20 Common English Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Easily

Are you looking to improve your English grammar? You’re in the right place. We all make mistakes from time to time, but don’t worry – Tell Class is here to help you avoid those tricky grammar mistakes. In this guide, we’ll walk through 20 common English grammar mistakes and break them down step by step. By the end of this article, you’ll be a grammar expert!

1. Mixing up “They’re,” “Their,” and “There”

Let’s start with a classic mix-up. These three words may sound similar, but they have different meanings. “They’re” is short for “they are,” like saying “They’re going to the park.” “Their” shows possession, like “That’s their dog.” And “there” refers to a place, such as “The book is over there on the shelf.”

2. Your vs. You’re

Oh, the “your” and “you’re” dilemma! It’s an easy one to mess up. “Your” shows possession, like “Is that your phone?” On the other hand, “you’re” is short for “you are,” like “You’re doing great!”

3. Using “Its” and “It’s” Correctly

This pair can be a bit tricky, but fear not! “Its” indicates possession, such as “The cat licked its paws.” Meanwhile, “it’s” is short for “it is” or “it has.” For instance, “It’s a sunny day” or “It’s been a long week.”

4. Affect vs. Effect

Here’s a common mix-up that even adults stumble upon. “Affect” is a verb, like “The music affects my mood.” On the other hand, “effect” is a noun, like “The medicine had a positive effect.”

5. To, Too, and Two

Let’s sort out the confusion between these three! “To” is often used before a verb, like “I want to eat.” “Too” means also, like “I want ice cream too!” And “two” is the number after one, like “I have two apples.”

6. Using Commas Correctly

Commas can be a bit confusing but don’t worry about it. Use commas to separate items in a list, like “I need eggs, milk, and bread.” Also, pop a comma before the word “and” if you have two clauses, like “I love reading, and I also enjoy painting.”

7. Then vs. Than

“Then” relates to time, like “We went to the store, and then we watched a movie.” On the other hand, “than” is used for comparisons, such as “She is taller than him.”

8. Subject-Verb Agreement

This one’s important to get right. Remember, the subject and verb must match in number. For example, “She sings beautifully” (singular subject) and “They sing loudly” (plural subject).

9. Using Apostrophes

Apostrophes can trip anyone up, but we’ll unravel the mystery. Use them to show possession, like “The dog’s bone” or to shorten words, like “I can’t wait.” But be careful not to confuse plurals with possessives – it’s “dogs” (plural) and “dog’s” (possessive).

10. Confusing “Fewer” and “Less”

Let’s wrap up with a common mistake. Use “fewer” for items you can count, like “There are fewer books on the shelf.” Use “less” for things you can’t count, like “She has less patience.”

11. Misusing “Good” and “Well”

Let’s dive into another common grammar mistake: mixing up “good” and “well.” “Good” is an adjective, like “The pizza was good.” But when you’re talking about how something is done, you use “well,” such as “She dances well.”

12. Double Negatives

Time to untangle the mystery of double negatives! Using two negatives in a sentence can make it confusing. Instead of saying “I don’t want nothing,” say “I don’t want anything.”

13. Using “Me” and “I” Correctly

Here’s a helpful guide for choosing “me” or “I.” Use “me” when you’re the object of the action, like “She gave the book to me.” Use “I” when you’re the one doing the action, like “I read the book.”

14. Overusing “Like” and “As”

“Like” and “as” may seem similar, but they’re used differently. “Like” is used to compare things, like “She runs like the wind.” “As” is used to show how something happens, such as “He sang as if he were on stage.”

15. Could Have, Would Have, Should Have

Ever heard someone say “could of” instead of “could have”? Let’s set things straight. The correct forms are “could have,” “would have,” and “should have.” For example, “I could have gone to the party.”

16. Confusing “Lose” and “Loose”

Time to tackle a sneaky one – mixing up “lose” and “loose.” “Lose” is what happens when you don’t win, like “Don’t lose your keys.” “Loose” is used when something isn’t tight, like “The shirt is too loose.”

17. Using “Farther” and “Further”

Are you ready to clear up the “farther” vs. “further” confusion? “Farther” refers to physical distance, like “The park is farther away.” “Further” is about extending or advancing, such as “Let’s discuss this further.”

18. Misplacing Modifiers

Modifiers are words that describe other words, and they need to be in the right place. For example, “I only ate pizza” suggests you did nothing else but eat pizza. Instead, say “I ate only pizza” if you’re emphasizing pizza.

19. Redundancy

Redundancy is when you use unnecessary words that repeat the same idea. Be concise! For instance, instead of saying “She was happy and smiled,” just say “She smiled happily.”

20. Confusing “Beside” and “Besides”

Our final stop: “beside” and “besides.” “Beside” means next to, like “I sat beside my friend.” “Besides” means in addition to, such as “Besides English, she speaks French.”

Keep Growing Your Grammar Skills

Wow, you’ve covered a lot of things! Remember, becoming a grammar professional is all about practice and patience. Keep using these tips in your writing and conversations. If you ever feel unsure, take a moment to think and apply what you’ve learned.

By mastering these common grammar mistakes, you’re on your way to communicating with confidence and clarity. Keep up the fantastic work, and don’t forget – every step you take brings you closer to becoming an English grammar expert!

Happy learning, and keep those grammar mistakes away.