top of page
  • Writer's pictureShelby Ruch

Top 5 Common Grammar Mistakes and What to Write Instead

You may have heard that the English language is one of the most difficult to learn. One of the things that makes English difficult is our grammar, syntax, and spelling rules. Think of these rules as the compass that guides our words and sentences. However, even the most seasoned writers can find themselves stumbling into the labyrinth of common grammar errors. Fear not! This article is here to shed light on the top linguistic pitfalls and help you navigate copywriting with confidence.


Someone writing with a pen.

1. Apostrophe Catastrophe

Nothing sends the Grammar Police into action faster than an apostrophe in the wrong place. The confusion between "its" and "it's," or "your" and "you're," can be easily understood by remembering that an apostrophe always means the word is a possessive word or a contraction. If you’re still in doubt about which version to use, substitute “it’s” for “it is.” If the sentence still makes sense, you’ve got the right one!


2. Series Slipups

Commas are like the traffic signals of grammar. Misusing, overusing, or underusing them can lead to serious misinterpretations. A common error is the misuse of the Oxford comma. If you’re not sure what the Oxford comma is, it’s a comma used after the next to last word in a series. For example, "I love my parents, Lady Gaga and Batman" does not use the Oxford comma. Plus, it could imply an interesting family dynamic. Instead, use the Oxford comma for clarity: "I love my parents, Lady Gaga, and Batman."


3. Subject-Verb Disputes

Subject-verb agreement is the backbone of grammatical structure. Yet, it's easy to overlook, especially when you’re writing a complex sentence. For instance, saying, "The team are playing well" should be corrected to "The team is playing well." The rule is simple: singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs.


4. Double Negatives

In math, two negatives might make a positive – but not in grammar. Phrases like "I don't need no help" may be common in colloquial speech, but in formal writing, they're a big no-no. Instead, opt for the positive form: "I don't need any help."


5. Clause Confusion

Another major error is incorrect use of clauses. Now, we’re not talking about Santa Claus! A clause is simply a part of a sentence. A comma splice happens when you incorrectly join two independent clauses together. For example, “I love hiking, it clears my mind.” Instead of a comma, you should use a period, semicolon, or a comma with a conjunction.


By steering clear of these common grammar errors, your writing will not only be more polished but also more effective. Take the time to proofread your work, or even better, ask a friend to review it.


Mastering grammar is an ongoing journey, and everyone makes mistakes along the way. However, by being aware of these common errors, you're already one step closer to becoming a grammar guru. So, next time you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, remember these tips to keep your writing polished, professional, and free from the clutches of common grammar pitfalls. For copywriting help, contact us at info@splashbox.com or by visiting our website at splashbox.com.

19 views

Comments


bottom of page