5 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Making Them

It might be quite embarrassing for any writer to have a text that is riddled with errors. Even one comma put in the wrong place can confuse your readers and they might misunderstand your point. Besides, your credibility as an essay writer might not be high. With our guide, learn how to avoid most common grammar mistakes to represent yourself and your work in the best way.


Farther and Further

Even though these two words are related to distance, there is a subtle difference in their meaning. If farther is used to refer to physical distance, the application of further is more figurative and refers to the nonphysical distances. One has to remember though that in some countries further may be used in all senses of this word. It can also be used as an adjective or adverb meaning “additionally.”

New York is farther than Los Angeles so the realization of our goals, which we previously marked, falls slightly further than I expected.


To, Too and Two

This one is a no-brainer but from time to time we all use these words incorrectly because of, for example, texting in a hurry. To is used before a noun or verb to describe a destination, an action or a recipient. Too has a double meaning; it indicates excess and substitutes “also” and “as well”. Two is the cardinal number between one and three and is equivalent to the sum of one and one.

I have two meetings tomorrow and I hope you will be there too.

I would like to go inside because it’s getting too cold.

Less and Fewer

The main principle here is to consider whether you talk about quantifiable things or not. If you can count items, fewer will be grammatically correct to apply. We usually use less with uncountable nouns or those words that do not have a plural (e.g. air, music, time, snow, money).

I work fewer hours than before but I get paid less money.

Then and Than

These two are commonly confused words and each writer who uses them correctly has his own rule on how to remember where to place them. Basically, than is used to indicate comparison while then refers to time.

Then, it turned out that Amy’s test results were better than Mary’s.


5. i.e. and e.g.

To use these Latin abbreviations correctly is difficult for many writers so if you are in doubt, better use simpler constructions. i.e. can be substituted by “that is” or “in other words” while e.g. can be interchanged with “for example” or “for instance”. If you want to introduce a clarification, add explanatory information or tell about something in slightly different words, i.e. is at your help. If you want to introduce an example, e.g. will be appropriate in the context.

I am a vegetarian, i.e. I do not eat meat. I see that my diet helps me stay healthy, e.g. my cholesterol levels are low, I sleep well and feel energized every morning.

Grammar mistakes come in many forms and they can be made even by the professional writers. No matter how smart you are, you can trip up unknowingly or automatically. Take our quick guide as a reminder of the potentially problematic zones in your writing and keep an eye on locating and removing any errors that hinder your writing success.