No matter how much you try, you can’t seem to get away from some grammar mistakes that have become so common that one could think they aren’t mistakes after all.
Whether you have a major in English or Agriculture, a writer or a salesperson, bad grammar is bad manners. Irrespective of your career specialization or where you find yourself, you must learn to do away with them.
Here, we highlight some of the common grammar errors that people make and their corrections.
Subject-Verb Agreement Mistake
The singularity or plurality of the subject and verb in a sentence must be uniform. Use singular verbs for a singular subject and vice versa.
Wrong: Tommy and Jane was the twin singers.
Right: Tommy and Jane were the twin singers.
I and Me
The general grammar rule is to use “I” when the pronoun is the subject in a sentence and use “me” when it is the object in a sentence.
Wrong: The lecturer told David and I to leave the classroom.
Right: The lecturer told David and me to leave the classroom.
No Comma After The Introductory Element
A comma should always come after the introductory element in a sentence. It allows the readers to pause slightly after reading the initial part to understand the sentence better and avoid confusion.
Wrong: By the time she woke up he was already gone.
Right: By the time she woke up, he was already gone.
Every day and Everyday
“Every day” is an adverbial phrase that also means each day, while “everyday” is an adjective to describe a common occurrence. There is one way to know which one to use: if you can substitute it with any day of the week in a sentence, the right one to use is every day.
Wrong: He resumes work by 8 am everyday.
Right: He resumes work by 8 am every day.
Its and It’s
“Its” is used to show possession of a thing. With the apostrophe, “It’s” is only used in place of “it has” or, more commonly, “it is.”
Wrong: No one knows that its mine.
Right: No one knows that it’s mine.
Less and Fewer
“Fewer” is used for countable things, while “less” is used for uncountable things. You can also use “less” for singular numbers or total units for measuring distance, time, or amount (e.g., less than 20% of people bothered to read it).
Wrong: Less than 30 people were present for the program.
Right: Fewer than 30 people were present for the program.
A typical mistake in writing that people make is throwing commas around at will when it is not necessary to use them.
Wrong: You shouldn’t be at a place, where you’re not wanted.
Right: You shouldn’t be at a place where you’re not wanted.
Lose and Loose
These are easily confusable words, and the only thing differentiating them is the additional “o” in loose. Unfortunately, this is why many people tend to misuse one for the other. To lose is a verb that means not having something anymore. While loose is an adjective that means something is stretched or falls apart.
Wrong: We won’t loose if we do the basics right.
Right: We won’t lose if we do the basics right.
No Parallel Structure
Parallel structures are common errors that people make. Faulty parallelism has to do when some parts of a sentence have similar meanings, but they are not parallel. It is a common error in paired constructions or when listing a series of items.
Wrong: He needed to make inquiries about careers in engineering, programming, research scientist, and biochemist.
Right: He needed to make inquiries about careers in engineering, programming, research science, and biochemistry.
This grammar error occurs when two sentences are joined together with a comma instead of a semicolon or period. The comma splice is an error writers make when they use transitional words like therefore, however, furthermore, nevertheless, or moreover.
Wrong: I had other plans for you, however you didn’t execute the last project properly.
Right: I had other plans for you; however, you didn’t execute the last project properly.
All three words sound alike but have different meanings. So, it is surprising to see people misuse them and use one in place of the other. “There” refers to a location. “Their” refers to ownership or possession by two or more people, and “they’re” is the contraction of “they are.”
Wrong: They’re properties are over their at there office.
Right: Their properties are over there at their office.
Your and You’re
“You’re” is the contraction of “you are.” While “your” is used to show possession.
Wrong: Your my best friend.
Right: You’re my best friend.
Colons are used to introduce a phrase, word, clause, quotation or list, to follow a complete sentence. It shows that whatever follows the sentence explains the sentence further.
Wrong: People travel to Hawaii for: the parks, the warm weather, and the beach.
Right: People travel to Hawaii for three reasons: the parks, the warm weather, and the beach.
Apostrophes are used to show possession (Jacob’s belt) or contraction (it is – it’s).
Wrong: I went out in David car.
Right: I went out in David’s car.
Lie and Lay
“Lie” is a verb that lacks an object in a sentence. It is intransitive and does not affect any other person or thing, while “lay” is transitive, so it has an object in the sentence. This one can be confusing.
Wrong: I may not lay down.
Right: I may not lie down.
Grammar mistakes do not speak well about the people that make them, and you do not have to be a language freak to despise them. So, some of the most common grammar mistakes are highlighted for you in this article with their correct usages.
Leon Collier is a blogger and academic writer from the UK who works with EssayWritingLab as one of the professional essay writers. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on proving his worth in new and challenging writing areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.