Do You Make These 11 Common Grammar Mistakes?




Do You Make These 11 Common Grammar Mistakes?

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Welcome to this guide on the most common grammar mistakes. Communication is key, and it all starts with proper grammar. Unfortunately, many of us make mistakes without even realizing it. Whether you’re sending an email, writing a report, or simply chatting with friends, grammar errors can make you look unprofessional and affect the clarity of your message.

In this article, we’ll review eleven common grammar mistakes so that you can improve your writing skills and avoid making them in the future. Knowing these mistakes will help you communicate more effectively and confidently. So, let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

  • Eleven common grammar mistakes can mess up written communication.
  • By identifying and understanding the most frequent mistakes, you can improve your writing skills.
  • The guide will provide you with explanations and examples to help you avoid common errors and communicate more effectively.

Mixing up “Their,” “They’re,” and “There”

One of the most common grammar errors is confusing the words “their,” “they’re,” and “there,” even though they have different meanings and functions in a sentence. Here’s a breakdown:

Word Meaning Example
Their Possessive pronoun They love their new house.
They’re Contraction for “they are” They’re excited to move into their new house.
There Adverb indicating location or existence Their new house is right there!

To avoid mixing up these words, remember that “their” is possessive, “they’re” is a contraction for “they are,” and “there” indicates a place or existence. Practice using them correctly in sentences and always proofread your work.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement refers to the agreement in number (singular or plural) between the subject and verb in a sentence. This agreement is important for ensuring grammatically correct sentences that convey clear meaning.

The basic rule for subject-verb agreement is that singular subjects take singular verbs, while plural subjects take plural verbs. For example, “The cat is sleeping” (singular subject and verb) versus “The cats are sleeping” (plural subject and verb).

One common error in subject-verb agreement is when the subject and verb are separated by other words, such as prepositional phrases or clauses. In these cases, it is important to identify the subject and ensure that the verb agrees with it in number. For example, “The book, along with its companion, is on the shelf” (singular subject, verb agrees) versus “The book, along with its companions, are on the shelf” (plural subject, verb agrees).

Another area of confusion is when the subject is a collective noun, such as “team” or “family.” In these cases, the verb should agree with the meaning of the noun as either singular or plural. For example, “The team is practicing” (singular verb) versus “The team are arguing” (plural verb).

By understanding and applying the rules of subject-verb agreement, you can improve the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

Misusing Apostrophes

Misusing apostrophes is a common mistake that can change the meaning of a sentence. To avoid this error, remember that apostrophes are used in two main ways:

Usage Example
To indicate possession Your friend’s car
To indicate contractions It’s raining outside

One common mistake is using an apostrophe to indicate a plural noun. This is incorrect, and an apostrophe should only be used for possessive nouns or contractions.

Incorrect: I have three apple’s.

Correct: I have three apples.

Another common mistake is using an apostrophe with pronouns that already indicate possession, such as his, hers, and its.

Incorrect: The dog wagged it’s tail.

Correct: The dog wagged its tail.

By understanding the proper usage of apostrophes, you can avoid common errors and improve the clarity of your writing.

Confusing “Your” and “You’re”

One common grammar mistake that can make your writing appear unprofessional is confusing the words “your” and “you’re.” Remember, “your” is a possessive pronoun that shows ownership, while “you’re” is a contraction of “you are.”

If you’re not sure which one to use, try saying the sentence out loud with “you are” instead of “your.” If it still makes sense, then “you’re” is the correct choice.

Here are some examples:

Incorrect Correct
Your going to love this movie. You’re going to love this movie.
You’re laptop is very old. Your laptop is very old.
Your welcome for the invitation. You’re welcome for the invitation.

Remember, using the wrong word can change the meaning of a sentence and make you appear less knowledgeable about grammar. By mastering the difference between “your” and “you’re,” you can improve the clarity and professionalism of your writing.

Run-on Sentences and Fragments

Run-on sentences and sentence fragments are common errors in writing. A run-on sentence occurs when two or more independent clauses are joined without appropriate punctuation or conjunction. A sentence fragment, on the other hand, is an incomplete sentence that lacks a subject, verb, or both.

To avoid run-on sentences, make sure each independent clause stands alone as a complete thought. Use a period, semicolon, or comma with coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so) to separate two independent clauses. Use a comma and a subordinating conjunction (after, although, as, because, before, if, since, though, unless, until, when, where, while) to connect an independent clause and a dependent clause.

To fix sentence fragments, identify the missing subject or verb and add it to the sentence. Alternatively, merge the fragment with a nearby complete sentence or rewrite it to form a complete sentence.

Using “Then” Instead of “Than”

Using “then” when you mean “than” is a common grammar mistake that can change the meaning of your sentence. “Then” is used when you want to show the sequence of events or time, while “than” is used for comparison. For example, “I ate breakfast, then I went for a walk” shows a sequence of events. On the other hand, “I prefer tea than coffee” should be “I prefer tea to coffee” to show a comparison between the two beverages.

Incorrect Use of Commas

Using commas incorrectly is a common grammar mistake that can change the structure and meaning of a sentence. Commas are used to separate items in a list, indicate a pause in a sentence, or separate two independent clauses. However, using them inappropriately can lead to confusion.

One common mistake is using a comma to join two independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction such as “and” or “but.” For example: “She ate the pizza, it was delicious.” This should be corrected to: “She ate the pizza, and it was delicious.”

Another mistake is placing a comma between a subject and its verb. For instance, “The dog, barked loudly.” Instead, write, “The dog barked loudly.”

Remember, the use of commas can affect the clarity of your writing. Review your work carefully to ensure that commas are being used correctly.

Using commas appropriately takes practice. Utilize online resources and grammar guides to help you grasp the proper use of commas.

Confusing “Its” and “It’s”

Another common grammar mistake is confusing “its” and “it’s.” The difference between the two is straightforward, but many people still mix them up.

“Its” is a possessive pronoun that indicates ownership or possession. For example, “The dog chewed on its bone.”

“It’s”, on the other hand, is a contraction of “it is” or “it has.” For example, ” It’s going to be a beautiful day.”

To avoid this mistake, remember that “it’s” always means “it is” or “it has.” If you’re unsure, try expanding the contraction to see if it makes sense in context. If it does not, use “its” instead.

Using “Effect” Instead of “Affect”

One common mistake in grammar is using “effect” instead of “affect.” These words are often confused, but they have very different meanings. “Affect” is a verb that means to influence or produce a change in something. “Effect” is a noun that refers to the result of an action or event.

For example, if you say “The rain affected my mood,” you’re saying that the rain caused a change in your mood. If you say “The effect of the rain on my mood was noticeable,” you’re talking about the result of the rain on your mood.

It’s important to use these words correctly to avoid confusion in your writing. One way to keep them straight is to remember that “affect” is usually a verb and “effect” is usually a noun. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For instance, “effect” can be used as a verb to mean “to bring about or accomplish.” In this case, it’s usually used in the phrase “effect change.” On the other hand, “affect” can be used as a noun to describe a person’s emotional expression, but this usage is less common.

As with other grammar mistakes, it’s important to proofread your work carefully to ensure that you’re using “affect” and “effect” correctly.

Misplacing Modifiers

Misplaced modifiers are a common grammar mistake that can lead to confusion in your writing. Modifiers are words or phrases that describe or provide more information about something else in the sentence. When they are misplaced, they can be attached to the wrong thing, creating unclear or even humorous sentences.

For example, “I saw a man with a telescope walking down the street.” The modifier “with a telescope” is misplaced because it is describing the wrong thing. The sentence is implying that the man is the one with the telescope, when in reality, it should be “I saw a man walking down the street with a telescope.”

To avoid these mistakes, make sure the modifier is placed as close as possible to the word or phrase it is describing. Read your sentence carefully and make sure the meaning is clear and logical.


Congratulations! By reading this article and understanding the eleven common grammar mistakes, you are now one step closer to improving your writing skills. Remember to keep practicing and implementing the tips we have provided, so you can communicate more effectively and clearly in your writing.


Q: What are some common grammar mistakes?

A: Some common grammar mistakes include mixing up “their,” “they’re,” and “there,” subject-verb agreement errors, misusing apostrophes, confusing “your” and “you’re,” run-on sentences and fragments, using “then” instead of “than,” incorrect use of commas, confusing “its” and “it’s,” using “effect” instead of “affect,” and misplacing modifiers.

Q: How can I avoid common grammar mistakes?

A: To avoid common grammar mistakes, it’s important to understand the rules of grammar and practice correct usage. Pay attention to details when writing and proofread your work carefully. You can also use grammar-checking tools and consult grammar resources for guidance and clarification.

Q: What are some resources for improving grammar?

A: There are various resources available for improving grammar. You can refer to grammar books, online grammar courses, grammar websites, and style guides. Additionally, attending writing workshops or seeking feedback from a grammar tutor or editor can help you improve your grammar skills.

Q: How do I know if my grammar is correct?

A: To ensure your grammar is correct, you can use grammar-checking tools such as spelling and grammar checkers in word processing software. It’s also helpful to review grammar rules and consult reliable grammar resources. Additionally, seeking feedback from others, such as teachers or peers, can provide valuable insights.

Q: Why is proper grammar important?

A: Proper grammar is important because it helps convey your message clearly and effectively. It enhances your credibility as a writer and makes your writing more professional. Good grammar also aids in avoiding misunderstandings or ambiguity in communication.

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