It is important to understand the 10 most common grammatical errors in order to improve your writing.  Make sure that you take notes to avoid grammatical errors in the future.

1. They’re vs. Their vs. There

  • They’re: is a contraction for “they are”
  • Their: refers to something owned by a group
  • There: refers to a place

Make sure you know the difference between the three. Make sure you’re using it in the right places and times.

2. Your vs. You’re

  • Your: is possessive
  • You’re: is a contraction of “you are”

The difference between these two is being something versus owning something:

Example: How’s your day going? Are you hungry?

3) Its vs. It’s

  • Its: is possessive
  • It’s: is a contraction of “it is”

Many people get confused because “it’s” has an ‘s after it, which means something is possessive. However, in this case, it’s actually a contraction.

4) Passive Voice

If you have a sentence with an object in it, passive voice can occur. Passive voice takes place when the aim of a sentence is placed at the start of a sentence rather than the end. If your writing has

If your writing has passive voice, it will sound weak and unclear.

Wait! Re-read the last paragraph I just wrote – it has too many passive voices. See how it is kind of jumbled and not punchy?

5) Possessive Nouns

The majority of the possessive nouns have an apostrophe. However, where to place the apostrophe can be confusing.

Follow these general rules:

  • Add an apostrophe after the s, if the noun is plural. For example, the boys’ books.
  • Place the apostrophe after the s, if the noun is singular. For example, a woman’s hat.
  • Whereas, if the noun is singular and does not end in an s, you will add the apostrophe before the s.
    For example, the dog’s tail.

6) Affect vs. Effect

Most people confuse affect an effect when they’re talking about something changing another thing.

  • Effect: When you’re talking about the change itself, that is the noun you will use “effect”. For example, Adrian’s statement had a surprising effect on Samantha.
  • Affect: “Affect” is used when you are talking about the act of changing, which is a verb. For example, she wasn’t going to let a little rain affect her good mood today.

7) Who/Whom

The trick here is to figure out which one you need by answering the question you’re asking with “he,” “him,” “she,” or “her.”

If the answer is “she” or “he,” then use “Who.”

e.g. “Who stole my watch?”

“He did.”

If the answer is “her” or him,” then use “whom”:

e.g. “Whom are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for her.”

Another trick to remember is that both “whom” and “him” end with “m.”

8) Allude or Elude

Allude: is a way to make a reference to something while “elude” with an “e” intends to maintain a strategic distance from or escape. A simple approach to recollect the distinction is that both “elude” and “escape” start with an “e.”

Elude: is a way to maintain a strategic distance or escape. A simple approach to recollect the distinction is that both “elude” and “escape” start with an “e.”

9) Principle vs. Principal

“Principle” finishing in “le” alludes to a central conviction or run, while “principal” finishing in “al” alludes to something or somebody at the most elevated rank of significance—like a principal venture or a secondary school principal.

Along these lines, “principals” presumably have some pretty immovably held “principles.” One tip we jump at the chance to use to keep these straight is contemplating the way that “principal” closes with the name “Al.” Think of “Al” as the enormous man in control—the “principal.”

10) Then or Than

“Then” with an “e” alludes to time, while “than” with an “a” will be conjunction utilized as a part of making examinations between two things.

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