7 Typical Grammar Mistakes to Watch Out For
Nobody is perfect, but when you are a writer your grammar needs to be pretty darn near. Nothing makes readers more skeptical and likely to look somewhere else for information than trying to read something that is littered with grammatical errors. Even minor mistakes will greatly damage your credibility as a writer. Keep your eyes open when proofreading for these 7 typical grammar mistakes to watch out for.
1. Since and Because
Many people mix these two words up when writing. This common mistake happens because people often interchange these words in spoken language. If you think about the meaning of each word, however, you will notice that they are not synonyms. “Since” refers to time whereas “because” refers to the cause of something.
2. Affect and Effect
These two words sound so similar when people are speaking that it can be confusing when it comes time to actually write and figure out which is which. An easy way to remember the difference is to know that “effect” is a noun whereas “affect” is a verb.
It is astonishing how many people use this word incorrectly. The most common mistake is when people say that they are “anxious to meet their friends,” or “anxious to get to the party.” Unless you are feeling afraid or nervous, chances are that the words you are looking for are “excited,” or “eager.” Anxious refers to negative feelings, not positive feelings.
4. May and Might
The difference between these words can be pretty ambiguous and difficult to understand. “May” implies a possibility. It implies something that could happen. “Might” implies even less certainty. When “may” is used, there is a real possibility that something could happen. “Might,” on the other hand, means the event is very unlikely to occur.
This obscure word has been making a comeback recently, probably due to how fun it is to say out loud. Many people, however, use this word incorrectly. They use it to describe something that is superfluous, but that is not the meaning of “moot.” “Moot” refers to something that is disputable or open to discussion.
6. Continual and Continuous
These words are very similar, but there are distinct differences between their meanings. “Continual” refers to something that continues indefinitely but with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous,” on the other hand, means something that continues without any stops or lapses in between.
“Nor” literally means “and not.” It is used to express a negative condition. You have to use “nor” if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with an additional negative condition. Many people confuse this and simply write “or.”
Great grammar is essential when you are writing for other people. Not only does grammar affect how easy your writing is to read, but constantly poor grammar will greatly undermine your credibility. Losing readership is a writer’s nightmare, and with the ease of finding information online finding a new article with better grammar is only a click away. By avoiding these 7 typical grammar mistakes, you will make it easier and more enjoyable for your readers to share in your written work.