It’s time for another entry into the hard words to spell in English list: “How do you spell answer?” Yes indeed, writing out “answer” stumps many people, but never fear — with this article, you’ll learn two funny and memorable ways to remember the correct spelling of “answer” forever.
How to Pronounce Answer
The main confusion with how to spell the word “answer” stems from the fact that it is NOT pronounced how it’s spelled. How to pronounce answer, then? It’s pronounced like: “AN-sr.” The “w” in the middle of the word is silent (just like the “n” at the end of column is silent), and it’s very difficult to tell from the pronunciation of “answer” which vowel goes before the “r.” (The word “separate” has a similar pronunciation issue.)
Spelling Answer WRONG
Given the confusion due to the pronunciation, common misspellings of the word “answer” include: anser, antser, awnser, awnsir, awnsur, awenser, answur, answir, ahnser, aynsir, antswer, ansir, antsir… and more. Ready to learn the tricks to remember the CORRECT spelling of “answer?” Let’s go.
Answer Spelling Trick 1:
To remember the silent “W” in the middle of “answer,” visualize the cartoon I drew for you, above: a Whale in Water asking “Why?” This image should help keep that “W” in your mind, especially because the question “Why?” is the perfect match for “Answer.”
Why is that? Because the definition of “answer” is: a response to a question or situation (noun) or the act of making a response (verb). When someone asks “Why?” you give them an ansWer.
Trick 2 for Spelling Answer:
Ok, now we’ll get a little sillier in our memory tricks — but sometimes silliness is the best way to learn something. To help you remember every letter of the spelling of “answer,” I’ve created the mini-story above: Annie Needs Some Wild Earrings — Really! Aww, that woman named Annie REALLY needed those giant bangles to look her best! Hehe.
At the very least, my hope is that this cartoon illustration of Annie will help you remember that there’s an “E” (for “Earrings”) before the “R” in the spelling of ANSWER. Well, either that, or it will give you a burning desire to buy some fabulous jewelry!
VIDEO: Answer Spelling
How to Spell Answer and Pronounce It, in Sum
Hopefully these tricks will help you remember how to spell “answer,” even though the word is pronounced differently than it’s spelled! I’m curious to hear from you in the comments section: which way have you misspelled it? What other words or concepts would you like me illustrate? Do share!
Want more spelling memory tricks? Check out my English lessons: “Spell Definitely,” “Spell Dilemma,” “Spell Rhythm,” and “Loose vs. Lose.” Want to hear a beautiful song with the word “Answer” in it? Listen to “Answer Me” from the musical, The Band’s Visit.
The author and artist, Lillie Marshall, is a National Board Certified Teacher of English who has been a public school educator since 2003, and an experienced Reiki practitioner since 2018. All art on this site is original and hand-drawn by Lillie. She launched DrawingsOf.com Educational Cartoons in 2020, building upon the success of her other two sites, AroundTheWorldL.com (established 2009) and TeachingTraveling.com (founded 2010). Subscribe to Lillie’s monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media to stay connected!
Tuesday 9th of August 2022
The mnemonic (another good candidate for a spelling tip!) reminds me that we created one in a religion class at my -shocker- Catholic school to remember the names of all the disciples and I still remember it 30 years later: Jolly And Jumping People Bounce Together Merrily Just To Stay Jolly - and Judas, lolol
Tuesday 9th of August 2022
Wow! Thank you for that, and for being the person who requested this article on spelling "answer!" The word "mnemonic" has been on my list, too -- I'll move it higher to the "To Draw" pile.