English Writing Mistakes
Common writing mistakes with punctuation can be avoided with a few basic pointers. These are some of the most important ones that ESL students have problems with. Words are not the whole story in written English. How the words are arranged and the instructions given the reader by the punctuation are needed to communicate the exact intended message of the writer.
Clear, non-confusing writing is needed especially in academic and technical writing. When in doubt, take a few minutes to come back and review the writing mistakes and corrections.
Common errors in punctuation
1 - Commas between subjects and verbs.
2 - Errors in using apostrophes.
3 - Errors in using colon and semi-colon.
Too many or too few commas produces a confusing sentence. Remember that the comma is meant to create a slight pause in the reading. Also, a comma between a verb and a subject is not needed and may be confusing. Take the following sentence.
Error, missing comma: When we finished eating the dog started to bark.
Corrected: When we finished eating, the dog started to bark.
Error, unnecessary comma: Some of the greatest rulers of many nations, have been women.
Corrected: Some of the greatest rulers of many nations have been women.
Apostrophes should be used in the right way, but generally they are not. An apostrophe is used with a noun to express ownership or possession.
Error, missing apostrophe: The singers pitch was too high to be bearable.
Corrected: The singer’s pitch was too high to be bearable.
Error, unnecessary apostrophe: Government should not neglect the problem of population. It’s effect can be grave.
Corrected: Government should not neglect the problem of population. Its effect can be grave.
[Remember: It’s = it is; while its = possessive of it]
Colons and semi-colons get used mistakenly too often. Remember, colons are used to introduce lists, and they should not be placed just after a verb like in the following example.
Error: These include: x, y and z physical activities.
Corrected: These include physical activities: x, y and z.
Error: The bakery smelled of lovely fresh bread, I bought myself pineapple donuts.
Corrected: The bakery smelled of lovely fresh bread; I bought myself pineapple donuts.
Semi-colons can be used in place of connectors like: and, but, in contrast.
Whereas colons can be used in place of connectors like: because, in other words.
These are the few of the writing mistakes that even experienced writers encounter everyday. The English writing tips on this page will help you stay away from them and create punctuation correct, rich writings.
Look At Some Of The Common Writing Grammar Problems
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