nedaacademy

Most Common Grammatical Errors

5 Most Common Grammatical Errors

 

Error #1: Run-on Sentence or Comma Splice

A run-on sentence is a sentence that joins two independent clauses without punctuation or the appropriate conjunction. A comma splice is similar to a run-on sentence, but it uses a comma to join two clauses that have no appropriate conjunction.

Fixing a run-on sentence or a comma splice can be accomplished in one of five different ways:

•Separate the clauses into two sentences.

•Replace the comma with a semi-colon.

•Replace the comma with a coordinating conjunction–and, but, for, yet, nor, so.

•Replace the comma with a subordinating conjunction–after, although, before, unless, as, because, even though, if, since, until, when, while.

•Replace the comma with a semi-colon and transitional word–however, moreover, on the other hand, nevertheless, instead, also, therefore, consequently, otherwise, as a result.

For example:

•Incorrect: Rachel is very smart, she began reading when she was three years old.

•Correct: Rachel is very smart. She began reading when she was three years old.

•Correct: Rachel is very smart; she began reading when she was three years old.

•Correct: Rachel is very smart, and she began reading when she was three years old.

•Correct: Because Rachel is very smart, she began reading when she was three years old.

•Correct: Rachel is very smart; as a result, she began reading when she was three years old.

Error #2: Pronoun Errors

 

Pronoun errors occur when pronouns do not agree in number with the nouns to which they refer. If the noun is singular, the pronoun must be singular. If the noun is plural, however, the pronoun must be plural as well. For example:

•Incorrect: Everybody must bring their own lunch.

•Correct: Everybody must bring his or her own lunch.

Many people believe that pronoun errors are the result of writers who are trying to avoid the implication of sexist language. Although this is an admirable goal, correct grammar is still important.

Error #3: Mistakes in Apostrophe Usage

Apostrophes are used to show possession. However, you do not use an apostrophe after a possessive pronoun such as my, mine, our, ours, his, hers, its, their, or theirs. For example:

•Incorrect: My mothers cabin is next to his’ cabin.

•Correct: My mother’s cabin is next to his cabin.

In the case of it’s, the apostrophe is used to indicate a contraction for it is. For example:

•Incorrect: Its a cold day in October.

•Correct: It’s a cold day in October.

Error #4: Lack of Subject/Verb Agreement

When speaking or writing in the present tense, a sentence must have subjects and verbs that agree in number. If the subject is singular, the verb must be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well. For example:

•Incorrect: The recipes is good for beginning chefs.

•Correct: The recipes are good for beginning chefs.

Error #5: Misplaced Modifiers

 

To communicate your ideas clearly, you must place a modifier directly next to the word it is supposed to modify. The modifier should clearly refer to a specific word in the sentence. For example:

•Incorrect: At eight years old, my father gave me a pony for Christmas.

•Correct: When I was eight years old, my father gave me a pony for Christmas.

 

 

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