Learning English Grammar
5 Common English Grammar Mistakes
Don’t worry if you make these common English grammar mistakes, many native speakers don’t even realize they make them too!
Learning English language is not easy. However, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without seeing or speaking it. Therefore, it is important to have a good grasp and understanding on how to actually use it. Below are 5 common English grammar mistakes to learn and avoid! Let's start with the most basic one:
1. It’s or Its – let’s get this straight once and for all: it’s is a contraction for it is, its indicates an objects’ possession of something.
It’s cold out today.
That’s my new dog. Its leash is red.
2. ‘s /s’ /s – speaking of possession here are a few rules:
a. If the subject that is doing the possession does not end in an s, you use ‘s.
Example: That is the girl’s doll.
b. If it does end in an s, the apostrophe goes after: s’ (you don’t add another one).
Example: Those are the girls’ dolls.
c. If the subject is plural you simply add the s.
Example: Where are the girls today?
3. Effect / Affect – An effect is the result of something affecting something else. Or more simply: effect is the noun, affect is the verb.
The effect of being exposed to the sun for long periods of time without sunblock is obvious.
How does staying in the sun for long periods of time without sunblock affect our skin?
4. Then / Than – the distinction between these, though subtle, is quite important.
Then is an adverb indicating a procession of time or sequence. Than is used when comparing things.
Examples: I went to the store, and then I went to the gas station.
He is taller than her.
5. Fewer / Less – This is an extremely common mistake: “Fewer” is used for tangible things that you could physically count. “Less” is for concepts or things you can’t count individually.
“To use this lane you must have 10 items or fewer.” (A common mistake in grocery stores)
It took him less than an hour to get to Boston.
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