Quick Tips

Here are some of the most common grammar mistakes to look out for according to Linville (2009):

  • Subject-verb agreement
    • “There is three prerequisites for this class.” (Incorrect)
    • “There are three prerequisites for this class.” (Correct)
      • the word “there” is standing in for the plural subject “prerequisites”
    • “Every politician wants to say things that pleases the constituents”(Incorrect)
    • “Every politician wants to say things that please the constituents” (Correct)
      • the word “that” is standing in for the real subject “things”
  • Verb tense with time markers
    • “Even though this is my first day on the job, I have already found out that there were some difficult people here.” (Incorrect)
    • “Even though this is my first day on the job, I have already found out there are some difficult people here.” (Correct)
  • Verb form
    • “I will driven to the airport next week.” (Incorrect)
    • “I will drive to the airport next week.” (Correct)
  • Singular vs. plural
    • “I have turned in all my homeworks this week.” (Incorrect)
    • “I have turned in all my homework this week.” (Correct)
  • Word forms
    • “I’m happy to live in a democracy country.” (Incorrect)
    • “I’m happy to live in a democratic country.” (Correct)
  •  Sentence structure errors e.g. missing words, extra words, incorrect word order

 

Source: Linville, C. (2009). Editing Line by Line In Bruce, S. & Rafoth, B. (Eds.), ESL writers: A guide for writing center tutors, 2nd ed (pp. 116-132). Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers.

 

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