What are the most common grammar mistakes that writers should avoid?

grammar mistakes

Be mindful when writing or speaking; words are powerful!

Even after years of education, we still make grammatical mistakes when writing. Guess why?

Words and phrases may sound pleasant when read. However, when we write it out, it appears like gibberish. Possibly, it might be due to grammatical mistakes.

Mistakes are unavoidable when writing. But, there are a few common grammatical errors that we fall into without our knowledge. If you are fond of writing, you should be aware of those mistakes because knowing them will help you avoid making them in the future.

So, what are the most common grammar mistakes that we should avoid? Thinking a lot? No need to stress. We have listed some of the common errors that every writer makes when writing. Walk through it and know what they are.

Most common Grammar mistakes that writers should avoid

1. Run-on Sentence

Would you like to read a long passage without a break? No one does!

The term “run-on sentence” refers to a never-ending sentence that joins two independent clauses, with or without punctuation. Such sentences can be confusing and intimidating for the reader. To avoid this, keep your sentences concise.

Example:

Run-on Sentence: James is a smart boy, he began writing when he was four years old

How to separate the clause?

Separate Sentence: James is a smart boy. He began writing when he was four years old.

2. Incorrect use of Commas

The most appropriate thing to use when writing is a comma. A comma allows the reader to pause and take a breath. Unfortunately, some writers overuse or underuse it. It either causes the reader to become confused or to miss the point of the content. As a writer, you should know when and where NOT to use a comma. So, when writing, remember the following:

  • Double-check your document. 
  • A comma should not separate a Verb from its Subject or Object. 
  • Don’t use a comma between two nouns in a compound sentence.
  • Use a comma to join two independent clauses.
  • Use commas when there are more than two elements in a list.

Furthermore, when reading, if you feel you’re pausing too often or not frequently enough, you should check your commas. Make sure you have spaced them correctly.

Example:

Incorrect Use of Comma:

1. He is smart but, dependent.
2. Hello Sam!

Correct Use of Comma:

1. He is smart but dependent.
2. Hello, Sam!

3. Sentence Fragments

The term Sentence Fragment refers to incomplete sentences. In other words, a sentence that does not have either its main verb or subject.

Example:

Sentence Fragment: I like to eat cookies. Because I like the taste.

Correct Sentence: I like to eat cookies because I like the taste.

4. Apostrophes and Contraction Usage

According to grammatical rules, any word ending with an apostrophe indicates possession or contraction. However, many writers make mistakes when using apostrophes and contractions. So, make sure to use apostrophes and contractions correctly.

Example:

Incorrect Sentence:

1. Its very hot outside today.
2. Your mad at him?

Correct Sentence:

1. It’s very hot outside today.
2. You’re mad at him.

5. Use of Passive Voice

A passive voice is not a grammatical error. However, passive sentences sound confusing, wordy, and unclear to the reader. As a writer, you should communicate your thoughts to your audience as clearly as possible. Additionally, use Active Voice rather than Passive Voice when phrasing your sentence.

Example:

Passive Sentences:

1. The shop will be closed by the owner.
2. The room was decorated by Jane.

Active Sentences:

1. The owner will close the shop.
2. Jane decorated the room

6. Misplaced Modifiers

Every writer needs to communicate their thoughts clearly to their audience. Therefore, writers should move the position of the misplaced modifier next to the words they intend to modify. Otherwise, it creates ambiguity and confusion for the reader.

Example:

Incorrect Sentence: At five years old, my mother bought me a toy for Halloween.

Correct Sentence: When I was five years old, my mother bought me a toy for Halloween.

7. Use of Prepositions

In grammar, a preposition indicates that a subsequent word follows it. However, many writers misplace it at the end of sentences at some point. Ending a sentence with a preposition is not a big deal in a general conversation. But, writers should avoid it in writing since it is not professional.

Additionally, some writers overuse prepositional phrases. It makes your writing wordy. If possible, simplify your sentences.

Example:

Incorrect Sentences:

1. What reason did she come here for?
2. The building shook with great force.

Correct Sentences:

1. For what reason did she come here?
2. The building trembled.

8. Use of Adverbs

The words that end with -ly are called Adverbs. Using Adverbs once in a while is good enough. But, overuse of adverbs is not encouraged for writers.

Example:

Incorrect Sentences:

1. She walked swiftly towards the window.
2. James whispered quietly to his dad.

Correct Sentences:

1. She dashed towards the window.
2. James whispered to his dad.

9. Wordiness

Don’t be too wordy if you want more fans for your writing. The most common causes of wordiness are excessive adverbs and adjectives. To simplify the text, omit unnecessary words. Your writing will be more concise and persuasive as a result.

Example:

Incorrect Sentence: There’s nothing better than music.

Correct Sentence: Nothing’s better than music.

10. Misuse of Words

Every writer’s most common mistake is to misspell words that sound similar. Though it sounds similar, they have different functionalities. Thus, try to avoid misuse of words.

Example:

There Vs. Their
Who Vs. Whom
Less Vs. Fewer
This Vs. These
Than Vs. Then
Affect Vs. Effect
Principle Vs. Principal

Mind your Language

It is possible to make countless grammar errors while writing. The mistakes listed above are some of the most common mistakes every writer makes. Many readers don’t notice grammatical errors. However, it may weaken your writing. Watch your language when you write to express your thoughts!

Good Luck 🙂

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