21 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

This post first appeared on Business Insider on 25th March 2017. 

Grammar rules can seem like a nuisance. Honestly, do you really need to check every single document for appropriate hyphenation?

According to CUNY Journalism Press editor and writing coach Timothy Harper, the answer is a resounding “YES.”

“The whole point of grammar and punctuation is clarity,” he told Business Insider. If you write that a woman has “dirty-blonde hair,” for example, people know that you’re referring to the color. “It doesn’t mean that she needs a shampoo,” Harper said, which it would if you’d written “dirty blonde hair.”

We asked Harper about the most common grammar mistakes he sees, and added some that drive us crazy on a daily basis. Read on for a list of tricky – but super important – rules that get broken way too often.

1. Confusing ‘fewer’ and ‘less’

Harper said he winds up correcting this mistake pretty often.

He explained that “fewer” is appropriate when you’re discussing countable objects. On the other hand, “less” is appropriate when you can’t count the thing you’re describing.

Here’s an example of each word in a sentence:

“Fewer than 20 employees attended the meeting.”

“I spent less than one hour finishing this report.”

2. Confusing ‘amount’ and ‘number’

Again, it’s a question of whether you can count the thing you’re describing.

Harper gave examples of how you might use each word:

“There is a really large number of books in that library”

“There’s a huge amount of water going over the dam right now.”

3. Confusing ‘it’s’ and ‘its’

Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession. As in, “I took the dog’s bone.” But because apostrophes also usually replace omitted letters – like “don’t” – the “it’s” vs. “its” decision gets complicated.

Use “its” as the possessive pronoun: “I took its bone.” For the shortened version of “it is” use the version with the apostrophe. As in, “it’s raining.”

4. Confusing ‘who’ and ‘whom’

When considering whether to use “who” or “whom,” you have to rearrange the sentence in your head.

So the question, “Whom did you give the letter to?” changes to “You gave the letter to whom?” “Whom” suits the sentence instead of “who” because the word functions as the object of the sentence, not the subject.

It’s not always easy to tell subjects from objects but to use an over-simplified yet good, general rule: Subjects start sentences (or clauses), and objects end them. In short, who does it to whom.

For reference, “Who is a hypocrite?” would be a perfectly grammatically correct question to ask.

5. Confusing ‘him’ and ‘he’

Harper said he often hears people say something like, “Him and me went somewhere.” That’s incorrect. Instead you should say, “He and I went somewhere.”

Things get slightly more confusing from here. It’s incorrect to say, “He gave it to she and I.” Instead you should say, “He gave it to her and me.”

If you’re having trouble with this rule, Harper suggested taking away the “and.” For example, you can probably tell that the sentence “He gave it to I” sounds weird, so you can figure out that “He gave it to she and I” is also incorrect.

Read the remaining grammar mistakes by Business Insider here

10 Powerful Tips to Write and Sell Your First eBook (SBO)

A big thank you to the writers and designers at Start Blogging Online for this guest post-Infographic and kindly asking to post on the Virtuadmin website.

The most important thing in writing an e-book is that you inspire people to do something or to take a positive step forward. This is the theme of most e-books. They inspire people to either change their eating habits or start fitness routines that they can easily follow.

E-books cover a wide range of topics, but they were mostly written by experts in specific areas. This is why they can easily motivate people to change because what they have written was based on their personal experiences.

If you consider yourself an expert or knowledgeable enough in a particular field, then you can go ahead and start writing an e-book. Take note though that this is not an easy endeavour. You have to work overtime and come up with really interesting ideas for you to sell the book that you have written.

You need to speak from the heart, but also understand what it is that your target group wants to read. You must have coherent ideas presented in a beautiful manner. It takes time before you can finish the entire e-book, but once it is done, you will surely be proud of what you have made.

It is time to get moving now and write your first e-book. To help you out, we have compiled the best tips for you to follow. The image below will give you ideas on how you can start an e-book and come up with something special for people to read.

10 Powerful Tips to Write and Sell Your First eBook (SBO)

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