6 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing In English
The importance of knowing grammar in English is not something you should take lightly.
Correct usage of grammar can make or break your writing, and it’s even more important to have a strong command of the rules when learning a second language. It’s also important to understand that many times native speakers are not aware of how they use their own language incorrectly.
Essay pro and this article will help you avoid some common mistakes made by both native and non-native English speakers alike.
Proper name possessive form
When it comes to possessive forms for proper names, there are a few things to remember. With singular nouns, the possessive form is typically just an ‘s’ at the end of the word. For example, if someone’s last name is “Smith,” then the possessive form would be “Smith’s.” With plural nouns, however, the apostrophe is placed before the ‘s’, or is it? There is an ongoing debate about the correct format for James’ vs James’s, and there is no definite conclusion. Both options are correct and used.
Next time you feel insecure about your name possessive form and try to think of a sentence construct around it, write with ease since both options are correct when the noun ends with the letter ‘s’. Only keep in mind that if the letter after the ‘s’ is not voiced (or said), you would need to place the apostrophe before the last letter. For example, if someone’s last name is “Hats” or “Oat”, then the possessive form would be “Hats'” or “Oat’s.”
Using ‘that’ vs ‘which’
It can sometimes be tricky for English speakers who are learning a second language, especially when dealing with clauses and commas. It is important to keep in mind that relative pronouns such as ‘that’ and ‘which’ refer back to things, not the subject of a sentence. For example, “The hamburger that I ate was delicious” would be incorrect if the subject of the sentence were ‘I.’ The correct version of this sentence would read, “The hamburger which I ate was delicious.”
The difference between ‘that’ and ‘which’ can be summed up in this example: “The boy, who was carrying his lunch box, dropped it.” The relative pronoun ‘who’ refers to the noun (or name) of the subject. Since there is no other subject in this sentence, that means that ‘who’ must refer back to the proper noun of ‘boy.’ Therefore, the correct relative pronoun to use is ‘that’. “The car that I found was from the 1950s.” Since there is no other noun before it, that means that ‘car’ must refer back to the proper noun of ‘I’. This is a case where you would use ‘which’ as well.
‘Compliment’ vs ‘Complement’
Many people mistake these two words. If you are talking about giving someone a compliment, you want to use the verb ‘compliment.’ For example, someone might compliment you on your hair or clothes. If you are talking about making something complete or perfect, then you would want to use the word “complement”. The correct word for when you are talking about the noun form would be ‘complement.’ For example, “My outfit is a perfect complement to my new dress.” People often have an issue with this one, because the words are so close and there’s only one letter different in them. However, once you understand the difference in meaning, it becomes much easier to remember which word is correct in which situation. Lots of students like to find an essay writer for hire online who can help them avoid any embarrassing mistakes like this one. This kind of reinforcement can help cement these concepts in your mind and make it easier to remember them in the future.
Indirect language vs direct language
When writing reports, interviews, memos, etc., it is important to use indirect language in formal writing. For example, it is not appropriate to say “Larry told me that we need to leave early because his daughter has a doctor’s appointment.” A more formal way of saying this would be: “I was informed by Larry that we need to leave early because his daughter has a doctor’s appointment.” Using indirect language, especially in written communication reveals your professionalism and maturity as a writer.
Using ‘invite’ vs ‘invitation’
If you are talking about the noun of an invitation, then you would use ‘invitation.’ However, if you are using this as a verb, then it is appropriate to use ‘invite.’ For example, “I received an invitation to attend her birthday party.” However, “I would like to invite you to attend my birthday party.” People often confuse the two because they are similar in spelling, but not quite the same.
‘Adverse’ vs ‘Averse’
Many people confuse the verb form of these two words. If you are describing someone’s feelings or actions, then you would use ‘averse.’ For example, “I am averse to eating vegetables.” On the other hand, if you are describing something that is opposite in nature or effect then you would use the word ‘adverse.’ For example, “The car accident had adverse effects on my health.” Using the correct version of these words shows your intelligence and education as a writer.