that's a compliment! The word "handsome" has a silent "D," which can be easy to exclude, especially since we tend to pronounce it without.

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There's nothing better than bisc_its and gravy. Prove us wrong! What letter needs inserted here?

There's no denying the temptation that warm, fluffy biscuits from the oven present to anyone within smelling distance. The word stems from the Old French, who used the word "bescuit," which signified a two-step cooking process.

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Football, bonfires and pumpkin spice lattes: Autum_ is our favorite season by far. Which letter is missing?

The word "Autumn" comes from the Latin word "autumnus." Apparently, we just dropped the "us." Because of the somewhat silent "N" at the end, you might think it concludes with "M." But, "Autumn" is not complete without both.

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One of the late Prince's most famous songs was this one, "Ras_berry Beret." What letter do we need to add?

The late, great Prince wrote "Raspberry Beret" about a teenage romance. The song, released in 1985, was a part of the album, "Around the World in a Day" by Prince and The Revolution.

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Watch out for flying debri_ when you're behind large trucks on the highway. Which letter completes the word?

It's another tricky one with a silent letter; this time, an "S." The word "debris" comes from a French word spelled the same way. By definition, "debris" is trash or waste or, in the case of this question, flying particles from large trucks!

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You've probably made a trip or two in your life to Home Depo_. What letter is missing from its name?

You've probably also pronounced it (at least once) exactly how it looks: Home De-pot. The true pronunciation of this word, "depot," however stems from the French, who spell it dépôt.

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"Semper Fidelis" is the motto of the United States Marine Corp_. Which letter needs added?

It looks weird, right? Marine Corps is pronounced "core," but spelled with an "S." Here's another word with French influence, derived from the French spelling "corps d'armée." A corps is indicative of an organized group of people.

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If you want to see amazing arch_tecture, you must travel to Paris or Rome. One of these letters completes the word; which is it?

The word "architecture" describes the makeup or design of something. We typically associate it with buildings and homes, but architecture may also be something you can't see – such as the architecture of a computer network or Internet of Things devices.

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He wanted a m_mento of his trip to San Francisco, so he grabbed a baseball hat. What letter is missing here?

If you're looking to grab a souvenir or keepsake, you'll want to find a memento. If you're speaking Spanish and need a second, you might tell someone, "Un momento," which means "just a moment."

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