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Grammar Mistake

Grammar Mistake

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Published by: Wei Chong on Jan 14, 2011
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COMMON MISTAKE GRAMMAR PMR

A or An? A or An ? The article a is used before consonant sounds; an is used before vowel sounds. Words beginning with h, o and u sometimes begin with a vowel sound, sometimes a consonant sound. Consonant Sound: a heroic couplet (h sound) a once-happy lover (w sound) a universal problem (y sound) Vowel Sound: an honest man (no h sound)

identical. it cannot be compared! Incorrect: He is a very unique personality. right. opposite. infinite. comparatives. perfect.an only child (o sound) an unusual insect (u sound) ________________________________________________________________________ __________________ Unique and Other Absolute Modifiers Unique means "one of a kind. fatal. and words like very. superlatives. nor can they be used in comparisons. eternal." As verbs." However. so. In most cases they cannot be modified by very and similar words. For example. dead. mortal. Many times there is a similar word which is not absolute. opposite. instead of using the word unique in the above example use a similar word that is not absolute. or extremely should not be used to modify it. If it is one of a kind. Accept or Except ? Accept means "to receive. This same logic applies to other words which reflect some kind of absolute: absolute. finite. Correct: He has a more distinctive personality than Marie. straight. or irrevocable. so the difference is important! . except can also be a verb meaning "to leave out. entirely. Correct: He is a unique personality. final." Therefore. Incorrect: He has a more unique personality than Marie. overwhelmed. accept and except are nearly antonyms. immortal." Except is usually a preposition meaning "but" or "leaving out.

Peter. Example: She ran across to say hello." Crossed is the past tense or past participle of the verb to cross.) Everyone except Bill. He was counting the cross ties on the track.) ________________________________________________________________________ __________________ Across. (The words acrossed and acrost are strictly nonstandard. (Past participle) Cross can sometimes be an adjective meaning "opposing. and Andrew each died on a cross. As a verb." As a noun. (Past tense) Their trademark is a pair of crossed swords. It describes the relationship between two persons. it means "to go or place across. (Noun) He crossed the street with me.Examples: He accepted the gift. Do not use acrossed.) He excepted the twins. Examples: Will you cross the street with me? (Verb) Jesus. They are sometimes used by writers to show dialect. places. or acrost as a preposition or adverb." "placed across. it means "an object made of two intersecting segments. (All but Bill. Cross is most commonly a verb or noun. or things.) . (He did not include them. crossed. Across occasionally is used as an adverb. (He received it." Examples: They were working at cross purposes. Example: That house is across the street. Acrossed. and Cross Across is a preposition. It is sometimes used with the preposition from." or "angry. Please don't look so cross.

" If it's something you've already done. For example: The noise outside affected my performance. The dog which bit the mailman. "Which" refers to animals or things. the) Meaning: to have an impact on something or someone. or change something or someone. 10.effect is usually a noun (thing) Hint: If it's something you're going to do. Anyone vs any one . act upon. use "affect. Examples of correct usage: The girl who was hungry. !Effect can also mean "the end result". 9." To affect something or someone. For example: His smile had a strange effect on me. never to persons. The bus that goes to the station. ________________________________________________________________________ __________________ Affect and effect are two words that are commonly confused. use "effect.Incorrect: He stared acrossed the aisle at me. For example: The drug has many adverse side effects. which or that? "Who" (or "whom") refers to persons. Correct: He stared across the aisle at me. Who. affect is usually a verb (action) . Meaning: to influence. To have an effect on something or someone !Note: effect is followed by the preposition on and preceded by an article (an. "That" can refer to either persons or things.

" Did she say. British English usage can differ." 5. Software not softwares "Software" can be singular or plural. "Are you hungry?" She replied. Example: My URL is http://www.kemptonsmith. Put quotes after a question mark unless the entire sentence is a question. 8. "Yes. Commonly misspelled words All right Dependable Independent Recommend Responsible Separate 7. Never use "softwares. It could refer to multiple people simultaneously. This is a US English standard. As two words."Anyone" means "any person. Don't put punctuation at the end of a URL While not technically an English grammatical error. Examples: He asked. "any one" refers to a single person. Put quotes before a colon. Doing so will usually invalidate the URL. But a single-user software license can only be used by any one user at a time. Place the punctuation after the closing tag of the link. 6. Examples: Anyone can download my software. You might call this an internet grammatical rule. "Yes"? ." not necessarily a specific person.com. don't put a period or anything immediately after a URL reference. Do the quotes go after or before the period? Put quotation marks after a period or comma.

Overuse of Powerful Too many developers describe their software as." "They're" is short for "they are." I searched download. no more powerful software. 3. Its or It's . as in muscular. finally. A beautiful sunset is a marvelous sight. their. "Their" is used as a possessive form of "they. But what is powerful software? If you mean feature-rich (like Adobe Photoshop)." Examples: There are nine planets in the solar system. But please. then say so. the most common English blunder by web authors is: 1. Site or sight A "site" is a location or place. A car with 450 horsepower is clearly more powerful than one with only 200 horsepower. . or they're "There" is used in two ways. "XXX Software is powerful. then say so.. And. Examples: A web site is a place on the internet that you visit with your browser. not to a web site.4. but it does it completely or thoroughly (like CounterSpy). If your software does only one thing. There. It can specify a place.com and found 2149 descriptions or titles of software containing the word "powerful. and usually refers to how effectively something is performed. "Sight" refers to your sense of vision. They're both tired after riding so far." Powerful has several meanings. The two boys raced their bikes. 2. It can also be used as an expletive or empty word to start a sentence. easy-touse. ..

³It¶s´ is a contraction of ³it is´ or ³it has. most often in conversational English.The possessive form of "it" is "its. You¶re This one drives me insane." Examples: It's raining today. It¶s vs. If that sounds goofy. The reason that real is incorrect when used this way is simple: Real is an adjective. 3." not "it's. . Make sure to watch for it when you proofread. It¶s also easily avoided by thinking through what you¶re trying to say. real is incorrectly used as an adverb. and it¶s become extremely common among bloggers. The dog wagged its tail. and as you can see in the first example above. it is actually incorrect and should never be used in writing. ³its´ is likely the correct choice." Never use "its'.´ 2." Use "it's" only when it means "it is." use "its.´ ³Its´ is a possessive pronoun. Although this error is somewhat acceptable in informal conversation. In the example. as in ³this blog has lost its mojo. so the adverb really is needed to make the sentence correct.´ as in ³you¶re screwing up your writing by using your when you really mean you are. All it takes to avoid this error is to take a second and think about what you¶re trying to say. which is an adjective. There vs. Its This is another common mistake." Unless you can replace "it's" with "it is. ³Your´ is a possessive pronoun. Example 2 (correct usage): I am really tired today. Their This one seems to trip up everyone occasionally. Your vs. 1. Example 1 (incorrect usage): I am real tired today.´ ³You¶re´ is a contraction for ³you are. as in ³your car´ or ³your blog.´ Here¶s an easy rule of thumb²repeat your sentence out loud using ³it is´ instead. Real is often used in place of really. often as a pure typo. real is describing tired.

The problem with both of the above is that the participial phrase that begins the sentence is not intended to modify what follows next in the sentence.´ you can usually sort out which is which.´ ³Effect´ is a noun. Effect To this day I have to pause and mentally sort this one out in order to get it right. as in ³The effect of a parent¶s low income on a child¶s future is well documented. as well as your reader. As with any of the other common mistakes people make when writing. Not only will this error damage the flow of your writing. it¶s taking that moment to get it right that makes the difference. ³Affect´ is a verb. and you should therefore ignore them if you want to write like a human. While some people do use ³effect´ as a verb (³a strategy to effect a settlement´). it can also make it impossible for someone to understand what you¶re trying to say. 4.´ Always do the ³that¶s ours!´ test²are you talking about more than one person and something that they possess? If so. Affect vs. Uhh« keep your decomposing brother away from me! Featuring plug-in circuit boards. my brother brought up some oranges. Check out these two examples from Tom Sant¶s book Persuasive Business Proposals: After rotting in the cellar for weeks. . because you can¶t stick a ³the´ in front of a verb. you¶ve left the participle dangling. However. ³their´ will get you there. Makes sense. 5. so your opening phrase should always modify what immediately follows.³There´ is used many ways. readers mentally expect it to work that way. ³Their´ is a plural possessive pronoun. we can strongly endorse this server¶s flexibility and growth potential. they are usually lawyers. If it doesn¶t. including as a reference to a place (³let¶s go there´) or as a pronoun (³there is no hope´). Hmmm« robotic copy written by people embedded with circuit boards.´ By thinking in terms of ³the effect. as in ³Your ability to communicate clearly will affect your income immensely. as in ³their bags´ or ³their opinions. The Dangling Participle The dangling participle may be the most egregious of the most common writing mistakes.

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