Common Grammar Errors and FAQs




A
abbreviations
an or a
BBC or B.B.C.
BC and AD
contractions (Mr or Mr.)
e.g and i.e
plurals (PCs or PC's)
accept and except
AD and BC
adjectives
an or a
auntie June or Auntie June
compound adjectives (e.g. 4-seater aircraft)
contractions (Mr or Mr.)
expressions like 3-and-a-quarter million
extremely-talented actor or extremely talented actor
hers or her's, ours or our's
hyphens in adjectives (e.g. 4-seater aircraft)
its and it's
well-known or well known
adoptive and adopted
adverbial clause
adverbial phrase
adverbs
"At 4 o'clock, she..." or "At 4 o'clock she..."
extremely-talented actor or extremely talented actor
adverse and averse
advice and advise
affect or effect
agenda (plural or singular)
all or all of
allot, a lot and allot
allude and elude
allusion and illusion
allowed and aloud
already or all ready
alright or all right
altar and alter
altogether and all together
among and amongst
amoral and immoral
amount, quantity and number
an or a
an or a (with abbreviations)
and in a list (with a comma or not)
"and I" or "and me"
and joining two sentences (with a comma or not)
and (starting a sentence)
appraise and apprise
apostrophes
apostrophes after acronyms
apostrophes after s
apostrophes after z
apostrophes exercises
apostrophe for contraction
apostrophe help
apostrophes in names
apostrophe misuse
apostrophe to show ownership
apostrophe placement
could of, would of, should of
her's, our's, their's, your's
its and it's
possession
plurals
temporal expressions (e.g. 3 years' insurance)
you're and your
Mother's/Mothers' Day, Father's/Fathers' Day,
Veteran's/Veterans' Day, Manager's/Managers' Meeting,
Chief Executive's/Chief Executives' Meeting

auntie June or Auntie June
autumn or Autumn
B
bare and bear
BC
being or been
beside and besides
block and bloc
"between you and I"
brackets for parentheses
brackets and full stop placement
brake and break
breathe and breath
bullet points
but in a list (with a comma or not)
but joining two sentences (with a comma or not)
but (starting a sentence)
C
can and may
can not or cannot
canvas and canvass
capital letters
company or Company
capital letter for important words
common nouns
moons, stars and planets
points of the compass
proper nouns (names)
Red Lion Lawn or Red Lion lawn
seasons
title case
censor, censure and sensor
cite, sight and site
climactic and climatic
collective noun (singular or plural)
coarse and course
colons
colons before lists
colons before quotations
capitalization after a colon
colons used to extend sentences
colons vs semicolons
commas
commas after introductory phrases (e.g. On 4 Jul 1984,)
commas after interjections (e.g. Yes,)
commas with Dear, Hello, and Hi
commas and however
commas after long subjects
after transitional phrases (e.g. As a result,)
commas before and (in a list)
commas before and (joining two sentences)
commas before quotation marks
commas for parentheses
The Oxford Comma
run-on errors with commas
with adjectives
with vocative case (e.g. John,)
which (comma before or not)
comparatives and superlatives
most prettiest (errors with adjectives)
most fastest (errors with adverbs)
complement and compliment
compound adjectives
hyphen in a compound adjective (e.g. two-seater aircraft)
use of capital letters, italics and quotation marks
3-and-a-half million or 3 and a half million
compound nouns
forming plurals
possessive forms of compound nouns (e.g. sister-in-law's)
with hyphens (e.g. cooking-oil)
compose and comprise ('comprise of' and 'is comprised of')
conjunctions
in a list (with or without a comma)
joining two sentences (with or without a comma)
joining two sentences (using a semicolon)
starting a sentence
contractions (Mr or Mr.)
coral and corral
council and counsel
could of
criteria (plural or singular)
D
dangling modifiers
dashes
dashes between dates
dashes between numbers
dashes between words
dashes in age
dashes vs hyphens
dash used to extend a sentence
dashes for parentheses
data (plural or singular)
Dear with or without a comma
decent, descent and dissent
definite and definitive
defuse and diffuse
dependant and dependent
desert and dessert
discreet and discrete
disinterested and uninterested
dived and dove
double negative with neither/nor
E
east or East
economic and economical
effect or affect
e.g and i.e.
elicit and illicit
either and neither
double negative with neither/nor
plural
singular
ellipsis (three or four dots)
elude and allude
empathy and sympathy
enquiry and inquiry
envelop and envelope
except and accept
exercise (apostrophes)
F
Father's Day or Fathers' Day
fewer or less
for free
forego/forgo, forewent/forwent, foregone/forgone
forth and fourth
forty not fourty
further and farther
full stop placement with brackets
G
getaway and get away
gray and grey
grisly and grizzly
H
hangar and hanger
hanged and hung
he/she and his/her (accepted convention)
Hi, Hello, Dear with or without a comma
his/her or their
help with apostrophes
her's
historic and historical
however or However
hyphens
hyphens after prefixes (e.g. ex-President)
hyphens between dates
hyphens between numbers
hyphens between words
compound adjectives (e.g. two-seater aircraft)
compound nouns (e.g. cooking-oil)
hyphens in age
hyphens vs dashes
I
i.e. and e.g.
if or whether
illicit and elicit
illusion and allusion
immoral and amoral
impending and pending
imply and infer
incidence and incidents
incite and insight
inquiry and enquiry
instance and instants
interjections
in official writing
punctuation
into, onto and up to
its and it's
J
K
L
law and lore
lay and lie
lead and led
learned and learnt
let and let's
less or fewer
licence or license
lists including semicolons
lists, parallel lists with bullet points
loath and loathe
loose and lose
M
marinade and marinate
may and can
may and might
may be and maybe
me and myself
media (plural or singular)
misuse (apostrophe)
moral and morale
Mother's Day or Mothers' Day
more lovelier
most fastest
mute and moot
"My husband/wife and I" or "...and me"
N
names and apostrophes
no-one or no one
none is or none are
north or North
notable and noticeable
number, amount and quantity
numbers
expressions like 3-and-a-quarter million
forty
starting sentences with figures
writing numbers in full
O
onto, into and up to
or in a list (with a comma or not)
or joining two sentences (with a comma or not)
ownership (apostrophes to show)
our's
Oxford Comma
P
parallel lists with bullet points
parenthesis
choice of parenthetical punctuation
commas for parenthesis
end a parenthesis
using brackets
parentheses (brackets, commas or dashes)
past or passed
pendant and pendent
pending and impending
personal and personnel
plain and plane
placement of apostrophes
plurals
agenda, data, criteria (plural or singular)
forming plurals
forming plurals of compound nouns
lion's instead of lions
none (plural or singular)
plural of abbreviations (PCs or PC's)
spoonsful or spoonfuls
pore, pour and poor
possession
cat's dinner or cats' dinner
possessive forms of compound nouns (e.g. sister-in-law's)
Evans' report or Evans's report
John and Bill's report or John's and Bill's report
men's room or mens' room
practice or practise
prepositions
ending a sentence
following a preposition (who or whom)
with verbs (preposition required or not)
prepositional phrases (e.g. box of tapes) singular or plural
pray and prey
principal and principle
precede and proceed
precedence and precedent
prophecy and prophesy
proscribe and prescribe
provided or providing
Q
quantity, amount and number
question mark inside or outside of quotation
quotation marks
quotation marks with new paragraphs
colon before a quotation
comma before a quotation
punctuation before the quotation or not
punctuation inside or outside the quotation
singular quotation marks within doubles
quotation marks to mean so-called
R
raise, rise and raze
role and roll
S
semicolon
semicolons before transitional phrases (e.g. ...in the end; as a result,)
semicolons before and (joining two sentences)
semicolons for introduction (misuse)
mistakenly using a colon in place of a semicolon
separating list items
used to extend a sentence
to introduce lists
semicolons vs colons
sensor, censor and censure
sentence
capital letters (including quotations)
ending a sentence in a preposition
extending a sentence with a colon
extending a sentence with a dash
extending a sentence with a semicolon
extending a sentence with three dots
starting a new sentence after a comma
starting a sentence with which or who
starting sentences with figures
shall and will
should of
sight, site and cite
so (comma after)
south or South
speech marks
speech marks with new paragraphs
colon before a quotation
comma before a quotation
punctuation before the quotation or not
punctuation inside or outside the quotation
singular speech marks within doubles
spelled and spelt
spilled and spilt
split infinitive (e.g. to really try)
spoonsful or spoonfuls
spring or Spring
stationary and stationery
storey and story
subject (long) grouped with a comma
summer or Summer
comparatives and superlatives
most fastest (errors with adverbs)
most prettiest (errors with adjectives)
subject-verb agreement
sympathy and empathy
T
temporal expressions (e.g. 3 years' insurance)
More than I or more than me?
that, which and who (overview)
that, which and who (comma before or not)
their's
their or his/her
these kind of
then and than
they're, their or there
three dots used to extend a sentence
too or to
try and or try to
U
up to, into and onto
uninterested and disinterested
uncle Joe or Uncle Joe
V
vain, vein and vane
Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day
verbs
preposition required or not
vocative case (e.g. John,)
W
waist and waste
weather, whether and wether
well-known or well known
west or West
whether or if
which, who and that (overview)
which, who and that (comma before or not)
who or whom
following a preposition (who or whom)
who (comma before or not)
who's and whose
will and shall
winter or Winter
would of
X
Y
you and I or you and me
you and yourself
you're and your
your's
Z