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6 Common Grammatical Errors Every Writer Should Avoid (With Exercise) - Part 2

Updated on May 15, 2020
Arnaba Saha profile image

Arnaba is a professional content writer. She is here to share her experience in impressive and effective writing skills and strategies.

Grammatical Errors can be Fatal for a Content Writer.

Yes, it is harsh to say that, but unfortunately, it is a sad truth.

In this era of the "world wide web", people do form an impression about you, on the basis of your grammar and spelling in your articles, blogs, or even your social media feed; despite the fact, they have hardly met you or even had a conversation with you.

“The way you write tells a lot about you.”

- Anonymous

A writer is a human being. And human beings are prone to making mistakes. Thus, readers might ignore a spelling error (typographical) or two in your 2000 word blog or article. However, sloppy or silly grammatical errors can be damaging to your credibility and reputation as a writer.

Not to mention, your punctuation and grammatical mistakes will either mislead or confuse your reader. Your message will get diluted or misinterpreted by the same mistakes. Thus, editing and proofreading your article is of paramount importance.

In this hub, we will discuss the common punctuation errors (misuse of comma, semi-colon, and colon) and how to fix them.

Without any adieu, let us hop into the list of 6 Common Grammatical Errors Every Writer Should Avoid (With Exercise) - Part 2 that will help you identify and rectify your mistakes:

1. Missing Comma After Introductory Element

Pic 1 : Examples for Missing Comma After Introductory Element.
Pic 1 : Examples for Missing Comma After Introductory Element.

An introductory word, phrase, or clause should always be followed by a comma. This provides the readers with a slight pause after the introductory element. This comma often helps to avoid confusion at the reader’s end.

Simply put, if an introductory word or phrase can modify the entire sentence then put a comma. On the other hand, you can omit the comma if the introductory phrase modifies only a verb or a single element in a sentence.

Practice exercise for Missing Comma After Introductory Element

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2. Superfluous Comma

Pic 2: Examples for Superfluous Comma.
Pic 2: Examples for Superfluous Comma.

A superfluous comma is a very common mistake made by the writers. Here, the commas are placed where they are not needed. A comma is used to join two separate yet related ideas in one sentence. However, if you are using any conjecture then the comma is not always required.

4 types of common comma errors:

  • Don’t place a comma in between a subject and a verb.
  • Don’t use a comma to separate a verb from its object or complement.
  • No comma is needed when two elements are joined by a conjuncture.
  • Don’t separate a dependant clause followed by an introductory independent (main) clause with a comma. However, a comma is used only when the dependent clause comes before the introductory independent clause.

See, examples in Pic, the examples for these comma errors are given respectively.

Practice exercise for Superfluous Comma

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3. Comma Splice

Pic 3: Examples for Comma Splice.
Pic 3: Examples for Comma Splice.

A comma splice is a sentence where two different ideas or clauses are joined together with a comma. On the contrary, an appropriate conjuncture, transitional words, or semicolon should have been used in place of a comma.

Comma, period, and semi-colon have their designated jobs to do. You cannot use them interchangeably.

There are three ways to fix a comma splice:

  • Add a conjunction
  • Change the comma to a semi-colon.
  • Make separate sentences.

Practice Exercise for Comma Splice

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4. Colon Mistakes

Pic 4 : Example for Colon Mistakes.
Pic 4 : Example for Colon Mistakes.

Colons are predominantly used after a complete sentence. You use a colon to signal that the words, phrases or clause proves the point of the complete sentence preceding the colon. Mostly, what follows the complete sentence is something that amplifies, explains, illustrates, or clarifies its idea, thought, or message.

In simple words, a colon is used to introduce a list.

Colons can also be used to separate two independent clauses. There are two conditions for using a colon in such a situation:

  • The second clause should be related to the first clause (without being vaguely related).
  • The emphasis should be on the second clause.

Practice Exercise for Colon Mistakes

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5. No Comma in a Compound Sentence

Pic 5: Examples for No Comma in a Compound Sentence.
Pic 5: Examples for No Comma in a Compound Sentence.

A comma is used to separate two or more independent clauses in a compound sentence, which is separated by a conjuncture. The sentences that have two or more independent clauses are called a compound sentence.

Some conjunctures you should look for in a compound sentence are as follows: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.

Thus, you should use a comma after the first independent clause, followed by a coordinating conjuncture to separate the second independent clause in the compound sentence.

Practice Exercise for No Comma in a Compound Sentence

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6. Run-On Sentence

Pic 6: Examples for  Run-On Sentence.
Pic 6: Examples for Run-On Sentence.

When two independent clauses are joined together in a sentence without a coordinating conjuncture and/or proper punctuation, then the sentence is known as a run-on sentence (see example 1). The length of the sentence does not determine its validity. A short sentence can from a run-on sentence, while a long sentence does not necessarily be a run-on sentence.

A comma splice is a type of run-on sentence, where two independent clauses are joined with just a comma excluding the coordinating conjuncture see example 2.

A run-on sentence can be fixed by using a period or a semicolon followed by a transitional expression (see example 3).

Practice Exercise for Run-On Sentence

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These common grammatical errors have the potential to change the meaning and connotation of your write-up leaving your readers confused. Try to avoid these mistakes by reading about them. You can take help of various online practice exercise to nurture you grammatical sense and skills.

There is a saying: “No one is perfect.”

On the other hand, there is another saying: “Practice makes a man perfect.”

Personally speaking, I had only one take away from both the saying: practice might make you perfect, but it will let you make fewer mistakes.

On that note, I admit, even I am not perfect. Henceforth, please feel free to point out any grammatical or spelling mistakes you encounter in this hub.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Arnaba Saha


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    • Arnaba Saha profile imageAUTHOR

      Arnaba Saha 

      3 days ago from New Delhi

      Hi Risha,

      I am glad you enjoyed the exercises. Yes, it is true. "Practice makes a man (woman in your case) perfect".

      Learning is a crucial part of life. The day we stop learning, we will stop growing. So, learn and keep growing; as a writer and a human being as well. All the best Risha.

      And thanks for your time and appreciation.

    • Risha Khan profile image

      Risha Khan 

      3 days ago from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh

      I really enjoyed doing the exercises,Arnaba. I noticed I need to work more on comma splices. Comma has a significant impact on readability of the sentences as it can make or spoil the impression of an author. Your hubs help us to write quality content. With practice, we can minimize common and minor grammatical errors.

    • Arnaba Saha profile imageAUTHOR

      Arnaba Saha 

      11 days ago from New Delhi

      Thank you Muralikrishna Ji, for such kind words. I am glad you enjoyed the practical exercise and participated like an online game. Your appreciation helps to stay positively motivated and come up with interesting ways to present my content. Thanks again.

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      13 days ago from South India

      Your article was knowledge sharing and gave me a lot of interesting exercise like online games. Your keen interest to make the article comprehensive gives us an opportunity to learn a lot, which will not be available in conventional classrooms. Thank you Ms Arnaba for such a helpful exercise inclusive learning.


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