The English language is well known as the international language of communication in the modern-day - no matter where you originate from, or what language you speak, learning English will be beneficial both personally and professionally.
People will remember how well you use words if you use them effectively. You may be perceived in a number of positive ways if you use those words effectively-as smart, poised, persuasive, and funny, to name a few. However, even a small grammatical error can ruin the impression. There are many people who are concerned about this issue.
The Most Common Grammar Errors Even The Professionals Make
1. Pronoun Disagreement
The most common grammar error is the incorrect use of pronouns. Usually, they occur when pronouns don't agree in number with the nouns to which they refer. In singular nouns, singular pronouns are to be used. When the noun is plural, the pronoun must also be plural.
Incorrect: “Every boy must bring their own lunch.”
Correct: “Every boy must bring his own lunch.”
In modern English, pronoun errors are common as writers attempt to avoid awkward language or implications of gender. In addition to this admirable objective, learning correct grammar and applying it to formal situations is also essential.
He/him, she/her, and it all refer to a singular antecedent. They/them represent the plural. This is not as simple as it appears. Words such as every, everyone, and each, among others, are singular and take a singular pronoun, even when referring to multiple people, animals, or things. For example "Every house has it's [not their] roof."
In contrast, when speaking about people (or animals), things get a little fuzzy since the English language lacks a gender-neutral singular pronoun. In general, people don't like writing things like "Every doctor has his favorite patients," or "Every nurse has her favorite patients," because they are biased. Not to mention that we have many female doctors and male nurses. Grammaticians have long recommended using he or she or recasting the sentence in plural, like, "All doctors have their favorite patients."
2. Antecedent placement
Antecedent can be defined as something that comes before something else. As an example, in older or formal English prose, people might refer to their predecessors, such as their parents, as "my antecedents."
An antecedent in grammar is specifically a word that comes before a term that represents the original word. For example, "When John went out in the rain, he got wet," John is the subject of the sentence, as well as the antecedent to the pronoun "he."
Understanding Antecedent Agreement
There must be an agreement in number between an antecedent and the word that replaces it. In the case of a singular antecedent, the pronoun that replaces it must also be singular.
Singular - Lisa went out in the rain, so she got wet. ( Lisa is a singular noun, so it must be replaced by a singular word, such as "she.")
Plural - The boys went out in the rain, so they got wet. (Here, "the boys" is plural, so the replacement word must also be plural, such as "they.")
3. Mistakes in Apostrophe Usage
Apostrophes are used to indicate possession. In general, you do not apostrophize after possessive pronouns like my, mine, our, ours, his, hers, its, their, or theirs.
Incorrect: “My fathers cabin is next to his' cabin.”
Correct: “My father's cabin is next to his cabin.”
In the case of “it's”, the apostrophe signifies a contraction for “it is.”
Incorrect: “Its a hot day for November.”
Correct: “It's a hot day for November.”
4. Missing Comma in a Compound Sentence
Compound sentences convey two complete and related ideas, with conjunction linking them together. To indicate that the two ideas are related, a comma should be placed before the conjunction. If that’s missing, the reader will recognize it as a mistake.
Incorrect: “John went to the store and Lisa went with him.”
Correct: “John went to the store, and Lisa went with him.”
5. Misplaced Modifiers
To make your ideas clear, you should place a modifier directly next to the word it is supposed to modify. Make sure that the modifier refers to a specific word within the sentence. Improperly placed modifiers can cause confusion and misinterpretation.
Incorrect: “At eight years old, my mother gave me a cycle for Christmas.”
Correct: “When I was eight years old, my mother gave me a cycle for Christmas.”
Also Check: 5 freelance interview tips that will boost your chances of success.
The English language is very specific in terms of grammatical rules and punctuation. Having confidence in how to avoid any grammatical errors is an important aspect of your learning.
It is advisable for you to practice improving your grammar daily, as it will help you become a stronger writer with a solid grasp of English.