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How to Avoid the Most Common Grammar Mistakes

July 25, 2017

Everyone makes grammar errors no matter whether it goes about writing academic papers or common text messages. When dealing with different social networks, people usually use shortenings when writing messages or commenting posts which has a negative influence on their grammar. It should be stated that grammar mistakes can take many forms such as improper punctuation, incorrectly spelled words, and inappropriate use of grammar tenses. Now it becomes clear why there is a high demand for professional editors. Below, you will find the list of the most common grammar mistakes we usually make.

1. Spelling Errors

Such mistakes happen when people write words in the way they are pronounced. This type of mistakes can cause a lot of problems. In order not to get into a trap, we suggest you to follow the sat grammar rules provided below.

• Consult a dictionary. If you do not know how to write a particular word, always use a dictionary.
• Put down the complicated words you have ever used. First, it will be easier to find them in the future. Second, in this way, you will train your memory.
• Mind homophones. Note that homophones differ in spelling.

Example: to and two, cite and sight, etc. The words often confused with those that have similar pronunciation can cause serious difficulties.

• Learn spelling rules. Find the words that are usually misspelled and try to remember them to avoid problems in the future.

2. Run-on Sentences

Run-on sentences are also among the most common types of errors. They occur when there is no proper punctuation mark between two independent sentences. Such sentences can be corrected in the following way:

• Make two sentences out of one.
• Put comma between two independent clauses and such subordinate conjunctions as until, before, although, etc.
• Fix only the clauses that are connected directly by their meaning. Otherwise, leave everything as it is.

3. Improper Use of Words

There are a large number of words that are often used in the wrong way. You should be aware of the correct usage of words, as the wrong use of some terms may change the meaning of the whole sentence. If you doubt about the meaning of some words, use the dictionary.

Example 1:

Wrong: These changes will effect students greatly.

Correct: These changes will affect students greatly.

Example 2:

Wrong: You will feel better if you take a breathe of fresh air.

Correct: You will feel better if you take a breath of fresh air.

4. Capitalized Words

Everyone knows the grammar basics, i.e. each sentence has to start with a capital letter. However, this is not the only case when we need to use capital letters. In case you encounter some difficulties with capitalization, turn to us and we will help you make everything properly.
Remember that the names of organizations, people, days of a week, holidays, months and establishments should be capitalized.

5. Subject-Verb Use

The wrong agreement of subject with the verb belongs to the common grammar mistakes in writing. Whether the subject is singular or plural in number, it has to be properly agreed with the verb.

Example 1:

Wrong: Music play an essential role in child development.

Correct: Music plays an essential role in child development.

Example 2:

Wrong: The most memorable moments about graduation was getting our diplomas and making photos.

Correct: The most memorable moments about graduation were getting our diplomas and making photos.

6. Incorrectly Spelled Modifiers

Modifiers are the words that perform the functions of adverbs or adjectives. Modifiers are used to clearly express the meaning of words. For instance, such words as happy, comfortable, handsome, and others are considered modifiers.

We should keep in mind that modifiers refer to particular words in a sentence. Therefore, they are usually placed next to the word they describe. Some misunderstandings may occur if modifiers are situated in a wrong position. In order to avoid any inconsistencies, it is necessary to check English sentence to make sure each grammatical item holds its proper place.

Check the example of a modifier in a word combination written below:

A funny boy

As it has been mentioned, incorrectly placed modifiers cause bewilderment. To fix the situation, modifiers should be placed before a noun or pronoun they define.

Wrong: People who quietly laugh are shy.

Correct: People who laugh quietly are shy.

The modifier “quietly” has been placed in another position to make the sentence clear.

7. Pronoun-Relating Mistakes

A pronoun is a grammatical motion that used instead of a noun. The words “I, you, we, they, he, she it” are pronouns. Note that pronouns can be classified into three groups:

• Subject pronouns (such as “you”)
• Object pronouns (such as “you”)
• Possessive pronouns (such as “your”)

The rules presented below will help you avoid grammar mistakes relating to the use of pronouns.

• Subject pronouns should be used in case the pronoun is the subject of a sentence.

Example: She washed the windows.

• Subject pronouns can be used to give the subject another name.

Example: These are the rich.

Remember that pronouns have to agree with the nouns used in a sentence. It means that a noun should be singular (plural) if a pronoun is singular (plural).

8. Split Infinitives

An infinitive is a verb used with a particle “to”, for example, to go, to play, to write, etc. A split infinitive is the grammatical item that puts another word, usually an adverb, between the particle “to” and the verb. It is necessary admit that though there are no clear grammar rules that prohibit the use of split infinitives, a lot of professionals do not recommend to use them in sentences. However, if you replace a split infinitive with a common one and your sentence sounds unclear, you can make the required changes to make the phrase coherent. Thus, it will be easier for readers to get the point. If you find it hard to understand how to write a sentence in English without grammar mistakes, especially those relating to split infinitives, check the following examples:

To directly go to the valley where no one has ever been. – This sentence is a little bit awkward. Check the following phrase:

To go directly to the valley where no one has ever been. – This sentence makes sense.

Analyze more examples given below:

Example 1:

Wrong: She decided to blindly follow him though she did not know where they were going.

Correct: She decided to follow him blindly though she did not know where they were going.

Example 2:

Wrong: She desired to quickly master her writing skills by producing ten thousand words every day.

Correct: She desired to master her writing skills quickly by producing ten thousand words every day.

9. The Use of Irregular Verbs

Some people call the English language strange, as there are different nuances one may consider hard to understand. Here, it goes about the irregular verbs. Sure, it is impossible to list all the irregular verbs. However, we do know that such a grammar phenomenon exists. For instance, the verb “broadcast” is not used in the past tense. Bear in mind that there is no such a form as “broadcasted.” The following example will help you understand how to write a sentence containing the verb “broadcast” in the past tense: “Two days ago, NBC broadcast a TV show…”
By the way, such verbs as “sneak” and “hang” are also irregular. In order to use the verbs properly in all tenses, you should always have a complete list of irregular words at hand.

10. Comma Splice

Such a mistake takes place when two independent phrases are joined together by a comma instead of a semicolon or period. Such a splice often occurs when writers use transition words such as nevertheless, however, moreover, etc. Thus, how to know when to use a comma in a sentence? Consider the following examples:

Example 1:

Wrong: I wanted to invite her for the party; nevertheless, I changed my mind.

Correct: I wanted to invite her for the party; nevertheless, I changed my mind.

Example 2:

Wrong: We adore going shopping, after that we always go to the cafe.

Correct: We adore going shopping. After that we always go to the café.

11. Superfluous Commas

One of the common writing errors is putting commas wherever you want when they are unnecessary. Consider the following examples:

Example 1:

Wrong: He has never gone to parties, because he did not know how to behave.

Correct: He has never gone to parties because he did not know how to behave.

Example 2:

Wrong: She aims to obtain a degree in English, or Sociology.

Correct: She aims to obtain a degree in English or Sociology.

Example 3:

Wrong: They know exactly, what will happen.

Correct: They know exactly what will happen.

Remember that it is always necessary to check the text for grammar to make sure it is flawless. By following the rules given above, you will know how to correct grammar mistakes, if any occur in your text.

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