Surely everyone of us has come across people who can be extremely aggravating when they either speak or write English. The worst kind are the ones that think it's just easier to shorten every last word that has ever existed in the dictionary. (Blame it on text messaging, I guess!) I'm sure everyone has gone through moments when they've read endlessly long emails with no punctuation to them either. And then there are people who just drift along and "rite liek diz!" (Blame this on texting too!) Maybe someone should just protest the next time a person does that! It's hard to believe that people do not get the difference between the use of certain words that may be similar looking. And, while it could be forgiven in case of a new learner of the language, it most certainly isn't excusable in case of those who've grown up speaking the language. For all of you out there who share the sentiment, read on for more on crazy English as well as some regular grammatical mistakes that people tend to make.
Most Common Mistakes in Grammar
Grammatical errors could occur no matter what. Be it written or spoken, you'd be surprised with some of the errors people could make. The right usage of grammar is very important when speaking any language, or it renders pretty useless. Today, let's take a look at some grammatical errors that are frequently made, and how this could be worked on.
i) Errors in Writing
One of the first and most common mistakes in written English is that of mixing up words! There are umpteen words that people just do not know how to distinguish between. Take a look at some of them...
Your & You're: Why it is a task for so many to figure out the difference between the two, is hard to understand, but the fact is that this is one of the most common errors. It's almost annoying to see people use them the wrong way. Here's the difference between the two... Your is a possessive pronoun, whereas, You're is a combination or contraction of the words "you are".
Your coat is at the cleaners, pick it up on your way home.
It doesn't matter how tired you are, you're going to clean your room now! (In this sentence, the word is a combination of the words "you are").
Its & It's: The next common mistake in the list would be that of its and it's. Yet again, the same mistake. The criteria for these words too is the same. Its is a possessive pronoun, while It's just like "you're" is a contraction of either "it is" or "it has".
Do not touch the book, it's not for you. (In this sentence, the word is a combination of "it is").
This house is extremely beautiful, and has always had a charm of its own.
Their & They're: You may notice the pattern that is beginning to follow. Possessive pronoun, as opposed to combinations of words. So, while "their" is the pronoun in this case, "they're" is formed from clubbing the words "they are". While we are at discussing it, there are also instances when people use the words "there" and "their" wrongly too. Take a look at some examples regarding how they should be used.
The teacher expected the students to be on their best behavior, when visiting the museum.
John and Sheila just called. They're on their way to the concert.
Affect & Effect: The first and most evident difference between the two is that one's a verb, while the other is a noun. In the simplest of words, "to affect" means to act physically on something, while "effect" refers to the result or consequence of something.
Not taking college seriously can do a lot to affect your future.
The effects of natural calamities are never pleasant.
Other Common Errors
|Other Commonly Misused Words|
|In spite of||Despite|
|Some Commonly Misspelled Words|
*Note: Words in red are those misspelled, while those in green are the correct spellings.
So, these were some of the more common errors that people tend to make when it comes to writing. Now that you're aware of the common errors, maybe you could pay better attention to them too.
ii) Errors in Speech
The first of many mistakes when it comes to grammatical errors in speech, is that of using two comparative forms following each other. A few common examples of this would be the use of "more better, more faster, more higher" etc. The fact that better, higher, and faster, are already comparative forms, there is no requirement for the word 'more' in any of them. A word like 'more' is very specifically used in situations when the word in question does not already have a comparative form. E.g.: more appealing, more ridiculous, etc.
The next common error is the use of double negation. Sentences like "I didn't do nothing" or "I won't go nowhere" are downright incorrect. Unless intended to be used as a slang, and lay much emphasis on a certain statement, the use of double negatives is considered completely redundant.
Other frequently made errors are:
- Using incorrect past participles or tenses in general, responding to a phone call with "this is him / her", rather than "this is he / she"
- The use of the word "very" even when not required. E.g. Very unique
- A mix up in the use of singular and plural forms
- Using a reference to oneself before speaking about the other person (e.g. Me and my friend, as opposed to, My friend and I)
How You Can Fix It
Most of the above mentioned, whether in speech, or in writing, are regular grammatical mistakes in essays written by students. These errors are completely avoidable if one would very simply pay heed to the basic rules of grammar. The only way a person can fix the bad use of grammar is by making a conscious effort towards doing so. Accepting the fact that the English you speak / write isn't flawless is the first step towards fixing it. Working towards strengthening the vocabulary is also a fairly helpful method. Truth be told, the most effective is only that of being stern with yourself. Cutting down on the use of text language even when texting, is always a good idea. If you can lose the habit, it'll be like half your battle won. Apart from that, when in doubt, refer to a dictionary!
Hopefully, the information on some regular grammatical mistakes will help you eliminate them from your list, if nothing else. Apart from that, enjoy the language, and very simply, keep working at it.