Coleman 05

10 Common Grammar Errors 1. Subject Verb Agreement Errors Subjects and verbs must agree in number whether singular or plural. Irregular verbs can often cause errors as can writing quickly without proofreading. Be aware of problem verbs and make sure agreement exists. Potential Problems Correct Examples Each shirt is here and each of the shirts is Each, every, either, and neither Anyone, someone, and no one are singular pronouns. Singular nouns used with and take a plural verb. Singular nouns used with or take a singular verb. My mother or my brother calls me daily. The cat and the dog are mine. Someone ate my cookie. No one is here. here.

2. Incorrect verb forms Present and past tense are simple tenses that rarely cause problems; difficulties arise with the complex tenses formed with present or past participles. • If using be with another verb, the second verb should have an -ing ending . The tense, present, past, or future is indicated with the verb be. Incorrect: I am play outside. I playing outside. Correct: I (am, was, or will be) playing out side. •

If using have with another verb, the second verb usually has an –ed ending. The tense, present, past, or future is indicated with the verb have.

Correct: I (have or had) seen that movie. Mary’s job is hard. Correct: Larry blew his tire. The night before her wedding. Shifting verb tenses Verbs in the same sentences and paragraphs should be consistent and stay in the same tense. 4. Verbs should only shift in tense if there is a logical reason to do so. Annie did not sleep and cried for two hours. which can be fixed by adding information or adding the fragment to a complete sentence. a fragment is not a complete sentence. There are common types of fragments. I sat on the floor. 3. Sentence Fragments A complete sentence must have a subject and a verb. and then just kept moving. and then just keeps moving. The night before her wedding. Incorrect: Larry blew his tire. Example He lost his keys. I seen that movie. I will have seen that movie by next week. Problem Missing Subject Missing Verb Ing Fragment Example Lost his keys Mary’s job Playing with toys Solution Add subject Add verb Add to sentence To Fragment To pay the bills Add to sentence We have to save money to pay our bills. . playing with toys. Annie did not sleep and cries for two hours.Coleman 05 Incorrect: I have see that movie.

I like pizza. No one could cook. Change the comma to a period I like cake. I like pie. • 3 Solutions for comma splices and fused sentences: 1. there are two main types: the comma splice and the fused sentence. Example: I like pizza I also like pasta. I like pie too. I also like pasta. Run-On Sentences A run on is two sentences written as one. which was lost When he is angry Add to sentence My friend always yells when he is angry. 2. such as chocolate Added Detail Not even his mother Such as chocolate Add to sentence Add to sentence 5. . 3. I really like sweets. Example: I like cake. I also like pasta. I like pizza and I also like pasta. Add a coordinate conjunction: FANBOYS I like cake and I like pie. NOTE: In English two sentences can NEVER be joined with a comma only. I like pizza. A fused sentence occurs when two sentences are joined with no punctuation.Coleman 05 Misused Pronoun Which was lost Add to sentence I looked for my cat. not even his mother. A comma splice occurs when two sentences are joined with simply a comma. Change the comma to a semi-colon I like cake. I like pie too.

Because it is my birthday you should pay for dinner. Superlatives are used with more than two things. it is your turn to pay for lunch. Both Correct: I like carrots. 8. Incorrect: I like carrots celery lettuce and tomatoes. Correct: Finally. or clauses Incorrect: Finally I am done with my paper. Incorrect Superlatives or Double Comparison • It is NEVER correct to use both –er or –est and more or most Incorrect: I am more happier. By the way it is your turn to pay for lunch. add more or most Comparative Example Beautiful Open More Beautiful More Openly Superlative More Beautiful Most Openly Note: Comparison is used with two things. . I am done with my paper. add –er or -est. you should pay for dinner. Missing commas in a series Commas should be used to separate items in a series of three or more items. By the way. It is most hardest For one syllable adverbs and adjectives . phrases. Because it is my birthday.Coleman 05 6. 7. You should pay for dinner because it is my birthday. because it is my birthday. Remember. Missing Commas in introductory words. lettuce and tomatoes. celery. a subordinate clause at the end of a sentence DOES NOT receive a comma You should pay for dinner. Comparative Example Happy Hard Happier Harder Superlative Happiest Hardest For two or more syllable adverbs and adjectives.

Becoming familiar with commonly misspelled words can also improve spelling skills. Look up unfamiliar words. but have very different meanings.Coleman 05 I like carrots. . To make a singular noun that ends in s possessive. To make a make a plural noun that ends in s possessive. Potential Problems To make a singular noun that does not end in s possessive. ADD ‘s. avoid using contractions in academic writing. ADD ‘s. apple’s Correct Examples 10. ADD ‘ ONLY to the final s. 9. and tomatoes. Apostrophe problems Apostrophes are used to show possession or contractions. The best way to improve your spelling is through reading actively and often. women’s Jones’ car. Becoming familiar with commonly misused homonyms can help overcome this dilemma. celery. lettuce. dogs’. girl’s. In general. Kris’ book dog’s. Reading widely can help distinguish some of these difficult words. men’s. Homophones: English has many words that are spelled the same or sound the same. apples’ people’s. ADD ‘ ONLY to the final s. To make a plural noun that does not end in an s possessive. Misspelled words or homophone problems Spelling: English spelling is difficult and often illogical. girls’.

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