Five Wrong Word English Grammar Mistakes Web Content Writers Must Avoid

Avoid Wrong Word Grammar Mistakes When Writing Web Content

Grammar mistakes can cost time and money for web content writers.
Grammar mistakes can cost time and money for web content writers. | Source

If You Are an English (United States) Web Content Writer, Then You Should Be Compelled to Write It Right.

To be honest, “Write it correctly” may have been a better sub-heading title for this paragraph; however, “right” is still correct. I point this out to bring up the matter that most web content readers are not bothered by the choice of words web content writers choose to use in conveying their message, however, web content writers who have grammar mistakes in their web content may be looked upon as less credible as a writer.

I stress United States (U. S.) because I am from the United States and write for U. S. English publishing companies. So, everything I publish is specifically published for the U. S. Naturally, other countries have their own personal standard. The information I share in this article is specifically geared for writers and readers of U. S. web content publications.

Web Content Writers Are Urged to Correct Grammar Mistakes

I speak from a reader’s point of view when I say that I am not bothered by imperfections in sentence structure. I understand that the web is an international platform and many of the writers on the internet do not have English as their primary language. Web content writers serve a global community. Consequently, readers come from all corners of the earth with their own individual understanding of words, per se. It is humanely acceptable to see imperfections in some of the web content that they read on the internet. Readers are forgivable on that matter. However, as a reader, my greatest contention is when web content writers have grammar mistakes in their web content.

Grammar Mistakes

Grammar mistakes can make it difficult for readers who do not have a full command of the English language, or do not have English as a primary language. Try to remember back in school when you were trying to learn a new language. Each word had a meaning. So, for instance, if you were trying to learn what the contraction of “you are” was and you saw the word “your” erroneously placed in a sentence instead of “you’re”, you would have a difficult time deciphering the meaning of the word. The same thing happens when readers who read your web content see grammar mistakes while reading your web content. When you make grammar mistakes, you are forcing the reader to re-read your content to grasp the meaning of your content.

Chicago Manual of Style

When I was a technical writer and editor for the computer industry, I kept the Chicago Manual of Style at my desk. The Chicago Manual of Style is the most widely acceptable standard for English grammar style for all industries across the board. Of course, styles change over the course of time. Fortunately, the Chicago Manual of Style is updated on a regular basis. If you are a web content writer, you would be doing yourself a favor by keeping the most recent version of this manual handy at all times..

Readers Have Short Attention Spans

“Just 8 seconds. That’s the average attention span of humans. You only have 8 seconds to grab your audience’s attention.”

- Bret Haynie – Propel Marketing – 5 Tips and Trends in Web Design

Your Web Content Must Be Good Enough to Keep the Reader Interested

The internet is filled with information vying for your readers’ attention, so if you want to keep your readers engaged with your content, you need to be able to convey your information quickly and correctly, lest your visitor will click off of your web content just as soon as they clicked on to it. Think of grammar mistakes as a huge injustice to your readers and, possibly a lost customer or client.

Wrong Word Grammar Mistakes

Wrong word grammar mistakes come in many varieties. They can be among the hardest errors to check for, because you may not be able to see what’s wrong. Normally, the wrong word mistake is due to using the improper use of homonyms (words that are pronounced alike but spelled differently).

I encourage web content writers to look at your web content to see where your wrong word grammar mistakes are and then correct them so that your web content is not filled with grammar mistakes.

Web Content Writers Remember – You Are Writers!

If you are a web content writer, remember plainly and simply, you are a writer. It doesn’t matter how much you get paid or not paid for the content you write, what is important is that when you write, you are a writer and you are responsible for writing worthy web content. As a writer, you are scrutinized, evaluated, and referred to for correct grammar and style. Your choice of words is subjective, meaning, it is up to you to choose the best word to convey your thoughts or content; however, when you make grammar mistakes, you make it difficult for readers to understand what you have written, hence, diminishing your credibility as a web content writer.

Think about it. You are a writer! If you can’t write it right, then who can?

See the list of the most common wrong word grammar mistakes web content writers make. Then, where you have these common grammar mistakes, work to correct your mistakes. It is sure to boost your credibility as a web content writer.

Helpful Grammar Hints - You - Your - You're


1. You /Your/ You’re Mistake

The word “you” is the easiest mistake to correct. Your “spell checker” tool won’t find it, because in this case, it is not a matter of spelling, it is a matter of grammar. I think most writers know that you refers to a subject, yet when web content writers fail to re-read their web content prior to publishing, they fail to discover this wrong word error.

Your spell checker is not going to find a grammatical mistake in a sentence such as, "Thank you for you email.” The second word you is spelled correctly, however, the use of the word you, in this case, is incorrect. In the example shown in the above sentence, the sentence should have been written, "Thank you for your email." You just need to read through your document to discover this type of common grammatical error.

Another error I see is when people use the word “your” when they should use the contraction “you’re". The word your is a possessive pronoun and refers to something that a person possesses. This is another case where your spell checker tool will not flag the word as incorrect, because, the word is spelled correctly, however, the word is used incorrectly.

Write “you’re” when you mean “you are”. Write “your” when you are making a reference to someone’s possession.

Examples of how to use the words you, your, you are, and you're.

  • Thank you.
  • This is your purse.
  • You’re welcome. You are a wonderful person.

Helpful Grammar Hints - Than - Then


2. Than/Then Mistake

Use the word than when you want to compare something.

Examples of how to use the word than:

  • This show is better than that show.
  • This flower is prettier than that flower.

Use the word then in the following ways:

Examples of how to use the word then:

A point in time:

  • Since the show is tomorrow, I’ll see you then.

A sequence of events or order of things in a sequence:

  • I’m going to go see the show, then I’m going to bed.

As a substitute for the word “also” or “in addition”:

  • I brought enough money for the show, then I remembered I’d want to have popcorn, too.

A statement of case, such as to say, “In that case.”:

  • If you don’t want to go to the show, then don’t.

Also, use then when you mean to say, “At the same time.” Or, “On the other hand…”:

  • I want to go to the show, but then I don’t like sitting in a dark theater.

To make it easier on you, all you really need to do to remember when to use than. This is my little secret. The simple rule for than is that it is used to compare items. So, if your sentence is not referring to a comparison, for example, greater than, less than, heavier than, better than, and so on, then you would use the word then. I hope this little secret is helpful

Helpful Grammar Hints - Its - It's


3. Its/It’s Mistake

I see this mistake a lot. Believe me; I have made my share of mistakes with these words, too. It’s not that I don’t know the rules, I just need to be more conscientious to stop and analyze the sentence and determine to what I am referring. For example, the word its is a possessive pronoun. So, just like the word your, only use this word when you are referring to someone or something that is possessed.

The word it’s is a contraction of the words “it is”.

Examples of how to use the words its and it's.

  • The lion licked its paws.
  • It’s easy when its paws are right there in front of him.

Helpful Grammar Hints - Their - There - They're


4. Their/There/They’re Mistake

The word their is another possessive pronoun.

The word there refers to a location or place. You also want to use the word there with the words be, am, are, was, and were.

The word they’re is a contraction of the words they are.

Examples of how to use the words their, there, and they’re:

  • They cannot seem to find their ticket to the show.
  • I see there are others who cannot find their tickets, either.
  • If that’s the case, they’re not going to be able to get into the show.

Helpful Grammar Hints - A lot - Alot


5. A lot vs. Alot Mistake

First of all, “alot” is not even a real word. So, don’t ever use it in any sentence. Use “a lot” to refer to something that is “plenty”.

Examples of how to use the words a lot (never use "alot"):

  • There are a lot of lessons to be learned.
  • I have been to the show a lot of times.

No One is Perfect!

I don’t profess to be perfect, and I don’t expect other writers to be perfect, but there are some grammar mistakes that are so blatant they should not be overlooked by decent writers.

It is difficult to critique your own work, but if you are a web content writer, then it is critical that you make a diligent effort to read and re-read your work as much as possible. Comb through each sentence more than one time to determine if you have made a grammar mistake. Read through the material slowly. Try to find grammar mistakes, and when you find a grammar mistake, correct it immediately.

Writers Are Human, But Writers Are Held to a Higher Standard

Lastly, remember that you are human. You will make mistakes. The key is to work harder to keep grammar mistakes from ending up in your published web content. Try to remember the rules, and continue to read your published web content periodically to make sure errors did not pass through your diligent eye.

Readers will rate your web content on how easy it was to follow. And, even though they may not be an English scholar, they know when you make a mistake. It just sounds wrong the moment they read it. It is at that moment you are judged on your ability and credibility as a writer. If readers cannot trust your command of the English language, then ask yourself, “Can the reader trust the information contained in the content?”

Write Well and Write Often

Write well, my friends, and write often. The more you write, the better you write. For web content writers, there is nothing more rewarding than publishing words that have been put together for the enjoyment of others. I hope these tips are helpful and that you will use them to help you write web content that is appreciated by your readers.

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Comments 85 comments

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 14 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello breathing. You have a very strong handle on writing styles and writing well. Thank you for your feedback.

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breathing 14 months ago from Bangladesh

Anyone who want to become a writer following a style can be greatly helped from this hub. The hub author has perfectly highlighted the aspects of the different writing styles which is indeed a cornerstone for the modern day writers. Anybody looking to take writing as profession can have a look at this post and work accordingly. I think transition from one writing style to another is a bit challenging. For example anyone who follows a persuasive writing pattern. If he/she intends to go with a descriptive manner, then this will be a very interesting and challenging task. This post has solved the problems to some extent as there are the basics of all types of writing here.

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breathing 15 months ago from Bangladesh

A great hub highlighting the most common mistakes writers made. I think proofreading is as much important as writing. If you have good proofreading skills then you can avoid these silly mistakes very easily. The best writers either have good proofreading skills or they have good proofreaders to check their work. I completely agree with the hub author that the more you write, the more your writing becomes good and you make fewer mistakes. Also try to write in as much simple English as possible depending on the reader type. The reader really gets a setback by seeing even the minutest of grammar mistake you make. Then he/she starts to think about the reliability of the content. So by avoiding mistakes, you can increase your credibility as a writer, hold the existing readers and expect to get more.

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MarleneB 17 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi sara. Thank you for your feedback. I am glad you feel that English is easy to learn. I think it is very difficult to learn. In fact, I won't even attempt to answer how many verb tenses there are because I might get it wrong.

sara 17 months ago

English is spoken throughout the world because it is soooo easy to learn! How many verb tenses are there?

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MarleneB 17 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

I hear you, Au fait. The brain does tend to "auto-correct" for us and that is the biggest reason why it is difficult to self-edit. I try extra hard to catch mistakes, but every now and then I do still make the common wrong word mistakes. The best thing to do is like you said - let the work cool off. I still have to think before using "affect" and "effect." I had to let the rules go and now I just cite the following to know which word to use, "Affect causes an Effect." "A comes before E." Affect is doing something to cause a result. Effect is the result. I don't know if that helps. A comes before E. That's all you need to remember. It works for me. I hope it works for you.

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Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas

Editing one's own work is very difficult. Our brains are wired in such a way that they tend to correct things as we read them. It's usually a good idea to let written work cool off for a little while, a few hours, before editing. Those mistakes will stand out better if you give your brain a rest.

I think most people make typos where 'you' is concerned. I do it a lot and have to correct it when I edit. I know the difference and I think most other people do, too. The difference between you and your that is.

One thing that I find irritating is to, too, and two. Hardly anyone seems to know the proper usage of 'too.' I have no problem with it, but most writers seem to ignore it.

My biggest issue seems to be affect and effect. I've read the rules for them several times and for some reason I can't seem to find an easy way to determine when to use which one.

Glad you're shining a light on these grammatical issues because I agree with you that bad grammar and other technical mistakes do take away the credibility of a writer.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 18 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Indeed, letstalkabouteduc. If you are a writer, proofreading is part of the process.

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letstalkabouteduc 18 months ago from Bend, OR

Thanks for the helpful reminders! Proofreading is so important.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 18 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Oh, Chriswillman90, we all make mistakes, and sometimes we make the same mistakes repeatedly. I still make mistakes and have to refer to reference guides for answers.

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Chriswillman90 18 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

Very useful hub for any writer to follow. I also found your examples to be on point and well shown. I have a tendency to make technical errors, so I'll have to check this hub every now and then to clean up those mistakes.

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MarleneB 18 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi Bobby. I am glad to be of help. By the way, thank you for the many blessings. Blessings back to you and your loved ones as well.

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the rawspirit 18 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

I keep rereading this hub, its becoming my writers bible lol. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. Blessings to you and your loved ones.

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MarleneB 18 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello Bobby, you are such a blessing to me. Your comments are the kind of feedback that lets me see how my writing affects others. My goal is to be helpful and you have given me that assurance. Thank you so much for your compliments.

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the rawspirit 18 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

Hi Marlene, as a new writer, I have based all of my writings based on my passion, instead of my audience. Thanks to your hubs, I'm beginning to understand that writing here on HubPages has its specific requirements. As, I read and read the HubPage rules and read top Hubbers pages, I'm learning more of what HubPages requires to increase the value of a hub, my scores are going up.

One thing that helps me to be more at ease in my writing is to write my first draft without focusing on anything except getting my message down. I read it out loud and usually can instantly see dozens of grammatical errors and lack of flow. Now I'm finding I am cleaning up the hub a third time and rewriting it from the readers point of view. Marlene, thanks again, I feel so blessed to find you on HubPages.

Have a blessed day. Bobby

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MarleneB 23 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello missolive. Thank you very much for your positive feedback.

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missolive 23 months ago from Texas

Excellent tips and advice! Common mistakes can be a painful downfall, it can definitely ruin the credibility of a striving content writer.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you, Harishprasad. Your positive feedback is inspirational.

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Harishprasad 3 years ago from India

MarleneB, this hub is so important that not only the U.S. Web content writers but also the writers all over the globe should ponder it in order to have a real grasp on the language they use. Incorrect use of words or incorrect expressions mar the content and kill the reader's urge to read it. Really a nice hub and you are such a great teacher of English language.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi sunilkunnoth2012. I appreciate you too. I greatly understand your plight. So, please do not feel I am downplaying it when I make the following suggestion. As a writer, your first thought should be to determine who your audience is. Second, consider who your publisher is. In our case, our audience is American english readers and our publisher is HubPages. HubPages is an American english publisher. So... it would be wise to write in clear American english standards. That's difficult, I know.

My suggestion is that you write your first draft like you would normally write. Then, when you are ready to edit your first draft, make sure you set your spell checker and grammar checker to American english. This will identify words that are not correctly spelled (according to American english standards). There might be times when you may have some doubt as to whether or not a correction should be made. Take for example the word colour versus color. They mean the same, right? But, the American spelling is color. When in doubt, use my favorite online tool - the online dictionary at www.dictionary(dot)com. Type in the word and see what the dictionary says about it.

Your writing style is your voice. Just write the way you speak. Then, read through what you have written from a reader's point of view. If you believe a reader would understand what you have written, then you have written well. I hope this is all helpful to you. Thank you for your question. I feel honored that you believe in me and any advice that I have to offer.

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sunilkunnoth2012 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Good work and I appreciate you. The main problem I face during hubbing is with spelling. The spell checker gives us American spelling, whereas we Indians (and lot of other nations too) follow British English. Color, Meter, Authorise, Centre, etc are some example. What should we do while writing. Please suggest a good method. Also some tips to improve writing style.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you for leaving a comment, joe-christmas. I am so glad you find it helpful.

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joe-christmas 4 years ago from Turkey, Istanbul

thank you for this useful information. voted up

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi alocsin. Yeah, its/it's has a tendency to play with my mind sometimes. I have learned to read every sentence where I use its or it's out loud without the apostrophe. That seems to help a lot.

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Spellcheckers may not find this errors, but grammar checkers do, such as the one that Word has. I know because my most frequent error is it's/its and Word always highlights that for me. Voting this Up and Useful.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello iwebcontent. Yes. There are plenty of mistakes we all make from time to time. For me, the goal is to make as few mistakes as possible. Being aware of them helps. I see the mistake of "your" for "you are" a lot. I also see "alot" more times than I can count. But, once a person is made aware of these errors, there is less of a chance that they will make such errors in the future. Thank you for your comments. Your feedback means a lot.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi rajan jolly, I am happy you found this to be helpful. You are such a wonderful writer; your compliment means a lot to me.

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rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

These are very useful tips Marlene! I appreciate your making us aware of the importance of grammatically correct writing. A writer's credibility does take a nose dive if the content is of low quality and the language incorrect.

Voted up and useful.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you for visiting EuroNinila and prasadjain. Your positive comments are truly appreciated. These five words can be confusing to some writers, so my goal is that this hub would be helpful.

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EuroNinila 4 years ago from NYC BABY

Thanks for sharing this, I'm sure many will find it useful!

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prasadjain 4 years ago from Tumkur

Useful tips for beginners. To many responses received by this is the witness!

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi cameciob. I am glad you found this hub helpful. The one thing I think is most important for internet writers to remember is that the internet is an international platform. We can not expect everyone to speak the same language as we do. Therefore, the better we are at writing, the better other people will be able to understand what we write.

I use the dictionary a lot. In fact, I have the online dictionary up and ready each time I write.

Thank you for your positive feedback. I look forward to reading your hubs.

cameciob profile image

cameciob 4 years ago

I make a lot of mistakes in my writing but I am happy there are people here to help. English is not my primary language and I often have to use dictionaries to make sure I got the write word. But from all the gtammar mistakes you listed above I only make the then/than one. Your explanation is very good though and it will help me not to mix them up in the future.

And thank you for being gentle with the writers that use English from all over the world.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi nettraveller. You are correct. Both the AP and Chicago Manual of Style are excellent style guides. The AP style manual is geared more for journalistic writing, for example, news media. But, it will still be very helpful for writing hubs because the layout for media writing is very intuitive to how people receive information. And, I still have to stop and figure out which word to use when it comes to "affect" and "effect". Yes. FANBOYS is very helpful in remembering coordinating conjunctions.

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nettraveller 4 years ago from USA

I recently got a copy of the AP (Associate Press) style manual. I have not seen the Chicago style manual. I'm sure either is OK for consulting on more informal writing, such as what we do on HubPages, don't you? Very nice Hub. Another example of words often interchanged is the pair of "affect" and "effect". My sentences tend to be too long, I'm working on applying that FANBOYS rule mentioned by JGoul.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello Doodlehead, yeah I see the "your" word used incorrectly a lot of times. When people write, "Your so nice," I wonder why they let that go. Contractions are the easiest mistake to correct, so it makes me wonder why they didn't just correct that sentence before sending the communication. I'm not saying I'm perfect. But, I feel like the least writers can do is be mindful of their readers and try to correct common mistakes. Thank you for reading and for your comment.

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Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

Oh ---thank you for bringing up the your/you're issue. I am not perfect but I do cringe when I see that. It is EVERYWHERE.

I find your hub interesting as I am not the only one bothered by the mistakes you describe. Voting up.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi moonlake , don't feel too bad for your mistakes. We all make mistakes. We miss errors that are most common even if we know they are wrong. The brain has a way of blocking out certain things because it knows what we "meant" to say, so when we read what we've written we can easily skip over the mistakes. But, other people find them and rate us for it. As a former editor, I understand why people make mistakes. Often, it's not that they are bad writers, it is simply difficult to edit your own work. The best thing to do is finish a project and put it down for a day or two. Then, come back and read it just to find errors. Search, primarily, for the most common errors. No matter how hard I try, I still find errors in my work. It's because I am editing my own work. Even after checking this hub five times, I still found errors before I published it. Then, a month later I found another error; and for Pete's sake, I was a contract editor for over two decades. Just don't beat yourself up over it and know that other people will find your errors, but you are at a disadvantage trying to find your own errors. I am constantly going back to re-read my hubs to search for and correct errors.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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moonlake 4 years ago from America

You have a lot of good information. You're so right we need to check our hubs for grammar mistakes. I'm the worst one to make mistakes and than at times I don't see them or realize they are mistakes. My grammar is awful. I think many writers on here just don't have the education that some of you have. I'm one of them but I try as hard as I can.

I was reading a magazine the other day in fact it was Woman's World and saw a few mistakes in it.

Voted up on your hub and more.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

jainismus - Thank you for your positive comment. I am glad it is helpful.

Starmom41 - Yes, I see loose and lose a lot, too. There are a lot of "common" mistakes. The ones I listed in this hub were, at the time, the ones I had seen multiple times in a matter of a few minutes of reading content. It motivated me to write this hub with hopes of helping writers be more aware of certain mistakes.

justmesuzanne - Yes. I guess people take it personally and feel they have to justify what they do. But, I know how difficult it is to edit our own work. Having a personal editor would be ideal, but most of us don't, so after writing something, we need to take time to edit our work the same way an editor would. By the way, thank you for your positive feedback.

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justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

Isn't it amazing how contentious conversations about grammar can get? LOL! Voted up and useful! :)

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Starmom41 4 years ago

good hub. another common error: loose vs. lose. I see that one everywhere.

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jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Thank you for writing such a useful Hub.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi oceansider, thank you for your feedback. Yes. Once the article is written, the real work begins. Writers just want to write and editing is the part of the process they tend to ignor. It is difficult to edit our own stuff, but it is the most important part of producing a polished product.

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oceansider 4 years ago

Hi Marlene,

Thank you for your article...I think it was very well done!

And, I do agree with you completely about writers having to adhere to a higher standard in using grammar...and also spelling. Voted up and useful & interesting!


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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi catmalone, I am glad you found the hub helpful. My goal was to help writers be more aware of these common mistakes. Hopefully, once they are aware, they can make fewer errors.

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catmalone 4 years ago

Your hub was very informative. Made me more aware of the most common mistake that writers have. As a beginner writer this hub will be very useful to me.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you for your comments, Express10. That Chicago Manual of Style sure does come in handy. I try to keep up with the editions, because things are always changing in the writing world. It's good to be in the know. Take care, Express10.

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Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

These are very useful tips that I will keep in mind. Perhaps I should have kept my Chicago Manual of Style. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

sammimills - Thank you for your feedback. Mistakes are the name of the game. We all make them. The trick is knowing the rules and having a way to correct them.

Sweet Chococarrie - Good to see you. I really enjoy your hubs with the beautiful photos and videos. Thank you for stopping by to visit.

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sammimills 4 years ago from California, USA

Very useful hub! Honestly, I sometimes have grammar issues, but mistakes happen for us to learn. Thanks for the tips!

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Sweet Chococarrie 4 years ago from My Heart To Yours

Thanks for that sweet comment i just hope i could be always around to come and visit more of your interesting hubs, same time to pass by and say hello there:)

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi angela_michelle, thank you for stopping by. Yes. One day, I was trying to read something in French (for the fun of it). It was difficult. Fortunately, the writer was proficient in the language. If it had been a bad writer, I never would have gotten past the first sentence. It made me realize how difficult people with other languages as their original language might struggle to read content from English writers who do not write well.

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angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States

You know it had never occurred to me about how difficult it might be for people who have english as a second language.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

CloudExplorer, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I think everyone writes for their own reason, so none of us can judge each other. We can choose what kind of writer we want to be. There are times when perfection is mandated, such as when writing textbooks and manuals, which is the world from where I stem. Then, there are times when just putting a thought out there is enough. I can't imagine spending gobs of time making sure my text messages are absolutely accurate. That's a time for a quick post and go. They know what I meant to type. Right? So, if you are just writing to put thoughts down, there is no such thing as lazy. But, if you are writing a corporate operations manual, then you had better know all the grammar rules on the planet. Those types of publications must be accurate.

There are some languages that do not use indefinite articles, so when I read a hub by someone from one of those countries, I brace myself to read an article void of words such as “a” and “an”. But, that’s OK. One of the points of this hub is that the internet is international. I know people try their best. I just wanted to point out some errors that I happen to see every single day and multiple times, sometimes in the same article. That’s all. Thank you so much for visiting.

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CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

Grammar is a very huge issue for many folks on the web, for readers as well as writers. You've pointed out many common errors that are made by a great deal of online writers, and will continue to go on and on; since, as you've also stated "No ones perfect" & "We're only Human".

You also provided some great useful, and relevant solutions to the problem, for many of us lazy writers like myself, lol. I write too much at times I think, and get tired I guess so that's my excuse for writing poorly :)

I actually prefer using a pen and paper as opposed to writing or typing with a keyboard, so this whole writing online thing, that I've been doing for a little over 9 months now, has definitely been a huge adjustment for me as a online writer.

Your hub is very well written, and I commend you on a awesome job, and also like how you handled the issues in your comment area here, which had initially appeared to be falsely perceived, or misconstrued by the differing respective parties or shall I say a few fellow hubbers.

Voted up and getting digitally shared every possible way I can. Nice one! @MarleneB.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello Sweet Chococarrie, thank you for stopping by again. I enjoy seeing your bright face each day and to read your comments. In writing, we all make mistakes just by the nature of being human. And, yes it does feel awkward when we see them. The internet is a place of people with many languages so I don't always expect anything to be perfect. I list the things I see most often and hope to present a solution to correct them in a way that makes it easy to remember, so the next time someone is using those words, they would have an idea of how to use them correctly.

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Sweet Chococarrie 4 years ago from My Heart To Yours

I came in here again Dear Marlene, for I like to let you know that whenever i do grammar errors in all the time i am writing i do feel uncomfortable, it's like an allergy for me if i will not be able to correct them, and if i did miss it for quite sometime and when i go across them, i feel really awkward, it's like something always very important for me to be using the correct grammar words all the time, (p.s. im incidentally an addict writer) Have A Nice Time and More Power for All Your Hubs.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi Faith Reaper. Thank you for visiting and for your feedback. Also, thank you for your kind words about my profile picture. I was actually getting tired of looking at the old one.

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Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Marlene, great hub!!! On another note, I love your new profile picture. You are so beautiful in mind and spirit. In His Love, Faith Reaper

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you for visiting, sandonia. Oh, yeah! I know what you mean. And, you would think that after all the stink I made about "your" and "you're" that I, of all people, would never make that mistake. Still, I was just about to publish an article and there it was - the word your where the word you're should have been. The thing is, we all make mistakes. But, it is so nice to catch them BEFORE anyone else has a chance to see them. Right?

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sandonia 4 years ago

Good list. I made the than/then mistake earlier today writing something. I didn't catch it until it was too late. Haha.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you for visiting and for your comment Sweet Chococarrie.

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Sweet Chococarrie 4 years ago from My Heart To Yours

This is Awesome, So BEautiful Share, I love it!!!

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

JGoul - Thank you for your reply. I did actually go back and read your post again. And, the second time around, I saw that it was actually a compliment. At first, I thought you were saying my hub was entry level work. Now, I know better. I truly appreciate that you came back to clarify things.

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JGoul 4 years ago

Nothing in my post was critical of your hub, Marlene. I didn't mean "intro level guidance" in a derogatory way; certainly I wasn't saying your hub was written at that level. I just meant that you were talking about basic grammatical issues, not complex ones, the kinds of things beginning writers could profit from reviewing. Honestly, I didn't realize that was a controversial sentiment. I meant to compliment, not criticize. If some lack of clarity in my post gave offense, I apologize.

@Diamondmo - I didn't "grammar nazi" anyone until you told me I should "review my own skills." There aren't any critiques or corrections in my original comment, just a compliment and a suggestion about a related topic.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

diamond1mo - Regarding "yours", it is not a pet peeve of mine, but there again, as you mentioned about teachers having different opinions - one will say do it this way and the other will say do it that way. It was the same way in the work field. Some employers didn't care what the style book stated was correct, if they wanted a sentence to follow a certain structure, that's what the writers had to do and that's what the editors had to look for. Yes, I did end a sentence in a preposition. But, that's acceptable in this case. Am I right? :) By the way, thank you for your encouragement.

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diamond1mo 4 years ago from Arizona

How about "yours"? It is one of my pet peeves and some Language Arts teachers and lexicographers find it acceptable.


"This is yours." versus "This is your story."

Is the new rule that if the subjective is dropped then an "s" is added to the adjective?

Marlene- keep up the good work.

JGoul- it is okay to be a grammar Nazi, but try to turn it into a positve.


KE Morgan

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

OK, guys, play nicely here. :) This is not the political forum. Let's just keep in mind that none of us are perfect. I make mistakes all the time. So, I am thrilled when someone points out my errors to me. That's how I get better. I am grateful to you when you point out a typo or grammatical error, because it makes me more mindful the next time. I never take it personally; I know it's just the other person's opinion. Anyway...

diamond1mo - Thank you for your link. I want you to know that I am quite flattered that you would share this hub with your readers.

JGoul - I can see where diamond1mo is coming from. To be honest, when I read "intro level guidance", I was a little bit taken aback, but then I realized it was your opinion which you are 100% entitled to. Nevertheless, I value your opinion and accept it wholeheartedly. And, I do like your ideas for future hubs. In this hub, I just wanted to get people to stop doing things like using "your" for "you're".

JGoul profile image

JGoul 4 years ago

@ Diamond1mo - I never threw stones. I said it was a great hub addressing wrong word errors, which many beginning writers could benefit from avoiding. Then I suggested another topic beginner writers could review: punctuation.

As for my sentence, I know it's a fragment. Communication is contextual; my syntax is more informal here than it would be if I was getting paid to write. If you're going to nitpick hub comments: "Thave" and "discoverec" are glaring typos. And in "next time JGoul wants to throw stones- they should evaluate their own skills," the subject and verb don't agree.

If you thought I was saying Marlene needed to review punctuation, you need to read more carefully: "For the same class of writers looking to master punctuation..." obviously refers to "beginning writers," not the hub's author.

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diamond1mo 4 years ago from Arizona

I came back to link to this page and discoverec some new gems! You made some very nice graphics.

Next time JGoul wants to throw stones- they should evaluate their own skills. "Good intro level guidance" is not a sentence. That would be another topic on how sentences must thave subjects and verbs.

Thanks and regards,

KE Morgan

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you, cabmgmnt, for your comment. Yes. There are other mistakes that I see online and sometimes I make the same errors, however, the ones listed here are the ones I find the most.

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cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA

Nice hubs with great tips. Thanks for sharing this. I catch these mistakes often when reading online articles.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you, diamond1mo, for your comment and for your support.

diamond1mo profile image

diamond1mo 4 years ago from Arizona

Marlene- I will link to this! Good effort! Thanks.

KE Morgan

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

pagesvoice - Thank you for stopping by. And, I don't want to admit it, but like you, once I see one mistake, I start looking for others. I'm bad!

Rina - Thank you for the love, my friend. May the Lord be with you always.

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Rina Pinto 4 years ago from Dubai - UAE

Marlene. its evening here now in UAE - Dubai - 17:16PM here .. so long and Blessing to you sister.. Feel the Holy Spirit of the Living God Yahweh , Jesus His Son and their Holy Spirit around u .. :)

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pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

Your article was certainly an impressive piece and I like your comment about being a writer and writing it right. You hit the nail on the head regarding some errors slowing down the reader. Perhaps it is just me, but when I come across a "your" instead of a "you're" I then find myself searching for other errors in the article I am reading.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi Rina, thank you for visiting and for your comment. It's evening here where I am. So, as your day begins, my day ends. Many blessings to you for a beautiful day.

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Rina Pinto 4 years ago from Dubai - UAE

Good Morning & Thanks so much for this Hub..

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you very much for your comments.

RTalloni - As I mentioned, I am not a perfect writer. I make mistakes, too. I try very hard to catch mistakes before my work is published, but it seems that no matter how hard I try, at least one mistake is sly enough to get away, anyway. I correct them as I see them. And, really, that's the message I want to convey here - that people should be conscientious about grammar mistakes and keep an eye out for them.

emilybee - Exactly! Sound it out! That is the best advice of all. Just like you said, if writers sound out what they want to say, then many of the common mistakes could easily be avoided, especially the contractions.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Well done, well done! It's not just these basic mistakes that you highlight here, but your perspective that adds so much to how well done this hub is. So glad to see posts like this. I always learn something from them, or at least the comments they generate, and I'm always glad to see help available for people who did not learn basics like this before beginning to write.

I've made plenty of mistakes that shouldn't have been made so I always try to give other writers the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps a distraction caused them to miss their error, or maybe they write when they should go to sleep for a while. I've got lots of excuses for my mistakes! :)

Sometimes, though, you just have to shake your head in amazement.

emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

I agree with you- no one is perfect but such blatant spelling errors shouldn't be made. I just sound out some of the words, i.e they are going to the store = they're going to the store. Errors are much less likely to happen when you think about what you're trying to say. Awesome hub, voted up.

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MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA Author

JGoul - What? FANBOYS? I'm just talking about the basics here and just about the mistakes I see every single day that I read web content. I am sure there are hundreds, thousands, even millions of mistakes writers make. But, one thing I know (as a contract editor) is that every company has their own style, whether it is "FANBOYS" or "XYZ Company" standards. Some companies that I worked for threw the Chicago Manual of Style out the window.

And, what are you going to do if you want to keep your job? I fancy against being snobbish about "style", because styles change every day, and style is a matter of preference. But some things are simply a matter of grammar and that is the one constant among all the companies I worked for as an editor. For instance, when the Geneva Conventions for professional writers decided not to place a comma before the last item in a series, some companies followed suit, and some companies declined. What are you going to do? Keep your job by doing what your company executives prefer. Right?

After working for some of the most prestigious companies in the U. S. I have learned not to be hung up on syntax, because every company is different. But, when people use "your" in place of "you are", well, that's just wrong.

Thank you for visiting and for commenting. As a writer, your opinion means a lot to me.

JGoul profile image

JGoul 4 years ago

Good intro level guidance. A lot of beginning writers would do well to remember these. For the same class of writers trying to master punctuation, I'd suggest learning how to join independent clauses to each other and to dependent clauses (including the FANBOYS rule), when to use a comma after an introductory phrase, and the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

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