15Common Grammar Mistakes That Kill Your Writing Credibility (Part1)
I love to write, but I’m not so crazy about grammar.
Learning about words that dangle, split, and get misplaced isn’t my idea of fun.
However, as an English major in college, I had it drilled into my head that poor grammar revealed laziness and a lack of respect for the reader.
It’s the literary form of bad manners and exposes the writer as someone who isn’t serious about the craft.
If you’re an author, particularly a self-published author, you need to do everything possible to win your readers’ hearts and minds.
When they are distracted by grammatical errors or confused by the meaning of a sentence, they aren’t likely to buy your next book — or finish the one they are reading.
As tedious as grammar may be to those of us who just want to write, it is well worth a few minutes of your time to refresh the basics and make sure you don’t fall into one of the problematic grammar traps.
Here are 15 common grammar mistakes that can kill your credibility as a writer:
1.Subject-Verb Agreement Errors
The subject and verb of a sentence must agree with one another in number, whether they are singular or plural. If the subject of the sentence is singular, its verb must also be singular; and if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.
Incorrect: An important part of my life have been the people who stood by me.
Correct: An important part of my life has been the people who stood by me.
Incorrect: The two best things about the party was the food and the music.
Correct: The two best things about the party were the food and the music.
Sentence fragments are incomplete sentences that don’t have one independent clause. A fragment may lack a subject, a complete verb, or both. Sometimes fragments depend on the proceeding sentence to give it meaning.
Incorrect: He gave his mother an extravagant gift after the argument. In spite of everything.
Correct: In spite of everything, he gave his mother an extravagant gift after the argument.
Incorrect: The boys snuck home late that night. Then waited for the consequences.
Correct: The boys snuck home late that night, then waited for the consequences.
3.Missing Comma After Introductory Element
A comma should be used after an introductory word, phrase, or clause. Using a comma gives the reader a slight pause after an introductory element and often can help avoid confusion.
Incorrect: In case you haven’t noticed my real name doesn’t appear in the article.
Correct: In case you haven’t noticed, my real name doesn’t appear in the article.
Incorrect: Before she had time to think about it Sharon jumped into the icy pool.
Correct: Before she had time to think about it, Sharon jumped into the icy pool.
4. Misusing The Apostrophe With “Its”
You use an apostrophe with it’s only when the word means it is or it has. Without the apostrophe, it means belonging to it.
Incorrect: I don’t believe its finally Friday.
Correct: I don’t believe it’s (it is) finally Friday.
Incorrect: The cat was licking it’s tail.
Correct: The cat was licking its tail.
5.No Comma In A Compound Sentence
A comma separates two or more independent clauses in a compound sentence separated by a conjunction. The comma goes after the first clause and before the coordinating conjunction that separates the clauses.
Incorrect: The man jumped into a black sedan and he drove away before being noticed.
Correct: The man jumped into a black sedan, and he drove away before being noticed.
Incorrect: She was beautiful and she was happy and she was full of life.
Correct: She was beautiful, and she was happy, and she was full of life.