Blog Grammar Rules Kindergarden vs Kindergarten: Which Is Correct in English?

Kindergarden vs Kindergarten: Which Is Correct in English?

Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

Published Jul 25, 2022
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Kindergarden correct spelling article

If you’re wondering whether to write kindergarden or kindergarten, you’re not alone. Many words in the English language are tricky to spell, including this one.

So what’s the right way to spell this word?

It might feel like the intuitive spelling is kindergarden because we spell the word garden with a D in English. However, the correct spelling is kindergarten, with a T instead of a D, because of the German origin of this word.

Kindergarden correct spelling

Read on to learn more about what kindergarten means and how to use this word correctly.

Contents:
  1. Is It Kindergarden or Kindergarten?
  2. What Is Kindergarten?
  3. Tips for Remembering How to Spell Kindergarten

Is It Kindergarden or Kindergarten?

Kindergarden isn’t a real word in English—it’s just a common misspelling that makes your writing look less professional or harder to understand.

Instead, you should always write kindergarten with a T.

Let’s look at some examples of how to use this word in a sentence.

Correct: My daughter will be starting kindergarten in the fall.
Incorrect: My daughter will be starting kindergarden in the fall.

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Correct: I learned the alphabet when I was five years old, back in kindergarten.
Incorrect: I learned the alphabet when I was five years old, back in kindergarden.

Correct: I know you want to be in the same class as your sister, but you have to finish kindergarten before you can start first grade.
Incorrect: I know you want to be in the same class as your sister, but you have to finish kindergarden before you can start first grade.

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What Is Kindergarten?

Kindergarten refers to a form of early childhood education. It’s the educational institution children attend before they’re old enough to start elementary school, where they learn social behavior and develop basic literacy and cognitive skills.

In kindergarten classrooms, children learn how to make friends, resolve conflicts, and work as a team. They learn the alphabet and how to read simple words. They also develop better motor skills by doing exercises such as puzzles and crafts.

The word kindergarten is used most often in American English. In America, children typically attend kindergarten for a single school year, at age 5–6, before starting elementary school.

The word kindergarten is also used in Australia to describe the school children attend before starting year one.

In England and Wales, the equivalent for kindergarten is reception, for children aged 4–5, which comes after nursery and before year one.

In Ireland, the equivalent for kindergarten is senior infants, for children aged 5–6, which comes after junior infants and before first class.

Other common synonyms for kindergarten include nursery school and play school.

Tips for Remembering How to Spell Kindergarten

Garden is an English word, while garten is not, so it may feel like kindergarten is a less intuitive spelling than the real spelling.

The reason for this is because the word kindergarten comes from the German language.

The German words kinder and garten mean child and garden, so kindergarten literally means “children’s garden.”

To remember the correct spelling, you need to remember that the word originates from German rather than English. Therefore, you should choose the spelling that feels more like German.

Another way to remember the correct spelling is to think about the fact that every kindergarten class has a teacher, and the word teacher starts with T. This is a useful mnemonic for remembering there’s a T in kindergarten.

There you have it: our favorite tips for remembering how to spell kindergarten correctly. We hope this article helps you keep your writing error-free!


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Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

Hannah is a speculative fiction writer who loves all things strange and surreal. She holds a BA from Yale University and lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her painting watercolors, playing her ukulele, or hiking in the Rockies. Follow her work on hannahyang.com or on Twitter at @hannahxyang.

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