Kindergarten is one of the more commonly misspelt words in the English language, which is strange considering that most of us went there to start our early life in education. Of course, there’s a reason for the constant misspelling that we’ll touch on a little more later.
What Is The Correct Spelling – Kindergarten Or Kindergarden?
The correct spelling is kindergarten. If you want to say or write the word, you have to make sure you’re using the “t” in “garten” at the end of the word (which is the most common portion of the word for people to misspell). Even though we have “gardens” in the English language, that doesn’t mean that “kindergarden” is correct, though it’s easy to mistake it.
So, what makes it so hard to remember the difference? Well, most people don’t realize that the word comes from the German language, so they don’t know much about the language they use. You’ll find out more about what “kindergarten” actually means later in the article. For now, try and remember to use the “t” in “garten,” rather than a “d” like is commonly used instead.
How To Remember The Correct Spelling Of “Kindergarten”
Now, let’s think about the best way to remember the correct spelling of “kindergarten.” For us, the easiest way to remember it is that it’s a foreign word. Because it’s from German and not from English, you can expect to see some differences in how it’s written. They’re not trying to say “garden” like we are.
Just remember to say it aloud and listen specifically for the “t” at the end. It changes the pronunciation of the word ever so subtly.
Origin Of The Word “Kindergarten”
As we’ve mentioned already, the word “kindergarten” actually originated in Germany. It is the combination of two German words (“kinder” and “Garten”) into one word that explains what’s going on. Literally translated, “kinder” means “kid” or “child”, and “Garten” means “garden.” So, if you were to take that literally, it means that a “kindergarten” is a “child garden.”
Of course, that’s not quite what it means, though that’s kind of along the right track. Nowadays, we use “kindergarten” to talk about where children go before they’re off the right age to go to school. It’s where most of the early stages of social learning come in, and some of the simpler foundations of education are introduced to us.
Why “Kindergarten” Is Often Misspelled “Kindergarden”
There are two main reasons why “kindergarten” is so often misspelt. The first is that most people don’t know about the German root of the word. Since they’re not aware it’s German, they’d prefer to keep the word a little closer to home, and since “garden” isn’t a foreign word in the English language, it makes sense for people to replace it to say “kindergarden” instead of the correct “kindergarten.”
The other reason for the misspelling comes from the pronunciation of the word. Even if you’re aware of how to spell it, the subtle change from the “d” in “garden” to the “t” in the correct spelling of the word is barely noticeable. Unless you really tried to stress it, most people can’t tell the two sounds apart. Also, if you’re saying “kindergarten” quickly, most people completely avoid pronouncing the “t” correctly, and it just comes out as more of a “d.”
Let’s finish up with a few synonyms you can use for “kindergarten.” If you say something that doesn’t accidentally come with another spelling, then you’re good to go. Of course, if you know some other words, the best thing it can do for you helps you not to make the misspelling in the first place. Most of these synonyms are already used in other countries, though, so we’ll include where they come from, too.
In the UK, it’s common to go to a nursery before you’re old enough to start school.
Both Australia and New Zealand use pre-school, though it’s also a good synonym used in American English.
Another synonym that comes from Ireland is to refer to the place children go before school age.
Another UK variant, though this one refers more to the earliest school ages (4-5), where children still learn the fundamentals.
Martin is the founder of Grammarhow.com. With top grades in English and teaching experience at university level, he is on a mission to share all of his knowledge about the English language. Having written thousands of articles, he is an expert at explaining difficult topics in a simple language.
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