Fix 5 most common Grammatical Errors

Are your grammar goofs making you look bad? Frequent grammar errors could cause others to question your writing at work. Here’s how to identify and fix ten of the most common offenders.

Commonly Confused Words

There’s an inherent flaw to spellcheck—sometimes you spell a word correctly, but you use the wrong one. Even when your mistake is an honest typo, using the wrong word can make it look as though there’s a gap in your knowledge.

1Then/Than
Then can mean at that time or next in time/space/order.
She was still working there then.
Let’s have pizza and then go to a movie.
Than
is comparative.
Joe is a little shorter than Anna.
2Lose/Loose
Lose is a verb that can mean fail to win, misplace, or free oneself from something or someone
If I don’t run faster I’ll lose the race.
I seem to lose my car keys every week!
Morning muffins are a habit I’d like to lose.

Loose is an adjective that means not tight.

After I cut muffins from my diet, I noticed that my pants were loose!
3There/Their
Their means belonging to them
The girls forgot to pack their lunches.

There indicates a place.

Park your bike over there.
4Apostrophes in plural words
Apostrophes are used to show possession

The dog’s collar was red.

They’re also used to form contractions like shouldn’t, we’ve, and you’re.

Apostrophes are almost never used to form plurals.

My landlady had six cat’s cats in her apartment!
5Unnecessary quotation marks
When you put quotation marks around anything that doesn’t require them, you mean “ . . . but not really.”
The Internet is full of examples of unnecessary quotation marks. They’re often misused to add emphasis.

So, just be aware that when you end an email by telling your boss to have a “great day,” you’re implying the opposite.

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