We do Grammar lapses most of the time, unless we check it out. Here are some few reminders to improve yourself.
1. Incorrect Use of Apostrophe
One of the most common grammar errors is the incorrect use of the apostrophe.
Here are the rules:
1. If the noun is singular and doesn’t end in an “s,” add an apostrophe and an “s.”
Example: The car’s horn was loud.
2. Note: If the noun is singular and ends in an “s,” add the apostrophe after the “s.”
Example: The species’ features showed how it can survive in water.
Note: If the noun is plural, add the apostrophe after the “s.”
Example: The cats’ beds were in the back of the house.
2. Using the Wrong Word
One of the biggest grammar issues is to use the wrong word. Many words sound like other words but have very different meanings. For example, its vs. it’s, their vs. there and your vs. you’re.
Its vs. It’s
Its is a possessive pronoun.
Example: My neighbor’s dog didn’t like to sleep in its dog house.
It’s is a contraction of “it is” or “it has.”
Example: It’s fun when Grandma comes to visit.
Their vs. There
Their is an adjective that means something belongs to someone.
Example: It was their house.
There is an adverb that means at that place.
Example: Place the box there.
Your vs. You’re
Your is an adjective that shows something belongs to you.
Example: Your phone has been ringing all day.
You’re is a contraction of “you” and “are.”
Example: You’re going to love your car.
3. Incorrect Use of Me vs. I
Does this one confuse you big time? Is it correct to say “Give it to me.” Or, should you say “Give it to I.” Here’s how to figure out which word to use to avoid this common grammar error.
Basically the rule is that you use “I” if you are the subject of the sentence and you use “me” if you are the object of the sentence.
I is a subject pronoun and refers to the person doing to action of the verb.
Example: I went to the store.
Example: Tom and I are friends with the teacher.
Me is an object pronoun and is the person to which the action is done.
Example: My mother gave me twenty dollars when I went to the store.
Example: The teacher should ask Tom or me.
Here’s a tip: To decide whether to use “me” or “I” with another name, just remove the other name.
For example: If you remove “Mary” from “Mary and I went to the park.” you would be left with “I went to the park.” That sounds correct because it is correct.
However, if you remove “Mary” from “She gave the book to Mary and I.” you would be left with “She gave the book to I.” That sounds incorrect because it is incorrect.
4. Ending a Sentence with a Preposition.
Watch Out for Where You Put the Preposition
A common grammar debate is whether it is poor grammar to end a sentence with a preposition such as “with” or “for.” Current convention is that it is not correct to end a sentence with a preposition; however, it is OK if the alternative would create confusion.
Example with preposition at the end: What street does she live on?
Correction to change the position of the preposition: On what street does she live?
5. Incorrect Use of Between vs. Among
Between Three vs. Among Many Things
Between is an adverb that refers to two or more things.
Example: She parked between the two cars at the curb.
Among is a preposition that refers to things that are part of a group.
Example: She placed her gift among all the gifts on the table.
Grammar Mistakes You Are Probably Making Every Day
Are You Confusing Your Listeners?
Congratulations! You are probably catching your written grammar mistakes because you are proofreading what you write; but, are you sure you aren’t making grammar mistakes in conversation? If you don’t know…read on.
Here are five frequently-made mistakes you could be making with your spoken grammar:
- Not speaking in full sentences – A sentence must have a subject and a verb.
- Inconsistent use of number in subject and verb – If the subject is singular, the verb must be singular.
- Further vs. farther – “Further” shows an estimated distance. “Farther” shows a measurement.
- Who vs. that – You should use “who” when you are referring to a person. You should use “that” to refer to an object.
- Lay vs. lie – You “lay” something down. People “lie” down.