When you want to be seen as a credible writer, you need to know your grammar. Unfortunately, some people don’t even realize it when they’re making mistakes. The reason is that some errors are too common. People make it every day, so eventually, you catch on the bad habit.
The followings are five common grammar mistakes that you should learn to avoid.
1. Missing Comma After Introductory Element
Always put a comma after an introductory element to avoid unnecessary confusion.
Incorrect: After the party Karen has been ignoring my calls.
Correct: After the party, Karen has been ignoring my calls.
2. Its Vs. It’s
The word “its” shows possession, while “it’s” is a contraction for “it is”.
Incorrect: The smart robot is fixing it’s own mistakes.
Correct: The smart robot is fixing its own mistakes.
3. Vague Pronoun Reference
A pronoun is a word or phrase that you can use to substitute a noun or a noun phrase. Vague pronoun preference is a common mistake found not only on fiction works but also in non-fiction and even news.
While readers may be able to infer to whom the pronoun refers to, writers should avoid the confusion altogether.
Incorrect: When Cherry finally found Marie at the station, she was overjoyed. (Who’s overjoyed? Was it Cherry or Marie?)
Correct: Cherry was overjoyed when she finally found Marie at the station.
4. Wrong Word Usage
Some words lend themselves to confusion. They are similar in sound, writing, or both that even the experienced writers sometimes mixed them up. To make matters worse, there are hundreds of those kinds of words out here.
Here’s one example:
Incorrect: We need to consult the doctors to investigate this case farther.
Correct: We need to consult the doctors to investigate this case further.
Here’s another one:
Incorrect: Please remind me to bath the cat this afternoon.
Correct: Please remind me to bathe the cat this afternoon.
5. Split Infinitives
A split infinitive is when you insert an adverb between the word “to” and a verb. Using split infinitives is somewhat common in verbal and written communications. People often use it to emphasize how things are done. However, many experts frown upon the use of split infinitive.
Incorrect: Jamie uses baking soda to quickly remove the stain on the carpet.
Correct: Jamie uses baking soda to remove the stain on the carpet quickly.
In formal settings, such as when you’re writing an essay, these grammar mistakes can cost you dearly. Always double-check your grammars as well as spelling before turning in your work. Reading your work aloud is one excellent way to pluck out mistakes. Take advantage of our online spelling and grammar checking tool to catch errors you would otherwise missed.