22 Common Grammar Mistakes You Need To Stop Committing Right Now
Writing is a process that inculcates various responses at different points of the journey. As professional content writers, we know the satisfaction that accompanies with the completion of a written article. But no matter how eager we are to reach the finish line, adhering to the rules and regulations during this process can be tiring. Even the most-proficient of writers get puzzled with the appropriate positioning of grammar in their sentences. If we go Grammar Police on every published novel, we are bound to find at least five errors in spite of it being professionally edited. If you compare these errors, you will observe that most of them are unnoticeable.
The first step to overcome such problems is to identify them. Knowing the subtle details of the English Language has allowed us, at Inksplore, to provide the best content writing services to our clients.
Below are 22 common mistakes in grammar that one can make while writing:
1) Subject Verb Disagreement
This mistake is very commonly made amongst new writers. The two main components of a sentencesubject and verbhave to be in agreement with each other in accordance with number. If the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and vice versa.
In the present tense, verbs are added with s in its singular form and the sis removed in the plural form.
The tiger chases the deer.
If the noun is plural,the sentence should be written as:
The tigers chase the deer.
This s ruledoes not apply in simple past tense.
The dog ran towards him.
The dogs ran towards him.
However, the agreement should be maintained when words like is-are, has-have or does-do are used.
The child has spoken well.
The children have spoken well.
These rules of agreement may be basic, but it can alter the entire outlook of an article. At Inksplore, we hire content writers with the best skills for quality contents.
2) Apostrophes Conundrum with It(‘)s:
The apostrophe () is one of the most frequently used punctuation marks in the English Language. It is applied in varied contexts; hence it confuses a lot of emerging writers on where it should be put.
The difference between its and its is a common misunderstanding. Its should only be used if the context implies it is or it has. In other cases, when an object is referred to as belonging to something, its is used.
The mouse was running away from its enemy.
In the second example, you cannot substitute its with it is, so there is no apostrophe.
3) Apostrophes Conundrum with Plural Nouns:
Another case of confusing apostrophes is when showing possession towards plural nouns or nouns that end with s. With plural nouns that end with s, the mark should be added after the s.
The girls hard work led them to their victory.
I am currently staying at the twins home.
Plural nouns that do not end with s should have the mark before the s.
I just returned from the childrens hospital.
4) Apostrophes Conundrum with Singular Nouns That End with s:
Possession cases for common nouns that end with s have its apostrophe after an added s.
The dresss beads fell off.
For proper nouns that end with s, the mark is given after its existing s.
Texas weather has been gloomy for the past few weeks.
There are other rules regarding the apostrophe, but the above-mentioned situations are the ones that commonly occur. This is why you would need professional proofreaders, like Inksplore, to aid you in providing deft content.
5) Comma Deficiency:
Lack of commas in sentences is not only blatantly prominent, but they can also be very annoying to read. Commas give sentences a proper structure by providing necessary breaks between different clauses.
She didnt have any money, so she couldnt buy the ice cream.
Similarly, a comma should be placed after the introductory element of a sentence.
After a relaxed weekend, he was ready to get back to work.
Without the comma, the sentence would not have a good tone to it when read out loud.
6) Comma Diarrhea:
On the other side, we have a situation where one uses too many commas in a sentence. This can butcher a verbally well-formulated sentence. An example of this unfortunate situation is mentioned below.
Im moving to Concord, North Carolina, home of my favorite band, The Avett Brothers, this fall, and Im excited to start school there as a senior.
Grammatically speaking, theres nothing wrong with this sentence. But the amount of commas gives off an unpleasant look, so it can be rewritten as:
Im moving to Concord, North Carolina home of my favorite band, The Avett Brothers this fall. Im excited to start school there as a senior.
Remember, adding commas is like eating; do not eat too much, but never skip it either.
7) Fragmented Sentences:
In order to avoid an array of commas, some writers may resort to breaking up each clauses into their own sentences.
He came to the party. In spite of everything.
The second sentence neither has a subject nor a verb, so it cannot be considered as a proper sentence. This is worse than the diarrhea situation, as leaving a sentence hanging is not only disturbing to read, but it also isnt grammatically accepted. The above-mentioned broken sentence can be re-written as:
In spite of everything, he came to the party.
Now this looks complete!
8) Running Sentences:
Running sentences occur when there is a comma deficiency between two independent clauses in a sentence, or when there is too much verbal diarrhea that the sentence doesnt seem to end at all. Readers usually have a short attention span when dealing with such sentences. It makes a reader lose interest very quickly.
The cells that were from the same strain of cells that was affected with the disease but did not show any signs of symptoms were used as a control group for the experiment.
These are just too many words to handle, though it may be grammatically correct. Using commas can save this sentence
The cells that were from the same strain of cells that was affected with the disease, but did not show any signs of symptoms, were used as a control group for the experiment.
Or, more favorably, it can be rewritten with fewer words.
The symptoms-free cells of the same diseased strain were used as control for the experiment.
As SEO content writers, we know how to keep our words concise and still deliver with maximum efficiency.
9) Uneven Tenses:
One of the unnoticeable mistakes that writers make is the mixing up of tenses in their content.
Although I was only a few hours away from home, I think my anxiety-ridden brain is getting to me.
The word document does not correct this context, but there is an awkward glitch in the smooth curve of this sentence. After correcting the tenses, we have
Although I was only a few hours away from home, I thought my anxiety-ridden brain was getting to me.
Altering tenses can also change the whole look of this situation.
Although I was only a few hours away from home, I think my anxiety-ridden brain was getting to me.
The sentence above implies that someone is narrating this story from the future. Thus, it is important that proper tenses are used in appropriate situations.
10) Passively Disengaged:
Passive voice in a sentence shows the object is acting on the subject. Sometimes, this way of writing is unavoidable. But usually, it is advised to keep the tone of your work active. Passive voice confuses readers as to who is doing the action. Thus, readers prefer active voice where the words look more engaging.
Active Voice You are not going to like it.
Passive Voice It is not going to be liked by you.
The first sentence portrays you as the main subject, while the second one changes its focus towards it.
People tend to lean towards phrases that address them directly than those that beat around the bush. Inksploresblog writing services provides such articles that appeal to the audience.
11) Ambiguous Pronouns:
A pronoun replaces a noun, which can be a name of a person, place, animal or thing. But in sentences where there is more than one noun, it is important to clarify what/who the pronoun is being referred to.
Scarlett screamed at John as a result of his decision. This was what ended everything.
The above example does not clarify what ended everything. Was it Scarletts screaming, or Johns decision?
It can be rewritten as:
Scarlett screamed at John as a result of his decision. His choice ended everything.
Now, this clarifies the situation!
12) Faulty Parallelism:
Lack of parallel structures occurs when a list of items is mentioned and one of them does not properly align with the others.
Lets look at an example for clarification:
Some of the common grammatical errorsare faulty parallelism, ambiguous pronouns and use semicolons.
The last statement does not point out an error. The parallelism of the context is lost here. The correct version of it would be:
Some of the common grammatical errorsare faulty parallelism, ambiguous pronouns and inappropriate semicolons.
The term inappropriate points out the error and, thus, aligns that statement with the others.
13) Dangling Modifiers:
A modifier is added to give more dimensions to a sentence. Taking out the modifier does not disturb the sentences structure, but it can alter the sound of a sentence. A modifier is dangling when itleaves a sentence unclear or improper sounding.
Hoping to excuse my absence, the letter was typed and mailed to my tutor.
This sentence sounds awkward as adding the modifier has left the main clause with an uncertain subject. Thus, it can be corrected and written as
Hoping to excuse my absence, I typed a letter and mailed it to my tutor.
You can see a stark difference in these sentences.
14) Awkward Infinitives:
Infinitives are verbs with to before them, e.g. to admire, to contemplate etc. Split infinitives occur when an adverb splits to and the verb. Many writers disapprove this splitting and try to replace the adverb, making it sound even more awkward.
I used to secretly watch him.
I secretly used to watch him.
These changes can also alter the meaning of a sentence.
You really have to watch him.
You have to really watch him.
With infinitives, youhave to go with whatever sounds less awkward and more meaningful with the situation.
15) Misrepresentation of Brands as They:
This is a mistake that usually goes completely unnoticed. You have to remember that a business or a brand cannot be plural. Thus, when representing it as a pronoun, you have to use it and not they.
After their complex caught on fire, The Chennai Silks had to reestablish their business elsewhere. This is incorrect.
After its complex caught on fire, The Chennai Silks had to reestablish its business elsewhere. This is correct.
16) Inappropriate Dashes:
A written content should not only be attractive in spelling and punctuations but should also be attractive in looks as well. This is why grammar has different types of dashes to use in different contexts.
A hyphen (-) is a dash that were all familiar with. It connects compounded words, like well-developed, non-existent etc.
A N-dash () is used to denote to something.
Example:1996 2024, January August, 2010.
A M-dash () works in place of a comma in splitting the main clause of a sentence.
Her brotherwho just returned from Londonbought her the dress.
It can also be used to interrupt a dialogue.
You cannot order me ar
I can do whatever I want! he screamed.
These dashes used in their designated places can take an article from being mediocre to an expertly proofread content.
17) Misplaced Synonyms:
All words have synonyms, but none of those words are entirely congruent as each of them can only be used in suitable situations.
You speak English good.
You speak English well.
Good and well have similar meanings but only the second sentence makes proper sense. Thus, these words cannot replace each other in this context.
This is why it is important to look at example sentences when youre learning a new word.
18) Phonetics Confusion:
Homophones are similar sounding words but with different meanings. Due to their phonetics, it is easy to mix up these words.
For example, complement and compliment. Compliment means praising, while complement refers to something that emphasizes ones appearance.
She received lots of compliments on her new design.
The green in her dress really complements her hazel eyes.
Accept and except are another common set of examples.
19) Formal and Informal Mix-ups:
When writing a formal document, you should always remember to avoid slangs that can look inappropriate. This is why students seek the help of professional academic writers to draft their SOPs.
I am totally into ancient architecture.
This sentence may be grammatically correct but it is completely informal. In formal essays, this phrase is disastrous.
I have a penchant for ancient architecture.
Using formal language will be the bridge between your average high school and a well-reputed university.
20) Cross Dialects:
The English Language has different dialects based on geographical locationsBritish and American being the most common amongst them. These dialects have certain words that spell differently, and it is important to maintain this dialect throughout an article.
I realized it was blue in color. American
I realised it was blue in colour. British
This gives neatness to the content.
21) Unnecessary Colons:
A colon (:) can be used in place of that is (i.e.), or to introduce a series of items. It is not a very common scenario to encounter this mark while reading, but some people add them in places where it is not necessary.
I moved to Scotland for its: weather, architecture and people.
The colon can be removed from the above sentence and it would still make sense.
I moved to Scotland for its weather, architecture and people.
Or, if you want to incorporate the colon, it can be written like
I moved to Scotland for three reasons: its weather, architecture and people.
It might seem like a petty mistake, but as the provider of best content writing services, we take care in perfecting even the minor details.
22) Unfamiliar Abbreviations:
Using abbreviations can be energy saving for writers but they should also appeal to the audience. This may not be grammatically wrong, but unfamiliar texts do not help writers catch their readers attention. Thus, it is necessary to expand on the abbreviation when it is used for the first time in written piece.
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Listing out errors is easy. Implementation is the hard part. Remember, practice is key. Once you have written enough articles, proofreading will be second nature to you. So practice, practice, and keep practicing!
If youre still struggling to master the nuances of writing and need that professional nudge, reach out to us. We provide the best content writing services and are the one-stop shop for all your requirements.