Common English Mistakes That Students Make
Some of the most common English mistakes are the easiest to avoid with a little practice. We thought a short reminder here of some of the most important ones that students fall prey to could be a help.
Effective writing makes an interesting read, and it is every writer’s hope to produce great pieces with no errors that put readers off. Bookmark this page and feel free to come back and review the concepts when in doubt. Mistakes can easily be made writing sentences, framing paragraphs, using punctuation and so on. Let's focus here on sentences.
Common grammatical errors when writing sentences:
#1 - Sentence Fragments.
#2 - Run-on sentences.
#3 - Subject-verb disagreements.
Sentence fragments generally occur due to punctuation errors. A period (full stop) instead of a comma can make a sentence look absurd or ungrammatical at its best.
Error: Their whole day was wasted. Probably because they hadn’t set a proper goal to achieve.
The underlined part should be separated from the main clause with a comma and not a period.
Corrected: Their whole day was wasted, probably because they hadn’t set a proper goal to achieve.
Error: Since we are going to visit her.
The above sentence is more of an “un-sentence”, because it doesn’t make any sense, and you as a reader are left waiting for more for it to make sense. Let’s see a corrected form.
Corrected: Since we are going to visit her, we invited Angela to come with us.
Run-on sentences are again the result of wrong punctuation. A run-on sentence is more like a string of many sentences joined together with multiple commas, to make sense they should be separated with periods or semi-colons.
Error: The bakery smelled of lovely fresh bread, I bought myself pineapple donuts.
Although not so clear, this sentence is actually two sentences. Use a period or a semi-colon instead of the comma.
Corrected: The bakery smelled of lovely fresh bread; I bought myself pineapple donuts.
Subject Verb disagreements occur when singular subjects don’t have singular verbs, and/or plural subjects don’t have plural verbs. This gets particularly difficult to maintain when there’s a clause/phrase between subject and verb.
Error: She want to go out today.
Corrected: She wants to go out today.
Error: This box or those boxes is his.
Corrected: This box or those boxes are his.
Error: The write-up by Nick and Lyla tell us how to be a great gardener.
Corrected: The write-up by Nick and Lyla tells us how to be a great
Make a habit and routine of reviewing all of your writing for these common English mistakes and your readers will thank you.
Look Here For Some Common Punctuation Mistakes
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