It is really easy for people to get lazy with the way they write or speak. Especially in terms of writing, there are many common mistakes or errors that people make that may lower their chances of successful communicate. In order to tighten up the ship and increase your chances of success, consider eliminating these mistakes from your vocabulary, your writing and your e-mail today.
- its vs. it’s
This is a big one that I see a lot in writing today. Just to clarify, “its” is a possessive pronoun. “It’s” is a contraction of it is. For example, a proper use of “its” would be “the cat played with its catnip toy”. A proper example of “it’s” would be, “It’s really hot in here”. Get it? Got it? Good.
- There vs. they’re vs. their
The word “there” is an adverb that means “at that place”. Ex. There are only three potatoes left.
“Their” is a possessive pronoun. Ex. Their house is absolutely gorgeous.
“They’re” is a contraction of they are. Ex. They’re going to the mall for lunch aka. They are going to the mall for lunch.
- Effect vs. Affect
Effect is a noun. It is a result produced by a cause. An example of effect-the effect of your hard work in this company is viable.
Affect is a verb. Affect means to act on or to produce a change. An example of affect-The cat was extremely affected by her change in environment.
- Empty adverbs
This isn’t so much a mistake, but a suggestion to improve your writing. People use adverbs a lot in their writing to add emphasis, but it can be really easy to overuse them. If you use too many adverbs, you can sound redundant and your writing can seem very awkward. Try to use adverbs sparingly and make sure they are well placed.
- Unnecessary change in verb tense
I think this is an easy mistake for many of us to make, but learning to use verbs properly will only help to improve the overall influence of our writing. Many people change verb tenses when there is no reason to do so. Just a quick refresher- there are three verb tenses-past, present, and future. Whenever possible, with a few exceptions, you should try to pick one verb tense and stick with it throughout an entire paper. It can be very easy to switch between tenses without even realizing it. Make sure you are double-checking your work!
6.Ending sentences with a preposition
Examples of a preposition include at, of, with, and in. It has become fairly commonplace for people to misuse or inappropriately place prepositions of a sentence. Sentences should not be ended with a preposition. An example of poor use of a preposition would be “Where is the taco stand at?” or “Where are we at with our taco stand plans?”. A better way to phrase these sentences would be “Where is the taco stand? And “Where are we with our taco stand plans?”.
7 Could of vs. Could Have
It turns out that “could of” isn’t even a real phrase and should just be eliminated from your vocabulary entirely. “Could have” is the correct expression-it turns out that many people often misuse “could of” just because the two sound so similar. Don’t do it. Or at the very least, stop doing it.
- to vs. two vs. too
“To” is a preposition. “Too” is an adverb that otherwise means “also”. “Two” is a noun for the number, otherwise known as one plus one. This is another one of those common mistakes such as “its” vs “it’s” or “their” vs “they’re” vs”there”. Learn the differences between these words, memorize them, and know them well. After all is said and done, proof read your work!