Even More Grammar Mistakes

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Errors in speaking or writing that many smart people make. Skip these common grammar flubs.

Everyone makes mistakes now and again when it comes to the things they say and write. It’s simply a fact of life. That being said, those errors, if left unaddressed, can influence how others view you and your work. That’s why we’ve honed in on some of the most common mistakes that even the super intelligent can make to help you improve how the world hears (or reads) you.

  1. Subject-Verb Agreement. If you do nothing else to improve your writing, then work to eliminate all errors in this department. If your subject is singular, the verb should be as well.

  2. Sentence Fragments. Next on the list are incomplete sentences, i.e. those without an independent clause. Every complete sentence must have a subject and a verb (and they must agree!).

  3. Dangling Modifiers. Got a word or phrase that has been separated from the word it is modifying or describing? Then you’ve got a misplaced or dangling modifier. Here’s an example: After finishing the project, the day felt more relaxing. It should be: After finishing the project, she felt the day was more relaxing. Because “After finishing the project” doesn’t modify “the day.”

  4. Unparallel structure. This typically happens with paired constructions or a series. For instance in a list of activities, make sure all start similarly—not one with a verb, one with a noun and one with an adjective. Here’s an example of parallel construction done correctly:

    Meet expectations

    Generate new business

    Make monthly quotas

  5. Me to start a sentence, I to end one. These are errors that happen a lot. You know “I” is wrong if you take the other person’s name out. Wrong: He went with Carl and I. Because you wouldn’t say He went with I. Same goes for me at the beginning of a sentence. Wrong: Me and Joy started a pottery class. Because you wouldn’t say Me started a pottery class.