12 October, 2011

Top 10 Grammar Mistakes

Foreigners English are often judged on how well they write. One way to help us become a good writer is to teach ourselves to avoid the top ten grammar mistakes that we always face.

1. Starting sentences with "And." It is all right to start a sentence with "And" occasionally, but some children do it constantly. Limit your young writer to two or fewer "Ands" at the beginning of sentences in each essay.
Wrong: I went roller-skating with my friends. And then we went out for pizza. And then we went home.
Right: I went roller-skating with my friends. Then we went out for pizza. Then we went home.

2. Using casual speech in an essay, such as words like "wanna," "gonna," and "should of."
Wrong: We wanna buy new CDs on Saturday.
Right: We want to buy new CDs on Saturday.

Wrong: My cousin is gonna graduate with top honors.
Right: My cousin is going to graduate with top honors.

Wrong: They should of studied harder for the test.
Right: They should have studied harder for the test.

3. Misunderstanding apostrophes used with singular and plural nouns.
Wrong: These are my sisters' books.
Right: These are my sister's books.

Wrong: This is my parent's house.
Right: This is my parents' house.

4. Creating run-on sentences. Divide into separate sentences or use semi-colons to connect two complete sentences.
Wrong: Summer is my favorite time of year because I can play with my friends and go to the mall and stay out later than during the school year because it doesn't get dark so early like when school is on.
Right: Summer is my favorite time of year. I can play with my friends, go to the mall, and stay out later. During the school year, it gets dark so early that I have to go home.

Wrong: I enjoy lots of different foods like hamburgers and sodas and fried chicken so I choose them when we go out to eat.
Right: I enjoy lots of different foods, like hamburgers, sodas, and fried chicken; I choose them when we go out to eat.

5. Confusing "its" and "it's."
Wrong: Its a beautiful day.
Right: It's a beautiful day.
Explanation: The correct answer uses "it's" because, in this sentence, "it's" means "it is." "It's" is a contraction of "it is."

Wrong: I worried about the dog because it's paw was hurt.
Right: I worried about the dog because its paw was hurt.

6. Misconnecting verbs.
Wrong: We should try and play together.
Right: We should try to play together.
Explanation: The correct answer replaces the word 'and' with 'to,' which properly connects the verbs.

7. Confusing "then" and "than."
Wrong: He is taller then I am.
Right: He is taller than I am.
Explanation: Use the word "than" to indicate a comparison between two things. The word "then" refers to time.

8. Confusing "there," "their," and "they're."
Wrong: We want to play over their.
Right: We want to play over there.
Explanation: Use the word "there" to indicate a location.

Wrong: They are riding they're bicycles.
Right: They are riding their bicycles.
Explanation: Use the word "their" to indicate possession.

Wrong: Their going to the movies today.
Right: They're going to the movies today.
Explanation: Use the word "they're," a contraction, when you mean "they are."

9. Mixing singular and plural subjects in one sentence.
Wrong: I helped my friend with their homework.
Right: I helped my friend with his (or her) homework.
Explanation: "My friend" is a single person, so it is incorrect to say "their homework." "Their" refers to more than one person.

10. Mixing up "your" and "you're."
Wrong: He's going to you're party
Right: He's going to your party.

Wrong: Your going to his party.
Right: You're going to his party.

Conclusion
To help non-native English become better writers, we or a tutor should work with to avoid the top ten grammar mistakes. If we have concerns about our ability's progress in writing, we have speak to our teacher to discuss progress and activities we can work on at home.

by. Ann Bowers in Articlesnatch.com and it was modified
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