Monday, June 18, 2018

5 grammar mistakes every blogger must prevent


When it comes to writing well, grammar is a very important component. Your writing needs to be clear and readable, and grammar is the element that makes your writing just that. But when you are a new blogger or just starting to get into writing, your grammar may not be as awesome as you would want it to be. Your sentences may be choppy or they may be fragmented. Or you may be using certain words incorrectly.

But since you are just getting back into writing, you probably don’t remember how to fix all the grammar mistakes you made. “Why didn’t I pay more attention in school when I was younger?” you probably say after proofreading your horrendous writing. That’s the exact thing that happened to me. I recently went into my archives and checked out some of my older articles and, boy, were they hard to read. Aside from the lack of flow of the paragraphs, there were so many grammatical errors. The mistakes ranged from incorrect word use and spelling to sentence clarity. They were absolutely terrible!

So to help out some of you newbs, here are 5 grammar rules you must know:


1) Irregular Adjectives and Adverbs

To refresh your memory, adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns. Adverbs are words that describe or modify verbs. Here are a couple examples:

Example of an adjective: Yellow balls

Example of an adverb: Run fast

Additionally, adjectives and adverbs can also be used to compare nouns and verbs, respectfully. If you are comparing two things or actions, it is called a comparative. If you are comparing three or more things or actions, it is called a superlative. Here are some examples:

Adjective example:
  • Comparative: He is taller than me.
  • Superlative: He is the tallest player on the team.
Adverb example:
  • Comparative: He runs faster than me.
  • Superlative: He is the fastest player on the field.
However, there are certain adjectives and adverbs that are irregular and their spelling changes completely when you turn them into a comparative. Take the word “bad” for example. The comparative of it isn’t “badder” or “baddest.” Those two words are not real words. The actual words are “worse” and “worst.”

So pay attention to your spelling when you are writing. You may be spelling adjectives and adverbs incorrectly.

2) Subject-Verb Agreement

In a sentence, the subject is what or who the sentence is about. It is a noun or pronoun that, the majority of the time, is in the front of the sentence. A verb is an action that the subject takes. So for example, if I write, “Donald writes an entire movie,” the noun “Donald” is the subject, and the action “writes” is the verb.

But what makes this element of grammar confusing for some is that you have to take into account singular (one) and plural (more than one) words.

So if I use a singular subject, then the verb also has to be in its singular form (the example above is in singular form).

But if I use a plural subject, then the verb has to be… you guessed it right: plural!

Example: John and Jane walk across the beach.

Notice how the verb in the singular example had an "s" at the end of it, while the plural example did not? This is because the singular form of verbs doesn't end in an "s" and plural forms of verbs do.

Understand? Good. Onto the next one…

3) Run-on sentences

Run-on sentences are clauses that are not connected or punctuated correctly. They look like two sentences in one but are not connected properly.

Here’s an example of a run-on:

Steve didn’t want to read he just wanted to sit around and look at the sky.

Do you see what’s wrong with this sentence?

There are three ways you can fix it. The first is add a conjunction. These are words such as and, but, or, so. The second way is to add a semi-colon (;). The third way is to just add a period and make two sentences.

I’m going to use the third method to fix it, but any of the ways mentioned above works:

Steve didn’t want to read. He just wanted to sit around and look at the sky.

You may have noticed that I didn’t add any methods involving a comma to fix a run-on. The reason is that if you use a comma to fix a run-on, it becomes another grammatical error called a comma splice.

Speaking about commas…

4) Commas


Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like a lot of people don’t know how to use commas correctly. A lot of them add a comma when they feel a break or pause is needed in the sentence. But this is wrong. There are specific times to use a comma.

So, for this part, I am only going to show you when you have to use a comma. I am not going to give examples because it is pretty easy to understand. Let’s get to it:

Use a comma:
  • To break up items in a list
  • In the spaces of an address
  • In between the day and year of the date
  • To set off appositives
  • After introductory words or phrases
  • To set off interrupting expressions
If you are still confused as to when to use a comma, click here to read my post on punctuation.

5) Fragments

Sentence fragments are sentences that are missing crucial parts of it, such as a subject or predicate.

For example, if I say “went to the gym with me,” you wouldn’t know who went with me. This is a fragment because it just tells what a potential subject is doing without letting us know what or who the subject is.

If I were to say, “Tommy and the tree,” you wouldn’t know the point I was making or the message I’m trying to tell. Yeah, I’m telling you who the sentence is about, but what about it? What did they do?

You need to make your sentences are complete or no one will understand what you are saying. So keep that in mind when you are writing.

So there you have it. 5 grammar mistakes that you need to pay attention to when you are writing or proofing. If you want more tips on how to improve your writing, I have a book, Grammar Handbook for Bloggers, on Amazon Kindle that will help you do just that. Click here to check it out.

P.S. You can also go through my older articles on grammar. They’re pretty useful too.

14 comments:

  1. I'm a bit of a stickler for grammar and it sometimes annoys me when I see bloggers with TERRIBLE use of the English language. I'm sure my blog is probably full of mistakes though as I write in quite a conversational tone, and I find that the Yoast SEO plugin encourages some stuff that I just don't find natural like short sentences. To be honest I'm trying to chill out about it a bit in both my reading and writing. The things you talk about here are still super important though and will definitely help people out :)

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  2. I love grammar and it always kind of came naturally to me. But I still get stuck sometimes on some of the rules. A great way to improve your grammar is do loads of reading. Great post!

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  3. Great information. thanks for sharing with us!

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  4. Thanks for the grammar refresher! The commas always trip me up, I still don't have a good grasp on them.

    Karen from http://www.OurCarpeDiem.com

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    1. Yes, commas can be confusing. But I hope this article cleared up some of that for you.

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  5. I'm sure I am guilty of some of these tips for bloggers. I try to do the best I can with Grammarly.

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    1. Yeah, Grammarly is a great resource. I actually use it all the time lol.

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  6. Run on sentence and fragments definately applies. Love your style of writing.
    I am not a stickler for grammar in general though. If your content helps people, I don't think the grammar will prevent them from reading your site. English is not the first language for many people. However, this list is awesome, it will help satisfy some grammar police.

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    1. I absolutely agree. As long as the content is helpful and can solve problems, the grammar isn't too important. But having good grammar does make the article easier to read.

      And thanks for the comment and kind words!

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  7. Thanks for the great informative refresh post on grammar. It is very important while writing a blog! Great post.

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