Introduction to Common Mistakes In Grammar
When you want to write something in English like an article, letter, CV, essay, resume, etc, you might face some challenges to make it error-free.
We usually get many errors because the main reason is that we don’t focus/practice grammar rules well.
So to avoid those, we are going to mention the 10 most common mistakes that most people do in grammar.
10 Most Common Mistakes In Grammar
Here, is the list of errors that you need to focus on.
- Sentence Structure
- Singular and plural forms
- Usage of Preposition
- Misuse of Articles
- Active and Passive Voice
- Question Tags
- Missing Commas
- Capitalisation Errors
Sentence Structure is one of the basic concepts in English Grammar. We all know that a sentence has two parts i.e, Subject and Verb.
With the help of these two, a complete sentence can be formed with a proper message. But most the people make mistakes by,
- missing a subject or a verb
- giving incomplete meaning/message
- dividing the sentences incorrectly
Sentence fragmentation is important to understand when the sentence should be divided (fragmented).
If an idea (or message) is expressed in one sentence, then the other related idea should be in another sentence.
In other words, fragmentation is done when another related idea has been expressed in the sentences.
- Incorrect: He is not coming to the Picnic. Because he has a lot of work. (X)
- Correct: He is not coming to the Picnic because he has a lot of work. (_/)
This topic is related to the previous one. The Sentence Structure explains the importance of the subject and verb in the sentences.
Whereas the Subject-Verb-Agreement explains the relationship between the Subject and Verb in the sentences.
The verb changes according to the Subject.
- Sita is singing a song.
- John and Micheal are singing a song.
- That house looks expensive.
- Those houses look expensive.
We can observe that most of them don’t write verbs according to the Subject.
Singular and plural forms
The Subject can be expressed in two forms. That is Singular and Plural forms.
We all know that the plural subjects are represented by adding “-s”.
- Singular: There is one apple in the basket.
- Plural: There are two apples in the basket.
We can also observe that the verbs are also changing according to the form of the Subject.
So, what’s wrong here? Usually, many of them don’t concentrate on verbs based on Singular and Plural forms.
Usage of Preposition
The preposition is one of the concepts of Parts of Speech. These words usually link to other words in the sentences.
There are many prepositions like in, on, under, from, over, for, to, until, etc. Because of these, people often make mistakes by using wrong Prepositions.
- Incorrect: We should pay our exam fee in time. (X)
- Correct: We should pay our exam fee on time. (_/)
- Incorrect: I often go to college by bus. (X)
- Correct: I often go to college by bus. (_/)
- Incorrect: I have been waiting for two hours. (X)
- Correct: I have been waiting for two hours. (_/)
It is also important that the prepositions are not used at the end of the sentences.
- I don’t have anything to start with.
- I wish he would cheer up.
For the question type sentences, you need to use Preposition at the beginning.
- Incorrect: What reason did he go there for? (X)
- Correct: For what reason did he go there? (_/)
Misuse of Articles
We all know that the articles are used to modify the noun.
We also know that there are two types of articles in English Grammar.
- Definite Articles (the)
- Indefinite Articles (a, an)
These types have their usage and purpose, but everyone gets confused about which articles should be used.
Below are some common mistakes in Articles.
- Incorrect: Ganga river is the largest in India. (X)
- Correct: The Ganga river is the largest in India. (_/)
- Incorrect: Thar desert is situated in India. (X)
- Correct: The Thar desert is situated in India. (_/)
If you want to learn about articles in detail, you can click here to learn or click the below button.
The Tenses are used to describe the situations based on the timings (Past, Present and Future).
There are 12 different tenses, which make people often confused while using the sentence. Sometimes, most of them use the tenses unnecessarily (which is shown in the below examples).
Let us consider the below examples.
- Incorrect: I have seen her yesterday. (X)
- Correct: I had seen her last yesterday. (_/)
- Incorrect: I had finished that assignment last week. (X)
- Correct: I finished that assignment last week. (_/)
Make sure you practise these 12 Tenses well to avoid any confusion.
Active and Passive Voice
Active Voice is a form of sentence in which the subject is represented following the action (verb). The form is Subject-Verb-Object (SVO).
Whereas, Passive voice-first displays the verb (action) and then shows the subject who performed that (Object-Verb-Subject).
Both give the same meaning if used. But there is a difference in the usage.
Active Voice gives a direct and clear tone, whereas Passive Voice has a complicated and indirect tone.
- Active Voice: The people vote for the leader.
- Passive Voice: The leader is voted by the people.
- Active Voice: The boss appreciated an employee.
- Passive Voice: An employee was appreciated by the boss.
It is recommended to use the Active than the Passive voice because it sounds formal and good and the words are organized well in the sentences.
Question tags are used for questioning (or interrogating) types of sentences. But while framing the sentence, most people make the mistake of using wrong tags like,
- Incorrect: He is coming to college. Isn’t it? (X)
- Correct: He is coming to college. Isn’t he? (_/)
- Incorrect: You are a kind person. Isn’t it? (X)
- Correct: You are a kind person. Aren’t you? (_/)
Commas are used to give a small pause while reading the sentences. It is like a punctuation mark that fragments (separate) words, clauses, or ideas within the sentences.
Most people make mistakes by not using commas in between the Compound sentences.
Compound sentences are those sentences which have two related ideas connected by the conjunction like and, but, because, etc.
So, we need to remember that commas should be used for Compound sentences.
- Incorrect: Rahul went for fishing and Raju went with him. (X)
- Correct: Rahul went for fishing, and Raju went with him. (_/)
- Incorrect: John read an article but he didn’t enjoy it. (X)
- Correct: John read an article, but he didn’t enjoy it. (_/)
Capitalization is one of the most basic and important concepts in English grammar.
Basically, we all know that the first letter in the word in every sentence should be capitalised. But most of them don’t know the other usages.
Because Capitalization is not only meant for the first letter but also used for nouns (especially Proper Noun).
- Incorrect: Sudheer is an intelligent person. he knows how to handle situations. (X)
- Correct: Sudheer is an intelligent person. He knows how to handle situations. (_/)
- Incorrect: I love to play mobile games, especially temple run. (X)
- Correct: I love to play mobile games, especially Temple Run. (_/)
Here, we can observe that the Pronoun Noun (Temple Run) has been capitalized and the common noun is usually lowercased in the above example.
Quiz Time! (Test your knowledge here)
#1. I am studying ___ St.Jhones High School. Choose an appropriate preposition for the given sentence.
#2. "It is better to follow the traffic rules. ______?" Choose the correct question tag from the below options.
Answer: It is better to follow the traffic rules. Isn’t it?
#3. I ___ watched this movie before. Use an appropriate tense word.
Answer: I had watched this movie before.
#4. "The company is owned by the founder". Convert the given Passive voice sentence to Active voice.
Answer: The founder owns the company.
#5. "He likes to dance. But he gets nervous infront of everyone". Rewrite the compound sentence with the correct one.
Answer: He likes to dance, but he gets nervous in front of everyone.
#6. "i like to eat pizza from dominos". Correct the given wrong sentence.
Answer: I like to eat pizza from Dominos.
#7. Which article is used for the sentence, "Milk is rich in Vitamin D"?
Answer: No article can be used for the given sentence.
#8. "He ___ afraid of dogs". Fill in the blank with an appropriate verb.
Answer: He is afraid of dogs.
#9. Sentence fragmentation means _______________.
Answer: Sentence Fragmentation means dividing (seperating) the sentence.
#10. "He like to teach English". Rewrite the sentence with correct agreement..
Answer: He likes to teach English.
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Conclusion: Common Mistakes In Grammar
So, here is the overview of the topic which we have discussed before.
- Sentence structures are important to learn. Make sure you use the subject and verb in the sentence.
- The verbs change according to the subject in the sentences.
- The verbs also change according to Singular and Plural forms.
- Prepositions are often confusing to use in sentences. You can avoid any mistakes by practising well.
- Understand the concept of Articles (we should use and shouldn’t).
- Tenses are used based on the timings of the event. Read and practice 12 different tenses well.
- It is recommended to use an Active Voice than Passive while writing an article, letter, etc.
- Question tags are used for questioning. Mainly focus on concept and usage.
- Commas are often misplaced or overused in sentences.
- We need to capitalize the starting letter of the word and also Proper Nouns.
If you are interested to learn more, then you can refer to Wikipedia here.
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