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What are the Most Common English Language and Grammatical Errors Made by People?

by Oct 18, 2015English

English is a language which seems easy enough to get started and communicate the very basics, of course, so is every other language under the sun. But the catch lies in writing. It also might as well take people long years to learn all the tidbits about this language, wacky expressions, phrases, and all other myriads of ways of using English language.

One might as well consider grammar to be such an annoying technicality, such minute detail of speech and writing is not worth the trouble taken. A recent study by Society for Human Resources and Management brings up an astonishing fact that 45% of employers are not happy with their English skills and plan to improve their training for grammar.

So what will you gain if you get to know about the common mistakes and grammatical errors made by people in English language? You know them, you avoid them, and you improve your English. Given below are few such examples of mistakes and errors most commonly made.

1. I, Me and Myself.

Deciding when to use the terms me, myself or I fall under subject or object discussion. “I” is the “subject”, me is the “object” and “myself” is used only if one has used “me” earlier in the sentence. “Myself” is a reflexive pronoun.

2. Fewer or lesser?

One should use “fewer” only when referring to countable commodities like people, money, hair bands etc. for defining the amount of intangible concepts such as, time, water, rain; “lesser” should be used. The most common mistakes people made in markets and malls are, they say “lesser” when they actually mean “fewer” and vice versa.

3. To or Too or Two?

This is another grammatical mistake or better termed as grammatical confusion which students make. All these three words are homophones and this might be accountable for getting these wrong. It is time to rectify your mistakes.

“To” is usually used in the infinitive form of a considered verb; for example, “to walk”. ”To” can also be used for meaning “towards”; for example, “he walked towards me”. “Too” means “as well” or “also”. The last one is simple. “Two” means the numeric number 2.

4. “Then” verses “than”!

The confusion arises mostly due to the similarity between these two words. They both look similar and sound similar. Though the words, “then” and “than” have significant difference in their meaning. “Then” is used to discuss time, and “than” is used in comparison. For example, then is used in sentences like, “we had dinner, “then” went for a stroll” and “than” is used in sentences like, “Today’s dinner was far better than last night’s”.

5. It’s verses Its!

“Its” should be used as progressive pronoun. For example: The cat played with its tail. The dog jumped upon its toy.

“It’s” should be used when you want to mean a shortened version of “it is”. For example: It’s too much cold here in January. I think it’s going to snow.

6. Loose verses lose!

With the loss of just one “o” many students lose marks in exams! Students have the tendency to get confused between “lose” and “loose” or at times they just omit the extra “o” due to less concentration and too much in hurry to finish the exam.

“Lose” is a verb, it usually means to come to be without something. For example: I do not wish to lose more hair. I was about to lose my cat.

“Loose” is used as an adjective, which means that it is free from attachment or not bound together. For example: the skirt is very loose around my waist. Her hair falls loose on her shoulders.

7. Do not end sentences with preposition.

Ending sentences with prepositions is not a correct step. For example, “Our principal told us rules which we have to abide by.” Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Instead say, “Our principal told us rules which we all have to abide”.

Transpose the prepositions from the end to the beginning or middle of a sentence.

8. Correct Apostrophe Usage!

Apostrophes are not any difficult thing to use or learn. But once you place it in a wrong position and the whole sentence might something different than you intended. Thus avoid this common mistake and clear all your confusions about apostrophe usage. Well, apostrophes are usually used to indicate possession. But you should never put an apostrophe after a possessive pronoun like ours, his, her, its, their, my, mine, their or theirs.

For example, you should write, “My brother’s room is next to mine”; instead of “My brothers room is next to mine.”

Also, “It’s a hot day in May is a wrong sentence.” The corrected version is, “It’s a hot day in May.”

9. Lack of Subject and Verb agreement.

This is perhaps the most important part in a sentence construction. The agreement of subject and verb in number is essential, while writing or speaking in present tense. If the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, then you cannot use a singular verb. You must use a plural verb.

Examples are as follows.

  • Incorrect: The designs is good for beginners.
  • Correct: The designs are good for beginners.
  • Incorrect: They has to go to school.
  • Correct: They have to go to school.

10. Coma splices or Run on Sentence.
If you want to join two independent clauses omitting punctuation marks or appropriate conjunctions, then you must use a run on sentence. A coma splice is quite similar to a run-on sentence; it use uses a come to join both clauses. There are certain rules which you must follow while constructing such a sentence.

You can replace the coma with a semicolon.

You can separate both clauses into separate sentences.

You should replace comma with an appropriate coordinating (and, but, for, yet etc.) or subordinating (after, although, before, unless, even though, if, when, then etc.) conjunctions.
Few examples:

  • Incorrect: Joseph is very smart, he began writing when he was 4 years old.
  • Correct: Joseph is very smart. He began writing when he was 4 years old.
  • Correct: Because Joseph is very smart, he began writing when he was 4 years old.
  • Correct: Joseph is very smart, and he began writing when he was 4 years old.
  • Correct: Joseph is very smart; as a result, he began writing when he was 4 years old.

Keep in mind these simple mistakes and errors which people generally make and you can be more proficient in English language!