As an author (or reader) I see grammatical mistakes everywhere and cringe. While I see it primarily with friends, family, collages and fans – I cringe most when I see other authors doing it. Yes we edit our work – but I try incredibly hard NOT to make those mistakes (especially on social media) because the idea of an author’s online social status is representative to their writing. If someone reads those mistakes from their favorite author online, they may begin doubting their ability to write in general.
So to help those – I’ve put together a list of some of the most common grammatical mistakes I see in hopes that you (even my younger writers) will be able to advance your skills a bit. Please note: I am not perfect. I make mistakes too – and I can completely understand the dreaded auto correct issues on the phone, I am just hoping some of these will help.
Then vs Than
Then describes time or organization. Than is an alternative. rather than – then you will go…
Your vs You’re
Read your sentence out loud. If you can put the word ‘are’ after you, you need the apostrophe.
Could’ve instead of Could of
What it sounds like and what it should be differ; what you hear is not how it is spelled. Same with should’ve and would’ve.
To vs Too
If you could replace the word too with also, you should use the one with 2 o’s.
Effect vs Affect
A reader can be affected negatively if they read the wrong cause and effect.
Lay vs Lie
I won’t lie I have a hard time with this one myself. You can lay the pen down but not lie the pen down. The past tense of lay is laid; so she laid the pen down yesterday, otherwise I may have lied to you.
Its vs It’s
It’s important to know if you can say it is important – you need the apostrophe.
Lose vs Loose
Count the o’s. If your pants are loose, you have too much material (extra o’s) and you may lose your pants which would be one less o and a bit less coverage.
Peak vs Pique
It may pique your interest to know that the mountain’s peak is snowy.
In to vs Into
Don’t get into the habit of walking in to stores without shoes.
I know there are many more but these are the ones that stand out the most to me. Master these and some day I may have to add a new list.