The 10 Most Common Grammar Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

Whether you are a native speaker or a foreigner, English is a challenge to learn. A big reason why grammar is hard to learn is due to the rule exceptions. There are an infinite number of exceptions that you need to learn. 

In addition to it being a challenge to learn, it’s confusing because of the inconsistency. For instance, what if you were asked to choose “at” or “in.”  Would you know which one to use? You’d be surprised at how common this mistake is.  

Native speakers are not exempt from these mistakes either.

For example, we frequently say "at home" and then "at the airport," despite the fact that you might be in either location. It takes time to understand all of these exceptions. However, unless you use English frequently enough, mastering all of them will be nearly difficult.

You don’t need to stress about making mistakes. With the right tools, grammar can be easy to learn. What I gained from learning the basics of English grammar is that there are good ways, and then better ways to structure your sentences.

While it is may seem difficult to master grammar structure, spelling, meanings, rules, and established principles, you can work on self-improvement. Grammar describes how words are put together in a sentence and understanding its rules will help you. 

When you talk or write, you must arrange your words in the correct sequence for others to comprehend what you're saying or writing.  Before you work on your mastery of grammar, it is important to learn what the most common mistakes are to avoid making them. 

Let’s Begin! 

1. I vs. me.

The personal pronoun I replaces the person or thing that is or does the action. Example: I am an artist.  

Example: I paint pictures. 

The personal pronoun me replaces the noun that receives the action.   

Example: She saw me. 

2. who vs. whom

Use who when the word is performing the action. 

Example: The man who won is Canadian.

Use whom when it is receiving the action.

Example: Whom do you like best? 

3. who vs. that

Use who when you’re talking about people.

Example: My friend, who is meeting us at the movies, is very funny.

Use that when you’re talking about things.

Example: These are the shoes that she wants to buy.

4. it’s vs. its

Its is the possessive form of the pronoun it.

It’s is a contraction of it is

Example: It’s not part of its nature to bark.

5. There / They’re / Their

There is an adverb of place. 

There’re is a contraction of they are.

Their is the possessive form of the pronoun they.

Example: They’re in their own habitat there. 

6. your vs. you’re

Your is the possessive form of the pronoun you. 

Example: Your poem is exquisite.  

You’re is a contraction of you are.  

Example: You’re an excellent poet.

7. Subject-Verb agreement

The subject and the verb need to agree in terms of number. If the subject is singular, the verb is singular. If the subject is plural, the verb is plural.   

Example: The boys are playing tennis. (Not: The boys is playing tennis)

8. in and on

Use in when something is inside a defined space (flat or three dimensional). 

Example: George is in his bed.

Use on when something is touching the surface of something (horizontal or vertical)

Example: The book is on the bed.  

9. this and these vs. that and those 

Use singular this and plural these to denote objects close to the speaker.

Example: This is my coffee. (object near) 

Use singular that and plural those to denote objects far away from the speaker

Example: Those bagels are John’s. (object far)  

10. good and well 

Good is an adjective. It describes a noun or pronoun. 

Example: Charlie is a good student.

Well is an adverb. It modifies a verb.

Example: Charlie did well on his exam.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. These are the ten most common mistakes that almost everyone makes. 

It’s difficult to learn grammar. However, if you understand the purpose of grammar, you’ll overcome the common mistakes that people make. It is a learning process too. The more you practice the better you will be. 

Which one of these has tricked you in the past? Please feel free to leave a comment below!


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