Understanding the five most common grammatical errors can help you improve your writing. When you know which errors to look for, it's easier to act as your own editor.
A run-on sentence is a sentence that joins two independent clauses without punctuation or the appropriate conjunction. A comma splice is similar to a run-on sentence, but it uses a comma to join two clauses that have no appropriate conjunction.
Fixing a run-on sentence or a comma splice can be accomplished in one of five different ways:
Pronoun errors occur when pronouns do not agree in number with the nouns to which they refer. If the noun is singular, the pronoun must be singular. If the noun is plural, however, the pronoun must be plural as well. For example:
Many people believe that pronoun errors are the result of writers who are trying to avoid the implication of sexist language. Although this is an admirable goal, correct grammar is still important.
Apostrophes are used to show possession. However, you do not use an apostrophe after a possessive pronoun such as my, mine, our, ours, his, hers, its, their, or theirs. For example:
In the case of it's, the apostrophe is used to indicate a contraction for it is. For example:
When speaking or writing in the present tense, a sentence must have subjects and verbs that agree in number. If the subject is singular, the verb must be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well. For example:
To communicate your ideas clearly, you must place a modifier directly next to the word it is supposed to modify. The modifier should clearly refer to a specific word in the sentence. For example:
YourDictionary has an extensive listing of links of grammar rules and tips. Take advantage of easy-to-understand lessons and examples can help you polish your grammatical skills while working at a time that best fits your busy schedule. If English is not your native language, there are also links on YourDictionary to resources that explain the most common grammatical mistakes for ESL students.