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Top 10 Simple English Grammar Mistakes
- April 12, 2018
- Posted by: ISpeakBetter Team
- Category: English Article Featured Article
Learning the English language is easy but mastering every element of it can be a bit tricky. In the realm of languages, there are rules that are already established that we should be mindful of. In this short article, you will find the most common English grammar mistakes that would hopefully help you in deepening your understanding of the language.
1. Subject Verb Agreement
Subject and Verb Agreement is one of the basic lessons taught to us when it comes to sentence construction. We are taught that the subject and verb should agree whether it should be singular or plural in its nature. Here are some examples:
Incorrect: The students was gathered for a simple assembly.
Correct: The students were gathered for a simple assembly.
Incorrect: Alfred write on a piece of paper.
Correct: Alfred writes on a piece of paper.
2. Its and It’s
These are two words that commonly confuse people on how they should be used in a sentence. Its shows possession while it’s is a short variation of “it is”. Here are some examples:
Incorrect: It’s fangs and claws are sharp.
Correct: Its fangs and claws are sharp.
Incorrect: Its time for our school lunch.
Correct: It’s time for our school lunch.
3. Missing Commas
In sentence construction, commas are essential in separating thoughts from one another or simply just adding a short pause while reading to avoid any confusion.
Incorrect: After basketball practice Noel took a quick shower before heading home.
Correct: After basketball practice, Noel took a quick show before heading home.
4. You’re and Your
“Your” and “you’re” are two words that are usually interchanged when used in a sentence. Keep in mind that “you’re” is descriptive and short for “you are” while “your” is possessive.
Incorrect: You have to be mindful of you’re words.
Correct: You have to be mindful of your words.
Incorrect: Your the love of my life.
Correct: You’re the love of my life.
5. Misused Pronoun References
Pronouns are used to replace and refer to a noun. Sometimes, when people use pronouns in a sentence, they often confuse their readers with who or what they are referring to.
Incorrect: Bradley fought with his brother, he was so angry.
Correct: Bradley was so angry when he fought with his brother.
In order to explain it further, the first sentence uses a pronoun that can refer to Bradley or his brother which can confuse readers. On the other hand, the second sentence shows a cohesive thought that it was in fact Bradley who was angry.
6. To Vs Too
“To” is used to separate and describe the sender and the action to the receiver. “To” is also used to refer to a destination. On the other hand, “too” is a word that is equivalent to “also” or “as well”. “Too” is commonly used as an adverb to show extreme conditions of a certain adjective. Here are some examples:
Incorrect: It is to hot to wear a jacket under the sun.
Correct: It is too hot to wear a jacket under the sun.
Incorrect: Please send my regards too your family.
Correct: Please send my regards to your family.
7. Run-On Sentences
Run-On sentences happen when there are two independent or main clauses together in a sentence that are not separated by any punctuation. Here are some examples:
Incorrect: I was eating breakfast she was already at work.
Correct: I was eating breakfast, but she was already at work.
Incorrect: Rajesh was hungry he bought food at his favorite restaurant.
Correct: Rajesh was hungry, so he bought food at his favorite restaurant.
8. They’re, There and Their
When words sound alike it is common to use them incorrectly in a sentence. “They’re” is a short form of “they are”. “There” refers to a place while “their” is a possessive pronoun. Here are some examples to use them correctly.
“They’re” – Do you see the soldiers? They’re fighting for our country.
“There” – You can see the whole view of the lake from there.
“Their” – It’s their time to perform on stage.
9. Dangling Modifiers
Dangling modifiers are present when there are words or a phrase that modifies a word but it is not clearly stated.
Incorrect: Hoping for good grades, a reviewer was given to the class.
Correct: Hoping for good grades, the teacher gave a reviewer to the class.
To explain it briefly, in the first sentence it is essential to ask; who is hoping for good grades? A dangling modifier is present where it clearly does not describe a certain subject. In the second sentence, it is corrected to show that it was the teacher who was hoping for good grades.
10. Who, Whom, Whose and Who’s
These are the four different words that are often interchanged despite its nature. It’s a bit tricky to master the three, but here are the things you should remember: “Who” refers to a living pronoun, “Whom” refers to a receiver of an action, “Whose” shows possession of someone and lastly, “Who’s” is a short variation of “Who is”. Here are some examples to help you understand the difference.
“Who” – Who is that guy beside Andre?
“Whom” – To whom shall I give this cookie to?
“Whose” – Whose guitar is this?
“Who’s” – Who’s available for tonight’s homecoming dance?
Hopefully after you read this article, you were able to grasp the English language even better. These are only some of the common grammar mistakes when people write or speak using English. Remember to watch the words you are using in every sentence because the language is bounded by rules. Although, don’t worry committing mistakes because you will get better when you practice it often.