While you’re in school, you have to take English and language arts classes each year. There, you’ll learn all about using correct English in conversation and writing. Despite this, though, many people still make mistakes with the language.
Grammar mistakes are among the most common ones. Unless you’re a professional editor, you’re likely making some of these errors yourself!
So, for what do you need to watch out? Read on for the grammar mistakes almost everyone makes.
1. Mixing Up Contractions
A contraction is a word that gets made up of two other ones. An apostrophe connects them. For example, “it’s” is a contraction of “it,” and “is.”
Many people get them mixed up, though. For example, someone that doesn’t understand them might substitute “its,” which is possessive, in place of “it’s.”
2. Using Run-on Sentences
Have you ever written multiple sentences together without any punctuation between them? Those are known as run-on sentences. Long sentences are fine, but joining several independent clauses together is incorrect.
Using a grammar checker can help you catch them. To fix a run-on sentence, add a period or semicolon to mark where one clause ends; and another begins.
3. Putting a Preposition at the End
Prepositions are words like “with,” “before,” and “out.” To maintain correct syntax, these words shouldn’t get placed at the end of a sentence. That’s because a preposition should indicate that another word will follow it.
Ending a sentence with a preposition interrupts its flow and sounds awkward.
4. Confusing Spellings and Similar Words
One of the most common grammar mistakes is confusing spellings and similar words. While two words may sound the same, they often have different meanings and spellings. Some of the most confused ones include:
- Two vs. to vs. too
- Affect vs. effect
- Their vs. they’re vs. there
- Except vs. accept
- Your vs. you’re
If words like these throw you off, check out Grammarhow.com. You’ll find explanations of their differences and how to use them properly.
5. Using Sentence Fragments
Every sentence needs a subject and a verb. If it’s missing either one, that sentence is an incomplete fragment. It often happens between two related ideas.
Take these sentences, “I like dogs. Because they are cute,” as an example. The second part is a fragment, so it should get written as, “I like dogs because they are cute,” to make it correct English. Grammar software works well to help you catch these errors.
6. Capitalizing Titles Incorrectly
When you write the title of a song or book within a sentence, you must capitalize it correctly. Some words, like “an,” or “a,” might stay lowercase, but most of it doesn’t. You can find online tools that help you know which words to capitalize.
Capitalizing the title shows respect to the author and maintains professionalism.
Don’t Make These Grammar Mistakes
English can be a tricky language, especially when you’re writing. Grammar mistakes are common but easy to avoid if you take the time to learn all the rules. Remember this list, so you can make sure you’re always using correct syntax!
For additional resources on correct English, check out our other articles on this website.