How to Auto-Correct With Auto-Correction Turned Off
If you want to have your cake and eat it too, you can still use auto-correction without having it correct your typos automatically as you type. By default, spell checking is turned on for your iPhone or iPad. So long as it remains on, you can tap any misspelled words to see a pop-up menu with three choices for correcting the misspelling.
You can tap out a message and then go back through your misspelled words and quickly change them to the correct spelling.
Pay attention to Predictive typing, which is also turned on by default and configured in the same keyboard settings screen. Predictive typing suggests words as you type. If you are typing a long word, keeping an eye on the predictions across the top of the keyboard allows you to use one tap to complete the word.