Do you think you are efficient in English Grammar? But do you know that even the smartest of the people make common errors in English Grammar exercises? Actually, people learn the difficult concepts well but forget to note the common errors and work on them. But this is disastrous. Actually, these grammar mistakes kill your writing credibility. If you want to increase the trust, you need to work on the common errors in English to get greater success. Let us start directly by discussing common grammar mistakes.
33 Common Grammar mistakes in English:
(A) 15 common mistakes that kill our writing credibility:
Missing Comma: Sometimes a missed comma after an introductory word changes the meaning of the sentence. For e.g.
Incorrect: I think you haven’t seen my name is there on the card.
Correct: I think you haven’t seen, my name is there on the card.
Using of its in place of it’s:
‘Its’ means belonging to it and it’s is used when you mean to say ‘it is’ or it has.
Incorrect: Its expected to rain in the evening.
Correct: It’s expected to rain in the evening.
Use of comma in between two independent clauses:
In a compound sentence, when you have two or more than two independent clauses, you need to use a comma necessarily. But we forget to use it, and it sometimes changes the meaning. For e.g.
Incorrect: I was watching the dance and the dog just jumped into the car.
Correct: I was watching the dance, and the dog just jumped into the car.
A modifier must be placed properly with the word it defines:
Sometimes we make use of the dangling modifier, i.e. to say that we use a word that modifies a word but is not properly placed. For e.g.
Incorrect: While running, I found a shining woman’s hair clip.
Correct: While running, I found a woman’s shining hair clip.
Inappropriate use of similar sounding words:
There are some words which are commonly confused with each other due to their spelling, sound etc. If they are not used carefully, it shows the careless nature of the writer. For e.g.
Incorrect: If she will not take the pills on time, it may effect her health adversely.
Correct: If she will not take the pills on time, it may affect her health adversely.
Use of commas unnecessarily:
Actually, most of us are unaware about where to exactly to put the commas. We put them where we feel that the sentence needs a pause. But this is not the exact way to put them. There are certain rules about commas that need to be learned. Let me give you an example of how a comma is being used unnecessarily.
Incorrect: I went there, as I wanted to meet Ram.
Correct: I went there as I wanted to meet Ram.
Error due to wrong Subject-Verb Agreement:
The rule says that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. But some people forget this many times and use single subject with plural verbs and vice versa. For e.g.
Incorrect: My two best friends was Ram and Dick.
Correct: My two best friends were Ram and Dick.
Incorrect use of sentence fragments:
Do you know what the sentence fragments are? Actually, these are the incomplete sentences. They lack a subject, or a verb, or both. People use these sentences in their daily conversation, but they misplace them, which is sometimes mocked at. Let me give you an e.g. of that:
Incorrect: He gifted him a precious watch. Even though they had a quarrel.
Correct: Even though they have a quarrel, he gifted him a precious watch.
Wrong use of a pronoun for the purpose of reference:
Do you know that when you use a pronoun, its antecedent must be a place, thing or person? But if you use a vague pronoun in the place of the antecedent, it confuses the reader. So always use a correct pronoun. For e.g.
Incorrect: When Joe met John, he was weeping. (Who was weeping Joe or John?)
Correct: Joe was weeping when he met John.
Connecting two clauses without punctuation:
This is a case of a run-on sentence. Punctuations are used so that no two clauses run on each other.
Incorrect: She tried to close the tap she failed to do so.
Correct: She tried to close the tap, but she failed to do so.
Inappropriate use of Colons:
Remember a rule while using the colons. Colons are used after a full/complete sentence, and not in the middle. Actually, the work of the colon is to explain the sentence preceding it. For e.g.
Incorrect: She called the interior designer to: change the setting of the living room and renovate the kitchen.
Correct: She called the interior designer for two reasons: change the setting of the living room and renovate the kitchen.
Use of ‘that’ in place of ‘who’:
The rule goes that if you write about a person, you must use ‘who' and not ‘that' but people often make the mistake of using ‘that' in place of ‘who'. Avoid it to use a grammatically correct sentence. For e.g.
Incorrect: John is the boy that topped the engineering entrance examination.
Correct: John is the boy who topped the engineering entrance examination.
Not using contractions in the write-ups where the aim is to connect with the readers as a real person:
Those who want to be grammatically correct often make this mistake. In their endeavor to be grammatically correct and sound all the time, they do not use contractions. But do you know, the use of contractions is highly advised if you want to sound like a real person. It adds liveliness to the writing and at the same time, it makes the reading easy. For e.g.
Normal Sentence: I am going to my Aunt’s home that is close to the Church.
Sentence with contraction: I’m going to my Aunt’s home that’s close to the Church.
Incorrect use of comma with transitional words:
It is a common mistake made by the writers. We use a comma with transitional words like therefore, nevertheless, moreover, or however etc. Instead, we are expected to separate the two sentences with a semicolon or period. For e.g.
Incorrect: I was thinking to go by tomorrow, however, I postponed the plan as Rahim was coming to meet me on Wednesday.
Correct: I was thinking to go by tomorrow; however, I postponed the plan suddenly.
Use of ‘then’ in place of ‘than’ and vice versa:
Most of the smartest people, who know the difference between the use of words ‘then’ and ‘than’, often make a mistake of using them interchangeably in their hurriedness. Do you know the difference between the two? Actually, ‘than’ is used to compare the two things, and ‘then’ is used to indicate a time-specific action. For e.g.
Incorrect: Ram is taller then Shyam.
Correct: Ram is taller than Shyam
Incorrect: First he picked up a pin. Than he picked the box.
Correct: First he picked up a pin. Then he picked the box.
(B) 15 of the most common grammatical errors we all need to stop making:
Use of ‘how’ in place of ‘what’?
When we want to point to an objective description like the color of the hair, types of clothes etc., we use ‘what’. When we want a subjective description like opinion, beauty etc. we use ‘how’ in the question. For e.g.
Incorrect: How does he look like?
Correct: What does he look like?
Using ‘with’ in place of ‘to’.
‘To’ and ‘with’ are both used to compare things. The major difference is; ‘to’ is used to present the resemblance between the objects that seems different, ‘with’ is used to present the resemblance between the objects that seems somewhat similar.
Incorrect: She got engaged with an astronaut.
Correct: She got engaged to an astronaut.
Don’t use two plural words together.
It is not grammatical correct to put two plural words together. For e.g.
Incorrect: All girls love their mother.
Correct: All girl loves their mother.
‘But’ is not used with ‘although’
As a rule, but is used with ‘though’. When we use although, we do not use ‘but’ in the sentence. For e.g.
Incorrect: Although she went to the movie theatre, but she didn't watch the movie.
Correct: Although she went to the movie theatre, she didn’t watch the movie.
Don’t place an adverb between a verb and subject, if it is not necessary.
It is advisable to not to put an adverb between a subject and verb, unless necessary.
Incorrect: We love very much our mother.
Correct: We love our mother very much.
Confusion between where to use ‘which’ and ‘who’.
Use ‘which’ to refer things and use ‘who’ or ‘that’ to refer to people.
Incorrect: She’s the one which has the blue purse in hand.
Correct: She’s the one who has the blue purse in hand.
Use of subject and verb in indirect sentences.
With indirect sentences, do not invert the subject and the verb.
Incorrect: I was wondering if could you help me to find Sita.
Correct: I was wondering if you could help me to find Sita.
Use of ‘during’ and ‘for’.
’During’ is used to specify what period of time is it when something happened.
‘For’ is used to indicate just the duration.
Incorrect: We had a conversation during 3 hours in the morning.
Correct: We had a conversation for 3 hours in the morning.
Incorrect: I need no disturbance for my meeting
Correct: I need no disturbance during my meeting.
Use of fewer/Less:
‘Fewer’ is used when the things are countable individually. ‘Less’ is used which the things cannot be counted individually like Sand, water etc.
Incorrect: There are less sheets of paper on the desk.
Correct: There are fewer sheets of paper on the desk.
Use of amount/number:
It is the same as fewer and less. 'Amount' is used when the commodity cannot be counted. 'Number' is used when the commodity is countable.
Incorrect: I have larger amount of friends.
Correct: I have larger number of friends.
Use of me//myself/I:
In case, you are referring to yourself and one other person or more, keep the name of the other person ahead in the sentence. For e.g.
Incorrect: Me and Meera were playing in the garden.
Correct: Meera and I were playing in the garden.
Myself can only be used if you have already used I, otherwise not.
Incorrect: I found me in the pool of water.
Correct: I found myself in the pool of water.
This is a common mistake. Use verb and noun sensibly. Let us understand this with an example of ‘Invite' and ‘Invitation'. The invite is a verb, while the invitation is a noun.
Incorrect: I got an invite from my friend.
Correct: I got an invitation from my friend.
Use of homophones like their/there/they’re:
Homophones are the word that sounds the same but has different meanings. The best example of them is there/their/they're. For e.g.
Incorrect: He was sitting their.
Correct: He was sitting there.
Use of who and whom:
‘Who’ refers to the subject; ‘whom’ refers to an object. For e.g.
Incorrect: Who should I call?
Correct: Whom should I call?
Use of the word ‘year’ with ‘anniversary’.
The word anniversary is used to indicate completion of a year. So it is not required to use the word year with it.
Incorrect: I attended their first-year anniversary party.
Correct: I attended their first-anniversary party.
Use of anybody/nobody:
Nobody is used to referring that there is an absence of people. Anybody is used to state that there are unlimited people. Nobody is not used after negative words like not, never, hardly etc.
Incorrect: I didn’t meet nobody.
Correct: I didn’t meet anybody.
Use of always:
Use is an adverb. In simple tenses, it comes after the verb. With other verbs, it comes before the verb.
In compound tenses, it comes between the main verb and the auxiliary verb.
Incorrect: I was on time always.
Correct: I was always on time.
Incorrect: He will always be my best buddy.
Correct: He will be my best buddy always.
Use of the word ‘currently’ in the bio:
This is the most frequent mistake made by people around the world. We usually write in our bio that I am currently working in some company XYZ. The use ‘currently' is redundant here.
Incorrect: I am currently working as an associate professor.
Correct: I am working as an associate professor.
I think you must have understood the common mistakes in English sentence making. These are also the common error in English grammar exercises that we make in classes and exams. If you learn English grammar step by step, you can surely overcome these common errors in English. The above-defined mistakes are common spoken grammar mistakes also. These are some of the common grammatical errors we all need to stop making.
If you want to learn more about the common spoken grammar mistakes that we make, you can take our English grammar online lessons. They are sure to help you in long run. We, at Queryfloor, are happy to help you in all of your educational endeavors. There are a lot of courses and teachers on our site that can help you to learn English grammar step by step. You can learn English grammar basics and give a lot of free English grammar tests to get a command over the subject. If you have any query you can write to us directly and we will be quick to respond and help.