English-Language learners are prone to grammatical errors and mistakes, making their essays and academic work unintelligible. English users must develop their skills in different areas, including speaking, writing, listening, and reading. Speaking and writing are active skills because one needs to be fully engaged while listening and reading are passive. Irrespective of the skill, grammar plays a central theme in all skills.
Writing is the most challenging skill because it involves different rules, especially word choice and vocabulary. Non-native speakers face the challenge of native language interference, especially sentence structures and specific contextual meanings.
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Common English and Grammatical Errors In Essay Writing
Styles and word choice are some grammatical errors common in English grammar. First, the use of tenses remains a challenge to most people. Speech or written work must have a consistent time perspective; the tenses must observe the time aspect in the sentence. Inconsistency in verb tense occurs when a writer mixes past and present tenses in the same sentence. Such inconsistencies confuse the audience. Look at the blog to learn more about how grammar-free sentences will take your writing to another level.
Top 4 common grammar errors
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Run-on Sentences
- Use of Transition
1. Subject-Verb Agreement
Sentence composition is effective when the subject and verb agree. Also, the subject and its predicate should make sense. Apart from the subject-verb agreement, some inconsistencies arise from sentences without issues, incomplete verbs, and the use of the insubordinate word to begin a sentence. Subordination words should be used within the sentence and not at the beginning.
2. Run-on Sentences
Constructing compound and complex sentences is often challenging for many students. A compound sentence is made using independent clauses joined using conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions are appropriate in such circumstances. A comma should be used before the conjunction to avoid creating a run-on sentence. Run-on sentences, sometimes called fused sentences, might have different meanings. Therefore, the writer should separate them using appropriate punctuation.
Furthermore, the challenge of style and wordiness affects many English users. Students strive to appear complex in their communication, making them more susceptible to grammatical errors. Communication should be straightforward. In most cases, students who seek to complicate language to appear more native end up making mistakes, such as nominalization, redundancy, and usage of clichés. Repetition also increases wordiness; writers should use
synonyms in their papers and avoid using one word repeatedly.
4. Use of Transition
Transition is essential in linking sentences. In certain situations, transitions link sentences and reduce similarity in sentence structures. Using pronouns to link sentences should be done with greater caution; pronouns must always connect with the antecedents. A noun can also link sentences; however, the writer must avoid repetition when using such linking words. Rephrasing words when combining sentences creates a smooth transition and ensures complete and flawless sentences.
Awkwardness is a more significant challenge in grammar. It makes writing uncomfortable and confusing; thus, readers lose interest in reading (Speak Confident English, 2019). The lack of parallelism is one of the causes of awkwardness. Balanced and parallel construction in a sentence is vital. The clause, form of word, tenses, and phrases within a sentence must be similar. For example, the sentence: “I like walking, dancing, and reading” lacks parallelism because one verb is simple while others are in continuous form.
Readers and listeners are often distracted by such sentences. Grammatical units in sentences should remain balanced to facilitate more accessible communication. Next, mixed construction makes sentences awkward. The subject must agree that the verb or action must match the object or the subject. A nominalization is an act of transforming adjectives or verbs into nouns. For example, consideration from the verb consider. Even though nominalization is not grammatically wrong, writers and speakers often abuse it. The use of nominalization in some sentences is sometimes unnecessary.
Additionally, the continuous use of passive voice makes sentences awkward. Passive voice should only be applicable when one wants to emphasize the object. The use of nominalization encourages the use of passive voice. Appropriate sentences should have the subject mentioned before the object. Finally, wordiness makes sentences awkward. Wordiness is the use of many unnecessary words in a sentence. The use of polysyllabic words might appear bombastic, yet they indicate one’s inability to communicate effectively.
Dangling modifiers are common in written and spoken English. A modifier is a clause that describes a word, phrase, or another clause. The modifier should be placed correctly to modify a particular phrase or clause. Its displacement is referred to as a dangling or misplaced modifier. In most cases, sentences with dangling modifiers are often confused and sound ridiculous when read or written.
Grammatical and English language mistakes are common to almost all non-native speakers. It is vital for those using English as a second language to devise effective measures to reduce the errors above. First, the writer needs to understand the most confusing words in the English language. Knowing these words, the writer would know where they will be applied.
Commonly confused words include affect and effect, all right and alright, compliment and complement, and many other confusing words. Having such knowledge would limit the possibilities of meaningless sentences. One method of limiting such confusion is extensive research and reading. There are millions of English words that one cannot learn in class; therefore, regular reading and writing will make one more informed on grammar. Constant exposure to educational materials makes one more conversant with different words and vocabulary.
Selecting Appropriate Resources
Students need to understand and use resources with reliable academic content. Google books are one of the sources with Standard English. Books in this online channel are edited and lack grammatical errors common in blogs and other social media platforms. Therefore, learners should be selective with their online sources to avoid consuming half-baked content.
The study guide platforms, such as APA and Chicago, give a broader explanation of using words in different contexts (Fogarty, 2015). Making a judgment on what is wrong or writing would be easy for learners who read content in these stylebooks. Additionally, writers need to be flexible when preparing their speeches or writing a formal piece of work. They should not be ashamed of rewriting sentences or editing their work. Sometimes the writer might be unsure about a specific word’s usage; the best thing to do is rewrite the sentence and introduce a word you understand.
Eliminating Fused Sentences
Furthermore, learners can use different strategies to reduce fused sentences. Such sentences are also run-on sentences because they have unkinked independent clauses. One technique for correcting run-on sentences is by introducing compound sentences. Coordinating conjunction and a comma will link the independent clauses and make the sentence compound. Sometimes, the writer can delink the two independent clauses using capitalization and periods. The sentences will be short and straightforward.
However, this strategy creates many disjointed sentences that would affect the flow. A semi-colon can also connect independent clauses with related meanings. Introducing subordinate clauses in each independent clause makes the fused sentence grammatically correct. Therefore, the writer has a range of measures to use when editing converged sentences.
Written and spoken English must observe grammatical rules. Communicators need to understand the examples of common errors and avoid them in the future. Challenges, such as the choice of words, awkwardness, and dangling modifiers, are common among many non-natives. Therefore, they should embrace different strategies to eradicate such common mistakes.
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