7 Common Grammar Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

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Following on from yesterday’s post on why good grammar matters when it comes to business blogging, here are ten grammar mistakes commonly made online, and the rules you should learn in order to avoid making them.

1. Who’s/Whose

There is a simple rule to remember the difference between who’s and whose.

  • Who’s = Who Is – Who is there? Who’s there?
  • Whose = possessive - Whose umbrella is this? Who owns this umbrella?

2 .i.e./e.g.

The Latin abbreviations i.e. and e.g.  are used extensively but not everyone  is aware of the difference in their usage. I quite often see them used  interchangeably. Follow this rule and you will never be guilty of making this mistake again

  • i.e. = “that is” – I like all kinds of music (i.e., I  like all music genres)
  • e.g. = “for example” – I like all kinds of music (e.g., pop, rock, dance)

Further rules for using these abbreviations:

  • always write them in lower case
  • use them in parenthesis and don’t forget to include the full stop and commas as shown above

3.To/too

  • to = I go to the office each day
  • too = Mary goes to the office each day too

4.There/Their/They’re

  • there = refers to a place – the house is over there
  • their = possessive – their house is over there
  • they’re = they are – they’re nice houses over there

5.It’s/Its

Probably one of the most common mistakes. Here is a simple rule for when to use it’s or its.

  • it’s = it isit’s a lovely tree
  • its = possessive – its tree has beautiful green leaves

6.Your/You’re

It is common to mistake your/you’re but the rule is the same as above for it’s/its.

  • Your = possessive – your car is nice
  • You’re = you are – you’re a nice person

7.Who/Whom

The rule of thumb with this one is to switch who with s/he and whom with her/him. Here are some examples:

  • Who likes the music? She likes the music
  • With whom are you going to the concert? I am going with him.

This is just a small sample of the many grammatical errors that exist to trip us up. While I find the above examples easy to remember, I find it harder to distinguish when I should use “that” vs “which” in a sentence. If you wish to learn more, then I recommend you check out a good website, such as Daily Writing Tips.

What are some of the grammatical conundrums that you find most difficult? Where do you go to find the answer to your grammar questions?


About

Marie Ennis-O’Connor BA, MIAPR, holds an Honours degree in History from University College Dublin. She is a graduate of the Irish Academy of Public Relations and has worked in a variety of PR roles over the past 12 years. Marie is editor of several award-winning blogs ranging from life sciences to health to business. She is a panel member of the newly established Bloggers International and is a regular contributor to Health Works Collective, an online community for thought leaders in international healthcare. She is a featured blogger on Webicina, an online service that provides curated medical social media resources in over 80 medical topics and over 17 languages, and has been awarded a top blogger accolade by Empowered Doctor.com and most inspiring writer by WegoHealth. Marie is also in demand as a trainer in social media marketing and travels the country teaching small business owners how to get online and maximise their online presence.

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