During translation errors of aminoacylation are corrected in editing reactions which ensure that an amino acid is stably attached to its corresponding transfer RNA (tRNA). Previous studies have not shown whether the tRNA nucleotides needed for effecting translational editing are the same as or distinct from those required for aminoacylation, but several considerations have suggested that they are the same. Here, designed tRNAs that are highly active for aminoacylation but are not active in translational editing are presented. The editing reaction can be controlled by manipulation of nucleotides at the corner of the L-shaped tRNA. In contrast, these manipulations do not affect aminoacylation. These results demonstrate the segregation of nucleotide determinants for the editing and aminoacylation functions of tRNA.