Even if you think you know how to write correctly in English, particularly if you are a native English speaker writing in English, there might be a number of things you are doing wrong on a regular basis having unwittingly falling into bad habits.
English grammar is, when compared to most Latin-based languages, relatively straightforward, as there are less verb conjugations to worry about and less verb tenses to take into consideration. English writers don’t have to think about gendered adjectives and gendered nouns either, which makes English grammar even less complicated to learn and perfect.
Having said all that, it is fair to say that English writers, particularly native speakers, can be lazy when it comes to correct English grammar precisely because of the fact that the grammar is less demanding and it is at this moment that bad habits start to set in.
What are some of the most common English grammar mistakes?
Most English grammar or punctuation errors, even within the world of professional writers and journalists, show up in the use of commas, hyphens, capital letters, spelling, contractions (through the use apostrophes), the incorrect use of double negatives and the construction of compound tenses.
Thanks to the huge surge in technological development over the past fifteen years, the need for speed means that children are adopting text message writing styles for school-based writing tasks, replacing words like “you” with “u” and “be back later” with “b bk l8r.” The interest and emphasis placed on “good” English writing is not as strong as it used to be and it is becoming more and more evident by the day.
Is there a difference between British English and North-American English?
Differences lie in a number of areas including anything from small changes to spelling (one letter differences) and the replacement of one word for another, to different ways of phrasing an idea. For example:
1. “programme” in British English becomes “program” is the US
2. “industrialisation” in British English becomes “industrialization” in the US
3. “enquiry” changes to “inquiry”
4. “trousers” becomes “pants”
5. “she hasn’t gotten a handle on things” would always be written in the US as “she hasn’t got a handle on things”
Which websites are best for checking English grammar doubts?
There are a number of sites that you can visit to check all grammar doubts when producing a piece of written copy in English, but some of the best and most trustworthy sites include the following:
The BBC has a great site on grammar, pronunciation and language queries which helps non-native speakers improve their English grammar just as much as it clarifies niggling doubts for natives: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/
The University College of London (UCL) maintains an excellent online grammar course / resource site which can be used to put any grammar doubts you might have to rest: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/
The Student Room is another excellent site. It is more of an online community with lots of forum threads to hand which deal with all kinds of English grammar problems that you might encounter: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=634990
Wordreference is excellent for dealing with grammar queries that might emerge thanks to doubts that occur when translating. The forum threads are the most useful for checking out these kinds of doubts: http://www.wordreference.com/