Top 10 Grammar Slip-ups to Watch For

What Grammar Mistake Do You Always Make?

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We’ve all done it, published a post and then realized, “Oops! I misspelled something! Quick, fix it!” It doesn’t matter how many times you read over your work, though, if you don’t know the rules your posts will be littered with errors. And grammar counts when you’re trying to impress your readers with your expertise. So here are the top 10 grammar rules to watch for in your posts:

10. Apostrophes’ Importance

Make sure you are putting your apostrophes in the right place. “Attorney’s” means 1 lawyer owns the thing. “Attorneys'” applies to more than one.

9. Names’ Difficutly

While we’re on the topic of apostrophes, remember that Jesus’ name may not need another “s”, but the Jones’s name does. It’s a matter of historical significance.

8. It’s Not Difficult

Yes, we know, sometimes everyone makes a typo, but the difference between “it’s” (it is) and “its” (belonging to it) can drive some readers nuts!

7. Avoiding the Improper “They”

Even though you’re trying to be politically correct and watch your word count, you still can’t call a person “they.” He or she is correct, or the wordy phrase “he or she,” but “they” means more than one. Try alternating genders instead. When talking about a business or organization, use “it”.

6. They’re Sometimes a Problem

While you’re looking at “they,” make sure you’re using the right one: “they’re” means “they are,” “their” means belonging to them, and “there” means the place.

5. Make Sure You are Effective

On the topic of wrong words, many people confuse “affect” (a verb) with “effect” (a noun). Unless you’re talking about psychology, “affect” should never be tied to “an” or “the.”

4. Then Make it Accurate

Another common word-choice error is using “then” (indicating time or order) instead of “than” (a comparison).

3. Avoid Being Redundant Again

In this age of acronyms it can be easy to forget what we are actually saying, but take another look to avoid accidentally saying things like “PIN number” (“personal identification number number”) or “ATM machine” (“automated teller machine machine”).

2. Make Fewer Errors

It can be easy to confuse “fewer” (used on something countable) and “less” (used for quantities that cannot not counted). If there’s a unit of measure involved use “less” but if it’s something discrete like “employees” use “fewer”.

1. Put Enough Commas in Your List

When listing more than two items or ideas, put a comma after each one including the one right before the “and”. While modern grammar allows you to skip this last comma, the result can be strange and confusing, like in the picture above.

Using proper grammar will help you look like an authority to your readers. Grammatical errors can be distracting and confusing. Keep these tips in mind while proofreading your blog posts and keep your readers happy. If you need help writing content for your blog, contact ghost writer Lisa Schmidt.

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