Easily Confused Words: Won vs. One

Won and One are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Won (pronounced “wuhn”) is the past tense of the verb win. It means to achieve the defeat an opponent or opponents in sport, battle, or other competition.

One (pronounced “wuhn”) is a noun.

  • It is the word for the number “1.”
  • It can mean a single object or thing.
  • It can also be used by itself to mean someone in hypothetical examples, like: “Should one need more time to complete the test, please ask the instructor.” This “one” is used in place of “you.”

The following story uses both words correctly:

Wanda couldn’t believe it: that one spectacular day she had dreamed about was finally here. After many losing seasons, her team had finally won a game against their biggest rival. They had worked so hard for this.


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