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Top 10 Typical Grammar Mistakes

So, you have signed a birthday card for you girlfriend with a special poem of your own authorship and sent it together with iPad you’ve bought as a present. The present was cordially accepted but the card was returned together with red marks on your poor English greetings words and with a sign below “Save my life from your nightmarish poems and for sake of God to improve your English!”

Yes, there’s nothing ruder that your girlfriend’s letter but the point is that a lot of English speaking people make mistakes in both – written and spoken language. In this article we will help you avoid the most common mistakes people usually make by providing you with simple TOP 10 typical grammar mistakes list you will be able to avoid in the future.


1.     “That” vs. “Which”

A lot of students interchange these words. The point is that there is a very thin line between these 2 notions. But nevertheless they present different types of clauses. The first one (that) is an integral part of the sentence – if you omit it, the sentence won’t make sense. In contrast to that, the word “which” may be omitted.


Look at the sentences provided below:

The picture that she has drawn for her sister was a project for her Art dissertation.

The picture, which she has drawn for her sister, is on the wall.


The sentences provided above are similar but for the last clauses. In the 1st sentence, it is necessary to mention that she has drawn the picture for the reason that the last clause states that it was some project for the Art dissertation.


However, in the last sentence, if you skip the 2nd clause, you will get a sentence “The picture is on the wall”. Now you see? Your sentence nevertheless has the idea even without the “which” clause.


2.     Apostrophes Using

Remember, in general, you have to put an apostrophe in 3 cases. The first one is when you have to use a noun possessive form. The second one is when you need to omit contractions of the phrases or some letters. The third one is when you have to show the lowercase letters plural forms. Here are 3 examples:

o    Mary’s sisters are going to the cinema

o    That’s what I have already seen

o    There are two d’s in this word.


3.     “Your” vs. “You”

“Your not getting married with you’re friend, are you?”

There’s no need to say more, don’t you think? You just have to remember the main difference between these words: you’re=you are and your=ownership.


4.     Misplaced phrases

Always proofread your work to make sure all the sentences bring the right message to the reader.


5.     Mixing “its” and “it’s”

You have to keep in mind that “its” means ownership while “it’s” shows a phrase contraction “it is”.


6.     “They’re”, “there” and “their” mistakes

They’re. This is a “they are” phrase contradiction. For instance, “They are my teachers at college” becomes “They’re my teachers at college”.

There. This is the word used to show that some person or idea is at some place. (There are many people in this market).

Their. This is the “they” reflexive pronoun one may use to show ownership. (Their room is on the second floor).


7.     “Cannot” vs. “can not”

A lot of people write “cannot” as 2 words.

Right: She cannot go to cinema today.

Wrong: She can not go to cinema today.


8.     “Lie” vs. “lay”

Make sure you don’t confuse irregular verbs with tense forms of the same spelling. Remember, the word “lie” means that you position yourself in a reclining position and the verb “lay” cannot be used in a phrase “I will lay”. The point is that this word means that you are acting upon someone or something (make sure you mention the object the verb “lay” is referred to).


9.     “Good” vs. “well”

Keep in mind that “well” is an adverb and “good” is an adjective.


10.  Double negative words

If you add some negative word to the other one of the same nature, your sentence will have a positive meaning then. For instance it is better to say “She doesn’t want to go anywhere” than “She doesn’t want to go nowhere”.



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