If you’re making errors while writing, then you’re not alone. We all are making grammar mistakes in our daily routines. If there was any reward for the grammar mistakes, trust me, many of us would be a millionaire by now!
And we’ve to agree that sometimes it is not easy. Words, phrases,grammar rules – that are in our head can mess up things when writing a simple memo, letter, or even an email.
To prevent such common grammar mistakes, or become a human version of Grammarly. First, you should know that you made a mistake in the first place, and then knowing how to fix it. We’ve compiled a list of 50+ common, funny & worst grammar mistakes that almost everyone is doing, or have done in the past.
Guaranteed, here, you’ll either find your biggest grammar pet peeve/s or learn something new. And possibly, you will find faults in my English usage, your grammar critiques, thoughts, and even insults (be gentle) are all welcome in the comment section below.
A Tip From Webie: Make a mental note to avoid these grammar faults, or just bookmark this page to remind yourself over and over again.
Most Common Grammar Mistakes
Fairly or not, having grammar mistakes means lacking the attention to detail and sounds rushed writing; too many mistakes suffer the reading experience and weaken the readers’ interest.
Starting from some of the funny Grammar Mistakes
1. There vs. They’re vs. Their
The worst problem of these triplets is that they sound alike (homonyms).
- Their is a possessive adjective and used before a noun
- They’re is the contraction of “they are,” and
- There refers to a place.
Example: “They’re sad that their drinks are still on the bar over there.”
Another sound-alike follies are “You’re and Your;”
- Your is the possessive adjective, and
- The other homonym is the contraction of “you are.”
“You made it so quick, you’re fast!”
“Is your fast going well?”
There are a bunch of witty & funny grammar jokes that came up from the most common grammar mistakes. Do give a read!
Understanding the difference between I and me is not the bone of contention, it’s a problem when both come in a single sentence.
Like, “Once you are done with the assignment, send it to Elis and I.”
The sentence is wrong!
Because of the sentence structure – “I” is a subject pronoun, and here, Elis and I are object pronouns.
So, the correct statement is;
“Once you are done with the assignment, send it to Elis and me.”
4. Whom vs. Who vs. Who’ s vs. Whose
Let’s break this doozy…
“Who” identifies a living pronoun like, “Who ate my cookies?”
“Whom” – the trickier one, describes someone who is receiving anything like, “to whom it concerned,” it also describes the one who is at the receiving end like, “whom did we get the hire the HR team?”
“Whose” shows the ownership – “Whose pen is that?”
“Who’s” is a contraction of “Who is” and identifies the living thing – “Who’s coming to the launch?”
Trust me! A lot of us mess around with the W’s – and our beloved Grammar Nazis won’t like it at all.
5. It’ s vs. Its
This is considered as one the most common grammar error. It mainly happen when we’re writing in a fast pace, and do the typo, or don’t focus on the concept.
“Its” shows possessiveness while “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.”
6. Into vs. In to
“Into” indicates movement.
“She walked into the hall,” and “in to” is used in many situations.
Both “in and to” can be used with infinitive verbs.
7. Loose vs. Lose
These similar-spelled words have different meanings.
According to the dictionary definition, “lose” is “unable to find” and “loose” is an adjective, which means “not fastened tightly” like; loose tooth.
8. Less vs. Fewer
You must have seen – “10 items or Less” in the checkout aisle in the grocery store – that’s actually incorrect, it should be “10 items or Fewer.”
Why? Because items are quantifiable, while “Less” is used for uncountable things like less traveling.
9. En Dash vs. Em Dash
Both “-” (en dash) and “—” or “–” (em dash) signifies a break in a sentence or to set-off parenthetical sentences. The latter sets off quotation sources, whereas the former represents time differentiations.
10. Between vs. Among
“Between” is used to separate two or more unrelated things. “Among” is used for things that are related to each other.
“You choose between a blue or orange tie, but among all your ties.”
11. Who vs. That
The blurriest line of grammar is where to use “who” and where to use “that?”
Technically, both can be used when it comes to referring “humans,” and for things, “that” is ok.
12. Alot vs. A lot vs. Allot
Grammatically, “alot” is not a word at all, “a lot” describes a vast number of things, while “allot” means setting aside a certain amount of money.
13. i.e vs. e.g
May I confess something?
I always get confused with these two inter-relatable things; e.g., is the abbreviation of “example given” and “i.e” refers “that is” or “in other words,” the former adds color to a story, the latter clarifies something that you’ve said already.
14. Then vs. Than
“My wok is cleaner then yours.”
A little adjustment of ‘a’ and ‘e’ would make a big different.
What’s wrong with this sentence?
“Then” should be “than,” as it’s about the comparison, which entails “than,” while “then” is used to relate actions in time – “first dinner, then ice cream.”
We often mix-up these three words, though three of them are about “making an outcome sure.”
But, all three of them are different in usage.
- “To assure” means saying with confidence – I assure you that he is the best.
- “To insure” involves risk-protection – “I have insured my home.”
- “To ensure” means a certainty – “Ensure you will be here next Monday.”
16. Farther vs. Further
These interchangeably-used words have different meanings – “further” refer figurative and nonphysical distances, while “farther” is about physical distances; further is also an adjective means “additional.”
17. Peek vs. Peak vs. Pique
- “Peak” – a sharp point – like the peak of a career.
- “Peek” – a quick look – like a sneak peek of a film.
- And “pique” means to provoke.
18. To vs. Too
To keep it simple – “To” is used before a noun or verb and describe an action, destination, or recipient; “I am going to fetch my son.” Whereas, “Too” is an alternative to “as well’ or “also” – “My mom, too, is vegan.”
Note: A comma after and before “too” is mandatory.
One of my pet peeves is “affect vs. effect.”
“Effect” with “e” is used when talking about change itself – “This medicine is very effective.”
While “affect” is used with the act of changing – “This medicine affected me greatly.”
Some of the worst Grammar Mistakes are
20. Incomplete Comparisons
“My friend is taller and stronger.”
Any confusion with the sentence?
Yes, when it comes to comparison, there should be something else to be compared to – taller and stronger…. Than what?
21. Use of Commas
Commas are everywhere, there’s a long list of its usage, but the most notable ones are;
- To separate items
- To separate an introductory word or phrase
- To separate clauses – “and,” “or,” “nor,” “but,” “for,” “so,” or “yet.”
Semicolons join two or more stylistically clauses, making it more sensible, though both can be used separately like, “Text me tomorrow; I will handover your parcel by then.”
23. Referring to a Brand as ‘They’
Don’t forget a rule – “A Business is not plural,” so, “they” is inappropriate with a business, “it” is correct.
24. Allude or Elude
“Allude” means to refer something while “Elude” with “e” means to escape. To remember the difference, both escape and elude starts with “e.”
25. Continuous vs. Continual
These familiar words have a slight difference – “continuous” is something that goes on and on and never stops. While, on the other hand, “Continual” means something happens repeatedly but stops for some time.
26. Literally vs. Literal
In a couple of decades, the word “literally” has misused; the word “literally” means “actually, without exaggerations, but now, many writers and speakers have started using it “figuratively.”
27. Lay vs. Lie
Now, this is hard to remember.
“Lie” means to recline horizontally, while “lay” means to put something down horizontally.
28. Principal vs. Principle
Another trickster from the homonym family, tripping up writers for ages are “Principle” and “Principal;” the one ending with “le” refers to a fundamental rule, while the other sibling ending in “al” means referring something or someone at the highest rank.
29. May vs. Might
In this debate, only possibilities win. Both refer to something that could possibly happen – “might” deals with remote possibilities (something up to fate) while “may” is a possibility to be considered.
- “You might get indigestion issues if you overeat.”
- “You may leave the room.”
30. That vs. Which
A simple rule to remember this troublesome grammar mistake – use “that’ for something essential to the sentence and use “which” with non-essential things.
31. Complement vs. Compliment
These sound-alike words are different in meaning;
- “Compliment” expression of praise
- “Complement” refers to completeness, something that enhances.
32. The Split Infinitive
Adverbs beautify verb if placed correctly, and the right place is just after the infinitive form of the verb like;
Correct: “To read carefully.”
Incorrect: “To carefully read.”
See these examples to use them correctly.
Incorrect: There is no place in the bar.
Correct: There is no room in the bar.
34. Then vs. To
Incorrect: This post is relevant than any other
Correct: This post is relevant to any other
I am sure, it’s pretty clear which one to use when.
35. Little vs. Small
“Small” denotes size while “little” is used as a quantifier; the former is also used with degrees of the noun.
36. Good vs. Well
The rule of thumb is…
- “Good” is an adjective – “Oh, that dress looks good.”
- “Well” is an adverb. “Well done!”
37. Compared to vs. Than
It is against the grammar rules to use a comparative with “compared to or with;”
Either use a non-comparative adjective or use “than.”
38. Emigrate vs. Immigrate
“Emigrate” starts from” e” which means to exit or leave a country and vice-versa.
39. Word for word/Word by word
The first one describes when something is memorized exactly the way is written or taught, while the other one is a way of learning in which anything is learned one by one (one word at a time)
40. Per say/Persay
Both are incorrect!
Ask the Latins – the Latin phrase is “per se” which means “in itself” or “intrinsically.”
Now, some of the funniest grammar mistakes, that we often use without giving a single thought.
Have a look!
There is no word called irregardless in English, “regardless” is the correct word.
42. I Could Care Less
This sounds like “I can’t offer you any more care,” to show the real concern, you should say, “I couldn’t care less.”
43. Go to the Bed
The correct one is “go to bed;” here, “the” is not referring to sleep.
44. A Tough Decision
How could a quantifier – “decision” – be countable; placing “a” is non-grammatical.
“That” is used after attribution (stated, said, announced, disclosed), often it can be omitted with no loss of meaning:
“He said (that) he was tired.”
Here, it can be omitted.
But if the words that follow any verb of attribution that might be mistaken as objects of the verb, omitting “that” is a wrong decision:
“The governor announced that the new tax plan had been delayed.”
46. A Good News
“News” is non-quantifiable, so putting “a” is useless.
47. Why did you do that
The placement of “did” and “you” always cause issue.
The correct one is: “Why you did that?”
48. The men or men
Incorrect: Depression kills more the men than anything.
Correct: Depression kills more men than anything
Again, here “the” is not needed, as men, in general, are under discussion.
49. First-come, first-serve
It should be “served.” With the “d,” as the phrase suggests that the first individual who arrives will serve everyone, which is not the meaning the idiom.
50. I, You, and He
The ethical conditions are…
- First, put the person that you’re talking to
- Second, put the person, not in the room
- Now, put yourself last
51. Those who are not here, I won’t see them.
The correct way to say this or any other clause with the same intention – “I won’t see those who are not here.”
52. A Hot Water Heater
Oh really! May I have a cold water heater, please?
Jokes apart, just use “water heater.”
The Story of Grammar Errors is Never Ending
Be it English or any other; every language has its own set of tricks and intricacies; worry not! With guides like this one, you can become a grammar Nazi (soon).
I hope that I was able to cover all the grounds. At least these are the grammar errors that I have made or rectified and would love to have my readers excel in it also.
Let’s start the conversation here and hear the worst and funny grammar stories from all of you! Also, if you want to learn English Grammar with fun – check our guide of engaging & interactive grammar games, I am sure you’ll love it.