With all the grammar lessons you took in school, you thought it is enough for you to create a flawless article. But when your editor returned your article to you, your fingers aren’t even enough to count all the errors you got.
Is this scenario sounds familiar to you? If so, you are not alone.
Grammar is so important because it may affect you, especially if you have the line of work like we have—writing for businesses.
Use it well, and you’ll receive good perceptions and feedback from people but let one mistake slip by, and expect the worst.
English grammar is somewhat tricky and frustrating to some. But it doesn’t mean that you should stop learning. Don’t lose hope and take it as a challenge because even great writers commit grammar mistakes as well.
So, we have listed here five common grammatical mistakes that you might want to know, avoid, and learn from:
Misuse of Punctuation Marks in a quotation.
Among all the the grammatical mistakes, the problem with the punctuation marks is on top of the list. People usually ask whether a punctuation belongs inside or outside of quotation marks.
The period and the comma always go inside quotation marks. Meanwhile, the dash, semicolon, exclamation, and question mark may go inside when they apply to the quoted matter but outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
Incorrect: “She is beautiful”, he said.
Correct: “She is beautiful,” he said.
Lack of Subject-Verb Agreement.
When we speak of subject-verb agreement, a sentence must have subjects and verbs that agree in number.
If the subject is singular, the verb must be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well.
Incorrect: Books is good for students.
Correct: Books are good for students.
Misuse of “neither”, “nor”, “either”, and “or”
In using these words, they should always be matched. For an instance, either is always paired with or, meanwhile, neither is always paired with nor.
The neither/nor combination expresses negation all by itself. Hence, it should be used with a positive statement.
Incorrect: I can’t find the pen neither in the bag nor in the cabinet.
Correct: I can find the pen neither in the bag nor in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, the either/or combination is used when you are making a comparison between two ideas, and only one of the ideas will come to pass.
Incorrect: Either Faith nor Janine will attend the event.
Correct: Either Faith or Janine will attend the event.
Misuse of i.e. and e.g.
These two abbreviations should not be used interchangeably because their uses differ from each other.
The abbreviation e.g. comes from the Latin words “exempli gratia” which means “for example”.
Incorrect: She likes different colors, i.e. pink, violet, and blue.
Correct: She likes different colors, e.g. pink, violet, and blue.
The abbreviation i.e. comes from the Latin words “id est” which means “that is” or “in other words”.
Incorrect: She doesn’t like the changes — e.g. she won’t be doing them.
Correct: She doesn’t like the changes — i.e. she won’t be doing them.
However, these abbreviations aren’t advisable when writing a formal report— i.e. this only applies to informal reports.
Overuse of Apostrophes.
The use of apostrophes indicates either possession or contraction. For an instance, “Kim’s wristwatch is on the table”. The apostrophe in the “Kim’s” is used as possessive which means Kim owns the wristwatch.
Meanwhile, when it is used this way: “She’s sitting on the chair”. The apostrophe in the “She’s” is used as a contraction which means two words (“She” and “is”) are joined together.
Always remember that apostrophes aren’t used in indicating plural nouns.
Incorrect: Two apple’s a day keep the doctor away.
Correct: Two apples a day keep the doctor away.
Learning english grammar is not an overnight process. Take your time. Breathe. And, take everything one step at a time. If you will start with understanding these five most common grammatical errors, you're definitely off to a good start.
If you want to know how to apply these grammar rules in your written materials, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.