Scroll To Top

51 Times Donald Trump Failed at Basic English

51 Times Donald Trump Failed at Basic English

The president cannot spell.

One of Trump's many problems is a lack of spelling ability, as evidenced by his tweets. We edit them here.

Those of us who post on Twitter know that it's easy to make typos when you're hurriedly sending a message of 280 characters. But it really doesn't hurt to take a few seconds to see if you've spelled and punctuated everything correctly. The president of the United States, however, apparently doesn't take those few seconds.

Yes, we know we could call out the Donald on many things -- but for today, we'll stick to copyediting his tweets. Here's an extremely long list of extremely dumb things the president has written on Twitter.


In what might be the hugest Freudian slip of the century, Trump tweeted in early January an excerpt from a New York Post article with a glaring error. Instead of an "enormously consequential" presidency, Trump's was "enormously consensual" for a brief moment. The original tweet bearing the error was deleted and corrected the same night.

At least 16 women have accused the president of sexual assault.


The president recently announced his new national security advisor, John Bolton. When tweeting news of the change, Trump announced a "contact handover," which doesn't ring a bell for us in any language, though Trump may well have meant to write it. According to NPR national security reporter Tim Mak, the phrase hasn't been used before.

It does conjure an image of a SWAT team arriving at the White House to begin negotiations for the release of Gen. H.R. McMaster from his post, though. Maybe this could be the start of Trump's career in historical fiction?


The le(a)der of the U.S. evidently doesn't know how to spell the past tense of the job he's supposed to be doing. From where we're sitting, this actually makes quite a bit of sense.


One important part of Trump's Twitter presence is its distinct ability to bend the rules of the platform and the English language without losing its mass appeal to his base of loyal followers. What becomes increasingly frustrating, however, is when the president breaks these rules to make new ones and then breaks those rules he just set.

Instead of making threads, like someone who presumptively uses Twitter to an unhealthy extent like POTUS might normally do, the president has been known to favor 8-to-15-period ellipses that indicate his thought isn't finished. In keeping with the purest of DJT Style, we recommend consistency.


If reading the string of words "Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches" doesn't register as the subject of a sentence to you, don't worry! You're not only not alone, you're also better at writing and reading than the president. Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it.


Not only is this tweet of poor substance and style, it's part of one of those nonthreads we talked about earlier. Points for adhering to DJT Style with the ellipses, though.


Why not throw it back to the "tapp" days? It was a simpler (or better) time.


"Grammarly is a cloud-based English-language writing-enhancement platform developed by Grammarly, Inc. The software was first released in late 2009. Grammarly's proofreading and plagiarism-detection resources check more than 250 grammar rules." (And it's free.)


Possessives are hard. You can't hear an apostrophe when Fox & Friends anchors speak, so why should you have to write it? Totally understandable. But when criticizing an entire administration, maybe try to put an effort into making your argument at least superficially impenetrable.


"Looking good," Trump said, slapping the economy with his wrench. "Looking really good."


When you plug a book that praises you, be courteous enough to the author to write with actual literature in mind. No matter how much I might disagree with Howie Carr, it's a disgrace that a poor copy editor was put through the task of editing his book just to have the promo material butchered by its subject. That's what really happened.


Gerund use aside, the president's tendency to capitalize the Big Words he gets in his briefings bothers us to no end. And yes, there are no periods in USA.


Here's how we think this one might have been concocted: While $54 millionwas spent by the National Rifle Association on the 2016 presidential race, tens of millions were spent attacking Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. See the difference?


Have you ever heard of multiple drivers using the same license? I hadn't either. One driver's license per driver, Mr. President.


For this one it looks like the president began a parenthetical phrase for emphasis with that comma after "Nevada," forgot to close that phrase, and then ended up emphasizing that he doesn't know its versus it's. "Sad!"


Not a single thing about this one is redeemable. He can remember to put the period before a Twitter handle, but he can't remember to include a verb in a potentially five-word sentence?


To say nothing of the brutish cadence on this one, "will be forthcoming" makes about as much sense as the border wall. Please pause while I refill the ink in my empty pen straight from my arteries.


This Trump tweet led to renewed laughter at his errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation; the internet went wild lampooning the bizarre tweet. We know it's easy to make a typo in a tweet, and not everyone knows all the rules of grammar and punctuation, but is it too much to ask that the leader of the free world be a little less sloppy?

Hail Cesar

This tweet not only makes a questionable assertion, it punctuates it incorrectly. There is no hyphen in "nonsense." And "cover-up" is a noun -- when the term is used as a verb phrase, as here, it's two separate words without a hyphen.

Konrad Eiring,  Illinois, Track

There's no reason for the quote marks. And it should be one word.

Jack Thorne,  Northwestern, Swim

Again, we have no idea why Trump thinks he needs quote marks here. Also, we have great doubts that the wiretapping occurred -- James Comey, who was then the FBI director, said there's no evidence.

Bree Horrocks,  Purdue, Basketball

No need for these quote marks either. And "picked off," as a verb phrase, doesn't get a hyphen.

Max Showalter,  Purdue, Diver

"CEOs" doesn't need an apostrophe to be plural. With an apostrophe, it becomes possessive -- the CEO's office, for instance.


Here he omits the apostrophe where it's needed -- to make a contraction of "let us."

Anthony Friedkin The Gay Essay

In this sentence, "this year's" is possessive, so it needs an apostrophe.

Sam Johnson,  Occidental College, Football

No need for the commas here. Or the extra space.

11. Abbie Hetherington,  Oklahoma State, Cross Country

No, Donald, it's not fake news, and your predecessor actually left the country in pretty good shape. Also, "mainstream" is one word.

Wyatt Pertuset,  Capital University, Football

The stock market needs capital, but the term doesn't need to be capitalized. Also, "15-year" should be hyphenated as an adjective.


Yes, the g is next to the h, and it's easy to hit the wrong key -- but it's also easy to proofread 280 characters.

'Invictus' by Michael Stokes

"Lifeline" has no hyphen.

We Just Need To Pee

"What is going on there" is phrased as a question, so it needs a question mark at the end. And then "totally," beginning a new sentence, should be capitalized. Also: While Chicago's murder rate has spiked in the past couple of years, it's still lower than it was in the mid-1990s -- and many large U.S. cities and even smaller towns have higher rates.

'Invictus' by Michael Stokes

If you really feel honored, Donald, you'd learn how to spell it. He made a similar mistake during the campaign.

Skye Mockabee

Oh, if only he could be "unpresidented." Maybe he will be.

18. DO expect to be bumped into and have your feet stepped on.

This tweet is a perfect storm of mistakes. It should be "loose cannon," not "lose," and "instincts," in "insticts." And judgement with an e in the middle is an alternative spelling, but without the e is preferred, according to Merriam-Webster. And "because" is a better usage here than "in that."

21. DO make new friends.

While critiquing Hillary Clinton, Trump makes a spelling error, leaving the p out of "teleprompter." Fun fact: It derives from the brand name TelePrompTer, but it's now accepted as a generic term without all those capital letters.

22. DO go early.

It's pretty bad when you misspell the names of your supporters. And former Indiana University men's basketball coach Bobby Knight is a hero to many Hoosiers, although not to those who have been the targets of his legendary outbursts of temper. We don't know if he lashed out at Trump, but the then-candidate quickly deleted the tweet and sent out a new one with the correct spelling.

23. DO take cash \u2014 everywhere.

It's also not a good idea to misspell the names of cities where you're courting voters. It's Phoenix, Donald.

24. Natalie Portman

This doesn't even make enough sense to be the basis of a joke.

'Invictus' by Michael Stokes

Another city misspelled. Maybe Donald was bewitched by Kansas's largest city -- which is spelled Wichita.

Entertainers Against Texas Bathroom Bill

This is one of several tweets with misspellings Trump sent out after one of the Republican presidential debates. He gets "choker" right, then wrong. Marco Rubio had fun making fun of him for it.

Entertainers Against Texas Bathroom Bill

Here's "chocker" again, plus a misspelling of "lightweight."

28. DON\u2019T expect Folsom to change your life.

We bet Lawrence O'Donnell's smart enough to spell "dumber" correctly. And by the way, his show's still on the air.

29. DO expect Folsom to change your life.

It's one thing to disagree with a president, it's another to completely disrespect him -- such as by alleging he's not a U.S. citizen. And Trump can't even be bothered to spell President Barack Obama's name right!

30. DO keep in touch with new friends and plan for next year.

It was a great sharpener?

31. DO get your hotel room/AirBNB as early as possible.

Maybe Trump has "choker" and "shocker" mixed up.


Since we've heard Trump doesn't always pay his bills, perhaps it shouldn't surprise us that he misspells "paid."


Trump has a problem with "received." And "the next number of weeks"? It's awkward and makes no sense. In the next few weeks, maybe.


The possessive form of the word "it" is "its," no apostrophe. "It's," with the apostrophe, is a contraction of "it is" or "it has." It's a common mistake, but one we shouldn't tolerate from the leader of the free world.


Disregarding was versus were, there are two big ol' spelling errors right here. Surprising, anyone? We didn't think so.

If you've made it to the end of this list, we truly salute you. But seriously, go take a walk. Breathe some fresh air. Find some nature and soak it up. And by the time you get back, you'll have at least three more tweets to read, pick apart, and bemoan! It's a win-lose, which is the best we'll get until 2020.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Trudy Ring & Ian Martella