Common Grammar Mistakes
Silly grammar mistakes can really make one look dumb. Though a person might be very good at the subject being addressed, grammar mistakes can be a big turn off for the reader.
In academics, the role of language skill is as important as any other subject. In order to convey your answer, essay or whatever, you need to possess language skills. Rules of grammar direct you toward conveying your written message as clearly as possible. Without grammar to guide us, most of what we write would be meaningless, quite literally.
Grammar Mistakes That Most People Make
Here are some of the grammar mistakes that we can avoid and make our writing more meaningful and understandable.
You’re and Your: This is perhaps one of the most common mistakes that we make. Both these words sound almost similar but each of it is very different. “You’re” is actually a contraction of “you” and “are”. These two words are joined together to form “you’re”. On the other hand, “your” is a pronoun that defines possession or ownership as in, “is this your book?” “You’re expected to work on this project”. Now, try substituting ‘you’re’ with ‘your’ and you’ll find the sentence to be odd while making no sense. So, whenever you have a doubt whether ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ has to be used, try interchanging these words and you’ll understand the difference.
Their, There and they’re: ‘There’ and ‘they’re’ are also very similar to ‘you’re’ and ‘your’. Here also, “they’re” is contraction of ‘they’ and ‘are’, while ‘there’ refers to a location and ‘their’ refers to possession by a number of people. Some people have the habit of switching these words, which renders the sentence meaningless. Examples: They’re working very hard to meet the deadline. There is no place for a criminal to hide. It is the responsibility of the government to protect people and their properties. Now, in each of these examples, try to interchange the words ‘they’re’, ‘there’ and ‘their’ and check for yourself which is the correct sentence and you’ll know it immediately.
Effect and Affect: There is a lot of confusion among many people whether they should write ‘effect’ or ‘affect’, as they both are not only similar sounding words, but their meaning in many cases, seems to be similar and interchangeable. But in reality, they are two different words with two different meanings. While ‘effect’ is the result of some event, ‘affect’ is the influence that something has on another. Examples: ‘Good results are the effect of hard work and industry’. ‘A large donation shall not affect my decision to vote against’.
Then and Than: There is a lot of difference between ‘then’ and ‘than’. ‘Then’ is related to time and ‘than’ is used when comparing between things and events. Example: ‘Back then people did not worry about so many things’. ‘I am more than happy to see you’.
Who and Whom: Apparently, there is also confusion with regards to using ‘who’ and ‘whom’. Both these words are pronouns with very similar meanings referring to a third party. ‘Who’ is to define the subject of the clause and ‘whom’ is used to define the object of the clause. If the question is about a person, then ‘who’ should be used and if the question is about something related to a person then ‘whom’ should be used. Example: ‘Who had visited my office yesterday?’ Here the question is about the person who visited the office and other than visiting office, nothing else is related to the person in the sentence. ‘I don’t remember the name of the person whom I met 1 month ago for a brief period of time’ In this sentence, whom is appropriate because the object in the sentence is meeting a person 1 month before for a brief period of time.
These are some of the major grammatical mistakes that we make and we can easily correct them with little knowledge and practice. Remember not to skip those grammar classes the next time.