Successful Or Successfull – How To Spell It Correctly

10.03.24 Spelling mistakes Time to read: 2min

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Correct spelling is crucial in academic writing because incorrect spelling can lead to confusion and impede clear idea communication. Often, spelling mistakes arise due to the variation in spelling rules between different languages. A common error includes the incorrect use of the word “successful.” This article will provide all you need to know about this widespread spelling issue.

The correct spelling of “successful”

The word “successful” functions as an adjective, and has only one correct way of spelling. “Successful” is made of the noun “success” and the suffix “-ful.”

It originated from Latin and evolved to “successus,” meaning “a good result.” Nowadays, the word “successful” has two related, but not identical, meanings: One being the general meaning of the achievement of one’s goal. The other being the achievement of popularity or wealth.

Correct spelling

successful

Incorrect spelling

successfull

The most common misspelling of the adjective “successful” happens by adding another “l” at the end. This can happen because the suffix derives from “full of.” Historically, speakers of Old and Middle English often prefixed other words with the modified “full” as “ful.” However, in Old English, it was also usual to add “-full” as a suffix to words without omitting the “l,” leading to later spelling ambiguities.

So, while one might be full of success, the “ful” in “successful” is, in fact, not full. The same issue happens with words such as beautiful, stressful, and grateful. Additionally, the phonetics of this word may also explain why it is often wrongfully spelled “successfull.”

Examples

  • She became a successful entrepreneur in the tech industry.
  • Their project collabouration was successful, leading to innovative solutions.
  • His successful law career was due to his commitment to justice.

Tip for spelling “successful”

Despite the difficult spelling of “successful,” there is a helpful mnemonic to remember the correct spelling.

Note: A useful tip to remember the correct spelling is that after the first “s” of the noun “success” both snake-like sounds are doubled, and the suffix “-ful” is always written with onel.

FAQs

The correct spelling is “successful” with a double “c,” a double “s,” and one L. You take the noun “success” and add the suffix “-ful” at the end.

The reason for the one “l” is that the suffix “-ful” is a shortened form of “full of,” which is then added to the noun “success.” Think of beauty, stress, and spoon and the corresponding adjectives beautiful, stressful, and a spoonful.

It has two meanings. One is the accomplishment of a goal, and the other one is the achievement of popularity or profit.

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