Even famous writers make writing mistakes. It’s an inevitable reality that all writers, amateur and experienced, face at one time or another.
However, there are some writing errors that consistently show up more than others. The following are seven common writing mistakes.
Apostrophes indicate a noun has possession of something; ‘Mary’s purse’, for example.
However, “its” which is the possessive form of ‘it’ does not. Instead, the apostrophe is used to indicate a contraction.
In this case, ‘it’s’ means ‘it has’ or ‘it is’.
Apostrophes, in general, confuse many writers. The biggest issue center on possession.
On a singular noun (student) the apostrophe sits before the “s” to indicate the possession of something by that one person or thing (student’s book).
However, on a plural noun (students) the apostrophe sits after the “s” to indicate the possession of something by multiple people or things (students’ books).
Additionally, apostrophes go on the end of all words that end with an “s” (Mets’ game).
Homonyms All Sound the Same
Many words sound the same but have different meanings; for example, “to”, “too”, and “two”.
A grammar checking program will not always flag this error.
Therefore, it’s important to read your writing carefully to catch these writing mistakes.
You, Your and You’re
A common error that occurs in writing is the “r” gets dropped off the end of “you” when the person is trying to use the possessive version of the word.
It’s typically caused by typing too fast and not proofreading. Another mistake that occurs is using “you’re” as the possessive of “you”. This is incorrect.
“You’re” is the contraction of “you are”.
I.E. Vs. E.G.
These are Latin abbreviations that are frequently confused with each other. The abbreviation i.e. stands for “id est” which mean “that is”.
It’s a different way of saying, “in other words”. The abbreviation e.g. stands for “exempli gratia” which means “for example”. It is used prior to showing an example of something.
The Forgotten Hyphen
When two words are combined to act as one adjective, a hyphen is required.
For example, “long term” is only correct when you are using the adjective “long” to describe the noun “term” as in “he served a long term”.
“Long-term” is correct when both words are used to describe a noun as in “the long-term solution was to lock the door”.
Often these writing mistakes occur because people don’t take the time to proofread their work.
Spending a few minutes rereading your work will help you catch errors that weaken your writing.
Check out our article on proofreading and editing without mistake to bulletproof your writing.