Grammatical errors are quite a widespread occurrence, especially for people whose mother tongue isn't English. Many appeal for leniency, while others dismiss their vulnerability to grammatical errors, holding the notion that such mistakes are inconsequential in their personal and professional life. However, the fact remains that impeccable grammar is a mandatory requirement in the present corporate world. You would surely have regretted snoring off during your high school English class, when your manager scorned you for the hideous grammatical mistakes in the business e-mail he asked you to send. Every time you butcher the language with an incorrect statement, your employers are sure to get less skeptical about firing you. Know that effective communication is the elementary key to accomplishing your professional goals. “Everybody else does it now, you can’t blame me!” is the worst defense you can retort. Just because a multitude of employees break the language rules, doesn’t mean you do it too! Scan this article and recognize the common grammatical errors committed by many in their official writing material or examination papers!
Common Grammatical Mistakes
Run-on Sentence / Comma Splice
You must have definitely come across two independent clauses intermingling into one sentence, without utilizing the essential punctuations or conjunctions! This is one of the most disastrous yet familiar goof-ups witnessed in the English language. Popularly identified as run-on sentences or comma splices, these errors can be amended by either dividing the clauses into two separate sentences or by replacing the comma with a semi-colon, if an appropriate conjunction or transitional word is not present. For instance:
Wrong Sentence: Cedric landed a spectacular job, he is highly qualified and works very hard.
Corrected Sentence: Cedric landed a spectacular job. He is highly qualified and works very hard.
Corrected Sentence: Since Cedric is highly qualified and works very hard, he has landed a spectacular job.
Corrected Sentence: Cedric landed a spectacular job; he is highly qualified and works very hard.
Various people misuse apostrophes. The grammar rules dictate that we use them to show possession and not for simple plurals or possessive pronouns. Anybody that adds an apostrophe to pronouns such as my or his is in trouble! Instead of saying “My brothers headphones are in his’ draw”, you ought to say- “My brother’s headphones are in his draw”. Similarly, another overly abused mistake is the eternal uncertainty between the usages of “its” and “it’s”. While “its” is a possessive pronoun, “it’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”. Never confuse the two. Instead, always repeat the sentence before typing it! Likewise, confusion arises between “your” and “you’re”. Know that “your” is a possessive pronoun and “you’re” is nothing, but a contraction of “you are”. For example:
Incorrect: I just bought a new car. It’s efficiency is fantastic!
Correct: I just bought a new car. Its efficiency is fantastic!
Incorrect: Your beautiful!
Correct: You’re beautiful!
Conflicting Subjects & Verbs
Very often, people tend to speak or write in present tense when the subjects disagree in number. For instance, if the subject is singular, the verb must compulsorily be singular. The same applies to a sentence with plurals. It would be absolutely abysmal to say/write- “The lights in my house is dim” as opposed to “The lights in my house are dim.”
One of the most erroneous of the lot is the dangling modifier. While we can see right through some of the common mistakes, misplaced modifiers can leave you confounded for quite some time! To avoid misinterpretations of your ideas or sentences, it is essential that you place a modifier directly next to the word that desperately needs to be modified. The moment you leave your participles dangling, you do the same to your readers/writers.
Incorrect: I have a cake that Polly baked in my briefcase.
Correct: I have a cake that Polly baked, which is presently in my briefcase.
Try not to confuse Their with There or They’re (They are) which is usually a pure typo.
Do not forget the visibly strong difference between “affect” and “effect”. Mixing up these two words will greatly affect your professional image or social status, which will in turn have nasty effects on your happiness.
Always check your spellings! Spell-check will be there to your rescue.