No matter how much writing you’ve done in your life, there are some grammatical mistakes that you’re bound to make. Whether it’s punctuation, the use of quotation marks, or specific words, some writing concepts will give people a hard time.
Depending on your field, these writing mistakes may not be the end all be all. However, it’s still important to know what errors you can avoid so people don’t laugh at your work. Let’s take a look at some below.
1. They’re vs. Their vs. There
You’ve probably chuckled at this subheading because you know this one to be true. People will often use these words in the wrong context because they forget their meaning. But here’s a quick breakdown so you don’t make that mistake again:
- They’re: It’s a contraction for “they are.”
- Their: Signifies something someone owns, e.g., their shoes are blocking the door.
- There: Refers to a place, e.g., we are going over there.
It’s not that you don’t know the difference between the three; you’ll just need to double-check you’re using the proper context in your work.
2. Affect vs. Effect
Affect vs. effect is another set of words that give people trouble. You’ve confused the two before, and you’re not to blame. They’re often pronounced the same even though they have different meanings.
Affect is used as a verb when describing the influence of something presently. For example, here’s a sentence using affect:
“The weather affected Toby’s mood.”
In contrast, effect is a noun used to identify a change that happens when something is done to a person or thing. For example:
“The Coronavirus had a significant effect on our hygiene practices.”
You may still have trouble here and there differentiating between these two. However, you’ll be using the correct context in no time with a bit of practice.
3. Your vs. You’re
Another troubling grammatical concept for many is “your vs. you’re. It’s a common error, but the difference between the two is someone owns something vs. being something. For example, if you were using “your,” you would say:
“Hey, is that your car? It’s blocking my driveway.”
But if you were using “you’re,” you would say:
“Whoa, you’re a fast driver. I didn’t even notice how quickly you got down the street.”
4. It’s vs. Its
This is probably the one mistake even the best writers make. A simple apostrophe can make your writing go from excellent to subpar in seconds.
It’s (see what we did there) easy to get mixed up because of the “s” after the “t” in both words. However, “its” is possessive, and “it’s” is a contraction meaning “it is.”. So double-check your work before submitting it, so you don’t have content loaded with confusing statements.
5. To vs. Too
There’s no doubt that you’ve left the extra “o” off of “too” at times, especially if you’re trying to type a statement quickly. But to avoid making that mistake, here are some rules to remember:
- “To” is used before a noun or verb and usually describes a destination, action, or recipient. For example:
- “We are going to the doctor.”
- “What she did to him was horrible.”
- “Why don’t you give that to me?”
- “Too” can be used for the word “also” or the phrase “as well” in specific contexts. For example:
- “I think she writes for that company too.”
- “He thinks it’s too hot outside.”
- “Can we have some too?”
6. I.e., vs. E.g.
Many people have to Google the correct way to use both terms when it comes to, i.e., and, e.g., They’re often used interchangeably, even though they have different meanings.
I.e., can mean “in other words” or “that is,” so you would use it to clarify a statement. E.g., which we’ve used a few times above, means “for example,” allowing you to make your content more authoritative.
7. Peek vs. Peak vs. Pique
Everyone knows what these words mean but still has a hard time differentiating between them. But here’s how you avoid using them in the wrong context:
- “Peek” means to look at something quickly, like a book or TV show
- “Peak” is a sharp point, such as a mountaintop
- “Pique” references emotional states, such as interest or irritation
Watch Out for These Common Grammar Mistakes
As you can see from our list above, people make many common grammar mistakes. That’s why it’s essential to know the correct context of these words before submitting your work.
Try practicing different sentences so you can become well-versed with these grammatical giants. Then you’ll have less trouble writing authoritative pieces because you know how to use the correct terminology.
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