Common grammatical errors to avoid

It’s a simple fact that grammar  can be tricky for some people. Even when you carefully check content you’ve written, it’s really easy to let little grammatical errors slip through.

We’re sure that everyone reading this is guilty of making silly mistakes at some point, so we’ve decided to make a list of some of the common errors:

They’re, Their and There
This is the most common grammatical mistake you’ll come across and you’d be surprised how many people don’t know how each one is used:

There – refers to a place – “Let’s go over there.”
Their – something that is owned by a group – “Their football kits were brand new.”
They’re – contraction/abbreviation of ‘they are’ – “They’re going to the cinema.”

Your and You’re
This is the difference between owning something and actually being something:

Your – possessive term – “Your T-shirt has arrived today.”
You’re – contraction/abbreviation of ‘You are’ – “You’re looking well.”

Its and It’s
This is an easy one to get wrong:

Its – possessive term – “The dog hurt its leg.”
It’s – contraction/abbreviation of ‘It is’ – “It’s going to rain.”

Possessive nouns
Most possessive nouns (person/place or thing) will have an apostrophe but people often get confused as to where the apostrophe should go:

– If the noun is plural add the apostrophe after the s (hamsters’).
– If the noun is singular and ends with an s, add an apostrophe after the s (dress’).
– If the noun is singular and doesn’t end with an s, add the apostrophe before the s (captain’s).

Loose and Lose
This is a common mistake that really shouldn’t occur as much as it does:

Lose – “It looks like the team are about to lose.”
Loose – “Her clothes were feeling loose on her.”

Then and Than
These both mean different things so it is important you understand the difference:

Then – time related – “We look forward to meeting you then.”
Than – comparison related – “I would rather meet at your house than mine.”

i.e. and e.g.
These are often used for the same reason but they actually mean two different things:

i.e. – ‘in other words’ or ‘that is’.
e.g. – ‘for example’.

Alot, Allot and A lot
Alot isn’t actually a word. If you are trying to say that someone has a large number of things, you would say that they have a lot of things.

If you are saying you are going to set aside an amount of money, you would say that are going to allot that money.

Unfortunately, this isn’t actually a word. You need to use either regardless orirrespective.

Affect and Effect
These are often mixed up when people are talking about something changing into another thing:

Effect – the actual change (noun) – “That coffee had an effect on my sleep patterns.”
Affect – the act of changing (verb) – “That TV show affected me greatly.”

This list doesn’t includes every single grammatical error you can find and it is understandably more difficult for people to avoid these mistakes if they don’t write in their native language or struggle with grammar in general. 

If in doubt, ask someone else to check the content you have created. A second pair of eyes can help to spot certain errors and ensure that everything you send is flawless.

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