As an online English speaking course provider, we deal with a humongous amount of written text in a day. After years of teaching and editing, we have come up with a list of 20 grammar mistakes that most of us make, unconsciously or consciously. Grammar is one subject that is taught in school from primary level, still, most of us don’t get it right. It is human to make mistakes and grammar is no difference. Even scholarly writers make grammar mistakes, so don’t freak out when somebody points our your mistakes. Instead, make a note of it and ensure not to repeat it.
Five common grammar mistakes
1. Who / that
One of the most common mistakes is to use them interchangeably.
Kathy is a teacher who likes dancing. The rule is - ‘who’ goes with people & that goes with things. She is sitting on the desk that is made of cherry wood.
2. Me / I
Even expert English speakers make a mistake of interchanging me with I. Let us look at an example to understand the concept.
"If you lose your way, just call Shilpa or me."
"If you lose your way, just call Shilpa or I."
Now, remove the second person and read the sentence again.
"If you lose your way, just call me."
"If you lose your way, just call I."
Naturally, the first option sounds grammatically correct. Hope you will remember this simple rule to differentiate between the use of me and I.
3. Affect / Effect
Although both these words sound quite similar, they differ in their meanings. Affect means “to influence”, while effect means the result of something. Let us look at examples.
The movie had a great affect on Rajvir.
The effect of smoke is extremely hazardous to health.
4. May and Might
Raise your hand if you know the difference between may and might. When a certain thing has a possibility to happen, we use may. On the other hand, might is used when there is a high level of uncertainty.
It is raining heavily, he might not reach the airport on time.
He may reach the airport if the rain stops for a while.
In the first example, the likeliness of a person is remote if it continues to rain heavily. However, in the second example, there is a certain possibility if rain stops in between.
5. There / their
We all know the usage and these two, but more often we make a typo error of using them interchangeably. There refers to a place, whereas their refers to something that is owned by a group.
Here, we have listed five common grammar mistakes. In our next blog, we will start from here and continue to list down more such errors. Some of these grammar peeves makes you appear stupid, and hence, it is important to be cautious about them. You can join our online spoken English program and learn more about grammar in detail. For now, stay tuned as our free grammar class as we continue in our next blog.
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- By Shailja Varma
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