Common Errors in English • English writing is an art which requires a lot of writing practices. It demands correct grammar, spellings and uses of appropriate words to communicate the feelings and thoughts as well as other information. Mostly peoples use correct grammar and spelling but several times they make some errors which are mostly done by other peoples also. We can define these errors as common grammatical errors or common writing errors. These should be avoided in writing to write an impressive content or language. These are as follows:
Use of main verb and helping verb: This is most common error after error of coma which can be seen anywhere and everywhere. Often helping verb does not support the used main verb which changes the meaning of sentence and creates confusion. Sometimes peoples do not use the correct form of main verb which also changes the meaning of language and misguides to the reader or hearer. We can also take passive sentences as examples of mismatching of main verb and helping verb where use of wrong form of main verb and helping verb interprets the false statement.
Mismatch of subject and helping verb: This is another error related to the use of verb which occurred several times. Generally it happens when either subject is singular and verb is plural or subject is plural and verb is singular. Although it does not interpret wrong meaning but generates confusion about the subject and verb.
Use of pronoun: Pronoun error is also an error which has been done by maximum peoples especially in the number of nouns likewise singular pronoun should be used for singular noun and plural pronoun should be used for plural noun.
Use of comma or separation/conjunction word: Comma is an important character of languages which can change the meaning of a sentence, if it is not used at right place. Comma is used to differentiate two interrelated sentences without breaking them into two sentences. It is used in several forms as comma, semi-colon, colon and replacing with the suitable word, transitional word or conjunction such as and, but, for, yet, however, moreover, nevertheless, instead, rather than, otherwise, therefore, also, as well as, either, or, after, before, although, unless, as, if, because, when, while, until and so on.
Use of Apostrophe: Apostrophe is used to show ownership or possession of something. Sometimes it is also used to indicate the helping verb as example it is may be written as it’s. • Use of wrong words: It happens due to lack of knowledge of dictionary. Often the students do not know that which word should be used and they write other word which does not justify the sentences and their thought. It can be sort out after having a sound knowledge of words and their interpretational uses.
Because English is such a complex language, it is fraught with traps that we all frequently fall into. With this list I hope to clear up at least a few of the confusing words we use every day. This is a list of some of the more common errors people make with English.
1. Practice / Practise • In US English, practice is used as either a verb (doing word), or noun (naming word). Hence, a doctor has a practice, and a person practices the violin. In UK english, practice is a noun, and practise is a verb. A doctor has a practice, but his daughter practises the piano. • 2. Bought / Brought • Bought relates to buying something. Brought relates to bringing something. For example, I bought a bottle of wine which had been brought over from France. The easy way to remember which is which is that bring start with ‘br’ and brought also does. Buy and bought start with ‘b’ only. This is one of those difficult ones that a spelling checker won’t catch.
3. Your / You’re • Your means “belonging to you”. You’re means “you are”. The simplest way to work out the correct one to use is to read out your sentence. For example, if you say “you’re jeans look nice” expand the apostrophe. The expanded sentence would read “you are jeans look nice” – obviously nonsensical. Remember, in English, the apostrophe often denotes an abbreviation.
4. Its / It’s • As in the case above, the apostrophe denotes an abbreviation: it’s = it is. Its means “belongs to it”. The confusion arises here because we also use an apostrophe in English to denote possession – except in this case; if you want to say “the cat’s bag” you say “its bag” not “it’s bag”. “It’s” always means “it is” or “it has”. “It’s a hot day.” “it’s been fun seeing you.” • 5. Two / To / Too • With a ‘w’ it means the number 2. With one ‘o’ it refers to direction: ‘to France’. With two ‘o’s it means “also” or refers to quantity – for example: “There is too much money”. A good way to remember this one is that too has two ‘o’s – ie, it has more ‘o’s than ‘to’ – therefore it refers to quantity.
6. Desert / Dessert • This is a confusing one because in English an ‘s’ on its own is frequently pronounced like a ‘z’ and two ‘s’s are usually pronounced as a n ‘s’ (for example: prise, prissy). In this case, desert follow the rule – it means a large stretch of sand. However, dessert is pronounced “dez-urt” with the emphasis on the second syllable – ie, something we eat as part of our meal. To make matters worse, when a person leaves the army without permission, it is spelt desert. So, let’s sum up: • desert (pronounced dez’-it): dry landdesert (pronounced dez-urt’): abandondessert (pronounced dez-urt’): yum yum! – remember, two ‘s’s because you want second helpings! • Oh – one more thing – another very common mistake is using the word dessert (two ‘s’s) to mean pudding – pudding is a sweet course, often consisting of some kind of cake or icecream. Dessert is fruit or cheese – normally taken after the pudding course.
7. Dryer / Drier • If your clothes are wet, put them in a clothes dryer. That will make them drier. A hair dryer also makes hair drier. • 8. Chose / Choose • This is actually quite an easy one to remember – in English we generally pronounce ‘oo’ as it is written – such as “moo”. The same rule applies here: choose is pronounced as it is written (with a ‘z’ sound for the ‘s’) – and chose is said like “nose”. Therefore, if you had to choose to visit Timbuktu, chances are you chose to fly there. Chose is the past tense, choose is the present tense.
9. Lose / Loose • This one is confusing. In this case, contrary to normal rules of English, the single ‘s’ in loose is pronounced like an ‘s’ – as in wearing trousers that are too loose. Lose on the other hand, relates to loss – for example: “I hope we don’t lose this game”. A good way to remember this is that in the word “lose” you have lost the second ‘o’ from loose. If you can’t remember a rule that simple, you are a loser!
10. Literally • This one is not only often used in error, it is incredibly annoying when it is used in the wrong way. Literally means “it really happened” – therefore, unless you live on a parallel universe with different rules of physics, you can not say “he literally flew out the door”. Saying someone “flew out the door” is speaking figuratively – you could say “he figuratively flew out the door” but figuratively is generally implied when you describe something impossible. Literally can only be used in the case of facts – for example: he literally exploded after swallowing the grenade. If he did, indeed, swallow the grenade and explode – that last sentence is perfectly correct. It would not be correct to say “she annoyed him and he literally exploded” unless she is Wonder Woman and her anger can cause people to blow up.
Sententialerrors in writing • CommaSplice • Run-on sentence • Non-parallelsentences • Sentencefragments
To help you better understand the conventions of academic and professional writing, we have identified the twenty error patterns (other than misspelling) most common among U.S. college students and list them here in order of frequency. These twenty errors are likely to cause you the most trouble, so it is well worth your effort to check for them in your writing.
Check your sentences to see which ones open with an introductory word, phrase, or clause. Readers usually need a small pause between the introductory element and the main part of the sentence, a pause most often signaled by a comma. Try to get into the habit of using a comma after every introductory element, be it a word, a phrase, or a clause. When the introductory element is very short, you don't always need a comma after it. But you're never wrong if you do use a comma.
Check all the commas used in your draft for comma splices, which occur only when a comma separates clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence. To correct a comma splice, you can insert a semicolon or period, add a word like and or although after the comma, or restructure the sentence.
Sitting cannot function alone as the verb of the sentence. Adding the auxiliary verb was turns it into a complete verb, was sitting, indicating continuing action. Now this is a sentence
Check each of the sentences in your draft to make certain it is not a fused sentence (also called a run-on sentence). Fused sentences are created when clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence are joined with no punctuation or words to link them. Fused sentences must either be divided into separate sentences or joined by adding words or punctuation.
Use its to mean belonging to it; use it's only when you mean it is or it has.
Check all of your nouns ending in -s to see if any of them are possessives. To make a noun possessive, you must add either an apostrophe and an -s (Ed's book) or an apostrophe alone (the boys' gym). Possessive personal pronouns, however, do not take apostrophes: hers, his, its, ours, yours.
Check your draft by circling all the prepositions and making certain they are the ones you meant to use, because specific prepositions express specific relationships. Many words in English are regularly used with a particular preposition to express a particular meaning. Because many prepositions are short and are not stressed or pronounced clearly in speech, they are often left out accidentally in writing. Proofread carefully, and check a dictionary when you're not sure about the preposition to use.
Check to see how many of the sentences in your draft are compound sentences, sentences made up of two or more parts that could each stand alone as a sentence. When the parts are joined by and, but, so, yet, nor, or for, insert a comma to indicate a pause between the two thoughts. In very short sentences, the comma is optional if the sentence can be easily understood without it. But you'll never be wrong to use a comma.
Wrong shade of meaning: a stench is a disagreeable smell; a fragrance is a pleasing odor. Wrong meaning: sedate means "composed, dignified" and sedentary means "requiring much sitting." "Wrong word" errors come in many varieties. They can be among the hardest errors to check for, because you may not be able to see what's wrong. They can involve mixing up words that sound somewhat alike, using a word with the wrong shade of meaning, or using a word with a completely wrong meaning. Many "wrong word" errors are due to the improper use of homonyms—words that are pronounced alike but spelled differently, such as their or there. If wrong words are a problem for you, ask classmates or a teacher to help you scan your draft for them.
Check all of your verbs to make sure you have placed the proper endings on them. It's easy to forget the verb endings -s (or -es) and -ed (or -d) because they are not always pronounced clearly when spoken. In addition, some varieties of English use these endings in ways that are different from uses in standard academic English.