Either as a result of using intuitive keyboards, genuine mistakes or genuine ignorance, a lot of us make silly mistakes in our writing. Whichever it is, help is at hand.
Using data from millions of its subscribers, Microsoft published a list of the top 10 grammar mistakes in the English language. The data comes from people who use Microsoft Word and/or Outlook, both of which come with a tool called Editor.
Editor highlights spelling and grammar errors and makes suggestions to help improve your writing.
Nicole Michel, a linguist who is also a project manager at Microsoft, told Business Insider: “If you send a CV to a potential employer and it’s full of grammar or spelling mistakes, it’s going to show carelessness and lack of attention to detail, and also it shows that you’re not really putting emphasis and importance on the task.”
Here are the 10 most common grammar errors, along with examples, according to Microsoft.
- Leaving too many white spaces between words
Example: To the left.
Correct: To the left.
- Missing a comma
Example: If the weather remains the same we’ll leave early.
Correct: If the weather remains the same, we’ll leave early.
- Missing a comma after an introductory phrase
Example: First of all we must make sure that the power is off.
Correct: First of all, we must make sure that the power is off.
- Missing a hyphen
Example: My 3 year old son
Correct: My 3-year-old son
- Incorrect subject-verb agreement
Example: The cats eats.
Correct: The cats eat.
- Incorrect capitalization
Example: It’s cold, But we are going out.
Correct: It’s cold, but we are going out.
- Mixing up possessive and plural forms
Example: My sisters car is old.
Correct: My sister’s car is old.
- Incorrect agreement with noun phrases
Example: I would like to buy this apples.
Correct: I would like to buy these apples.
- Commonly confused words
Example: After all that running, I am out of breathe.
Correct: After all that running, I am out of breath.
- Incorrect verb form after auxiliary
Example: They had ate when we arrived.
Correct: They had eaten when we arrived.
Below is a further list of common errors to avoid, according to the publication:
1.”Lets” is the third-person form of the verb “let.” E.g., He lets me eat cake all the time.
“Let’s” is the contracted form of “Let us.” E.g., Let’s go dancing tonight!
- Awhile and a while
“Awhile” is an adverb meaning “for a short time” and is used to modify verbs. E.g., She played the piano awhile.
“A while” is a noun phrase consisting of the article “a” and the noun “while” and means “a period or interval of time.” It is often used with a preposition. E.g., I’ll be coming in a while.
- Affect and effect
“Affect” is most commonly used as a verb meaning “to influence or impact something.” E.g., Her depression started to affect the family life.
“Effect” is most commonly used as a noun meaning “the result of something.” E.g., The beneficial effects of exercise are evident.
In rarer cases “effect” is also used as a verb meaning “to cause something to happen.” E.g., The prime minister hopes to effect reconciliation between the opposing parties.
- Each others and each other’s
“Each others” is the plural form of each other, but it’s not appropriate to use it. You most likely meant “each other,” e.g., Pete and Mary love each other very much.
“Each other’s” is the possessive form that indicates belonging to someone or something. E.g., We tried on each other’s dresses.
- Years experience and years’ experience
“Years experience” is always incorrect.
“Years’ experience” is the correct form. It’s the possessive form meaning “years of experience” or “experience belonging to years.” E.g., He has five years’ experience as an airline pilot.
- A and an
“A” is the article used in front of a noun that starts with a consonant or a consonant sound. E.g., We saw a fox on our way home last night.
“An” is the article used in front of a noun that starts with a vowel or a vowel sound (sometimes the “h” can be silent). E.g., We saw an owl in our back garden this morning. Or, It was an honor to be at your wedding.
- Everyday and every day
“Everyday” is an adjective meaning “commonplace, ordinary, or daily.” E.g., I don’t like these everyday dresses they sell in that shop.
“Every day” is an adjective (every) modifying a noun meaning “each day.” E.g., I cycle to school every day.
- You and your
“You” is the second-person pronoun and can be used as the subject or the object of a sentence. E.g., I can’t believe you always win the raffle. Or I saw you at the movies last night.
“Your” is the possessive form of “you” which indicates that something belongs to you. E.g., Can I borrow your car tomorrow to drive to Las Vegas?
- Advice and advise
“Advice” is a noun meaning “recommendation, guidance.” E.g., My father’s advice was always very precious to me.
“Advise” is a verb meaning “to recommend, to inform, to warn.” E.g., Your father will advise you if you ask him to.
- Its and it’s
“Its” is the possessive form of the pronoun “it” indicating that something belongs to “it.” E.g., The dog always loses its toys.
“It’s” is the contracted form of “it is” or “it has.” E.g., It’s raining again.