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10 silly grammar mistakes smart people make!

Last updated on: May 11, 2017 11:05 IST

Think you are a grammar whiz?
Then you should not be making these silly mistakes, says Anita Aikara.

Silly mistakes

Even the best can make silly mistakes when it comes to grammar.

Microsoft recently revealed a list of the silliest grammar mistakes people make. The list was complied using the data from millions of its subscribers using Microsoft Word, Outlook or both.

Wonder what these mistakes are? Read on...

1. Too many blank spaces between words

This is a mistake that most of us commit almost every day! Especially when you are typing in a hurry.

At times, we are in such a hurry to send off important e-mails that we don't bother to check for the blank spaces left between words.

2. Missing commas

Did you know that missing a comma can actually change the meaning of a sentence?

A lifestyle magazine carried this headline and people were flabbergasted: Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.

Now let's see how punctuation can change the meaning of this sentence.

Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking, her family and her dog.

3. Missing a comma after an introductory phrase

Introductory phrases are first of all, in order to, in other words, not to mention, to say the least, etc.

Often, people miss using commas after an introductory phrase.

Example: First of all children should obey their parents.

The correct way: First of all, children should obey their parents.

4. Missing hyphens

People get extremely confused when it comes to using hyphens.

Wrong:

  • Three year old son
  • A year and a half ago
  • Girl next door

Correct:

  • Three-year-old son
  • A year-and-a-half ago
  • Girl-next-door

5. Incorrect subject-verb agreement

Read this sentence: The dogs eats well.

It is important to use the singular verb with the singular subject and plural verb with plural subjects.

Correct: The dogs eat well.

English learners often make mistakes in forming plurals.

'Can you give me some informations about the course?'

'Information' is an uncountable noun and hence, doesn't have a plural form.

Correct: 'Can you give me some information about the course?'

6. Incorrect use of capital letters

Capital letters should be used sparingly and wisely.

Wrong: I was to leave for Delhi tomorrow, But the plan got cancelled.
Correct: I was to leave for Delhi tomorrow, but the plan got cancelled.

Wrong: The people were yelling anti-National slogans.
Correct: The people were yelling anti-national slogans.

7. Mixing up commas (and apostrophes)

The most common mistake that people make is mixing up it's and its.

Wrong: Its a big school.
Correct: It's a big school.

People get confused on where they should be placing the comma.

Wrong: Her sisters son goes to college.
Correct: Her sister's son goes to college.

8. Incorrect agreement with noun phrases

Read this sentence: Ashish is working for the blinds.

Words like blind are always plural.

Then the correct way of saying it is: Ashish is working for the blind.

Wrong: My mother bought two dozens apples.
Correct: My mother bought two dozen apples.

Wrong: We need to help the poors.
Correct: We need to help the poor. 

9. Commonly confused words

It's easy to get confused when using similar sounding words.

Do you know the difference between 'their', 'there' and 'they're?

Although they sound similar, each of these words has a different meaning and usage in a sentence.

Examples:

  • Breathe and breath
  • Lose and loose
  • Their and there
  • Hear and here

Wrong: The children could sea the see from there bedroom.
Correct: The children could see the sea from their bedroom.

10. Incorrect verbs

People often get confused between sit and sat, eat and ate, etc.

Wrong: I sit down.
Correct: I sat down.

Wrong: I eat lunch.
Correct: I ate lunch.

Lead photograph: Kind courtesy Public Domain Pictures/Pixabay.com. Published only for representational purposes.

Anita Aikara / Rediff.com