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A Quick Grammar Review: Top 10 Mistakes to Correct Before Publishing Your Article

By Edited Sep 16, 2016 5 11

Its so easy to miss some of the most basic of grammar rules in our own writing. For an easy example, not many people will realize the previous sentence has a glaring error. In fact one of the most common errors found by proof readers. Read on to learn how to make your writing stronger by correcting those tiny yet annoying mistakes before putting your writing on-line for everyone to see.

Mistake #1: Its versus It's

The apostrophe in it's is only used when you are forming the contraction it is. If you are referring to possession, the correct usage is its. Example: It's satisfying to watch Infobarrel post about its rapid climb in Goggle stats.

Mistake #2: Your versus You're

Again it's all a matter of contractions. If you mean you are, you would use you're. If you are referring to a possession, such as your dog...well my point is made.

Mistake #3: There, They're, and Their

Most of us know the correct usage here, but it is easy to write so quickly that we simply type the wrong one. Something to be aware of.

Mistake #4: Lie versus Lay

This one I still struggle with, but the correct usage is as follows:  Lie: means to recline, as in I'm going to go lie down.  Lay: means to place something, as in where did I lay that blankety blank thing?

Mistake #5: Effect versus affect

Effect is a noun and affect is a verb. Be careful of your usage here.  Examples:  The bee sting really had an effect on me. It affects my ability to flex my finger.

Mistake #6: Then versus than

Then means a timing or placement. As in: Mary came in first, then George.  Than is used for comparisons. As in: I'd rather be rich than poor.

Mistake #7: Could of/would of versus could have/would have

Again, I think we all know the correct usage here, but it is a very easy error to make when we are typing. And since it rolls off the tongue as very similar sounds, it isn't always an easy catch.

Mistake #8: I versus me

This usually gives us trouble in sentences like:  Dan and George went to the movies with Jenny and I. (Wrong)  Dan and George went to the movies with Jenny and me. (Right)  An easy way to tell is simply to take out Jenny and see if it still sounds right.

Mistake #9: Loose versus lose

An example of correct usage: It is amazing that teenagers today don't lose their pants, since they wear them so loose.

Mistake #10: A versus An

The general rule is to use 'a' if the word following begins with a consonant and use 'an' if it begins with a vowel.  As in: An apple a day...

The sad thing today is that you can find these errors almost everywhere. I find them in published books all the time. But the good news is that now you are aware of them, you can truly strengthen your writing.

Always proofread your writing before publishing. You'll never regret it.




Jan 26, 2012 2:57pm
Excellent grammar tips. The "would of" "could of" group of errors are the ones that drive me craziest when reading.
Jan 26, 2012 3:19pm
I agree. Tiny errors like this grate on nerves. And I do miss errors of my own from time to time. I find the then instead of then particularly annoying.
Jan 27, 2012 9:00am
Great article! I am bookmarking it for future reference. Thanks for sharing.
Jan 27, 2012 11:02am
Thanks for the reminders, it's easy enough to make one or more of these grammar errors. Proofreading is always worth the extra time and effort.
Jan 27, 2012 7:39pm
Arg - these things grate on me.

I know I make plenty of mistakes, and probably do all of these at one point or another, but I still don't like to see them. Loose vs. lose seems to be a more recent thing than the others, but it seems to be rampant all over the internet.
Jan 28, 2012 12:51pm
Excellent Grammar Tips!
Jan 28, 2012 2:24pm
Great Grammar Tips! We all make mistakes and it's hard to catch them all!
Jan 29, 2012 12:06pm
Very useful list, thank you Belinda! I have to be careful with loose vs. lose, even though I know how to use each one correctly, I always end up writing it wrong.
Jan 31, 2012 6:20am
Great tips, I always proofread my articles a minimum of two times before posting them. I usually end up finding some sort of error in grammar, or change the odd word here and there. It often sounds good as it flows out of your head onto the keyboard, but after re-reading your work you usually find a synonym that better fits that particular sentence. Thanks for the handy tips!
Jan 31, 2012 7:35am
Very nice article and quite useful too! I just wish I had thought of it! :)
Jan 31, 2012 4:40pm
This would make a great feature article! Very nice work! BTW, can I hire you as my personal editor? :o)
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