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The 3 Most Common Grammar Mistakes

Whether you consider yourself quite the wordsmith or you can barely text, having good grammar is an important professional skill you should have. While no one is expecting you to be a Dave Eggers or Jane Austen-level writer, you should at the very least be able to send a professionally worded email without grammar or spelling mistakes.

This is especially crucial when you are trying to reach out to new clients or business contacts because you don’t want them to draw any conclusions that you are incompetent based on any bad grammar or spelling.

To protect yourself from any embarrassing email mishaps, let’s go over what the # most common grammar mistakes are so you can avoid them. (Don’t have confidence in your abilities? You might want to consider hiring a virtual assistant who specializes in copyediting/copywriting services.)

Sentence Fragments

Everyone speaks in sentence fragments in everyday language, but in a professional writing setting they aren’t appropriate. Don’t remember what a sentence fragment is? Let’s take it back to seventh grade English class and refresh ourselves.

A sentence fragment is a string of words that doesn’t have an independent clause. A fragment may be missing a subject, verb, or sometimes even both in dire situations.

Example of a sentence fragment:

We offer a lot of meal options. (complete sentence) Such as vegetarian and meat meals. (sentence fragment that has no independent clause)

Not Using the Correct form of Their/There/They’re

Although they may sound the same spoken aloud, their/there/they’re couldn’t be more different from each other. Using any of them inappropriately may make your reader raise their eyebrow, so let’s make sure we get it right.

Their: Their is the possessive case of the pronoun they. It shows ownership of something. They left their backpack at school.

There: There is an adverb that describes location or place. She loves Paris. She went there last year on spring break.

They’re: They’re is a contraction of the words they and are (hence the apostrophe). They’re going to find you a seat at the restaurant.

Misusing the Apostrophe When Writing Its/It’s

Another common grammar mistake is misusing the apostrophe when writing its/it’s. You only use the apostrophe when it’s a contraction (putting together the words it is or it has). When you just have its without an apostrophe it becomes possessive.

I can’t wait until it’s Summer. (correct usage of it’s)

Isn’t it cute when the dog chases its tail? (correct usage of its)

photo credit: Antp93 – Anthony Perez

Posted on May 30th, 2018 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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