Seven Deadly Grammar Sins—Learn 'Em, Avoid 'Em (

<p>Here are some common grammar errors to avoid at all costs whether you are working on your personal essay, sweating over SAT writing portions, or exchanging e-mails with college admissions representatives.</p>

<p>And please excuse the grammatical errors in the link below. The URL encoding was a bit messy :)</p>

<p>Seven</a> Deadly Grammar Sins?Learn ?Em, Avoid ?Em | Articles & Advice</p>

<p>Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun except when it's not.</p>

<p>Affect (with the stress on the first syllable) can be a noun meaning emotional demeanor, i.e. "He displayed an indifferent affect as he he crushed the bugs." English usage is fun.</p>

<p>Affect and effect can both be used as verbs and nouns. You can effect something to occur, as in producing an effect. </p>

<p>Effect</a> | Define Effect at</p>

Affect and effect can both be used as verbs and nouns. You can effect something to occur, as in producing an effect.


But they aren't interchangeable, which is a common misconception.</p>

<p>How about "try and..." rather than the correct "try to ..."? Students of a foreign language learn early on that "try" takes an infinitive not a conjunction. But most US people don't seem to take foreign languages any more -- that is where one learns grammar, not in English class or watching TV.</p>

<p>How about "the reason is because ..." rather than the correct "the reason is that ..."?</p>

<p>These are on the SAT every single time and have been there for 40 years -- guaranteed. Most TV and print reporters are so uneducated they get them wrong almost every time.</p>

<p>Also how about starting a paragraph with a topic sentence? A basic grammar and writing skill.</p>

<p>And please do not use "like", either in spoken "English" or written English when you cannot think of anything else to say or write. A pause is fine. Also "basically", which adds nothing to anything.</p>

<p>And "literally" -- does anyone ever say or write anything and then say "figuratively"?</p>

<p>Also don't forget to not split that infinitive.</p>

<p>"Not to mention ...", oops, I mentioned it.</p>

<p>They forgot a sin! </p>

<p>What about using the apostrophe for plurals? I see that everywhere ("She found the girl's." instead of "She found the girls.")!</p>

<p>I think the rule about splitting infinitives is from Latin and is no longer considered an issue in the English language.</p>

<p>The Oatmeal has great comics about grammar.
"Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling"
"What it means when you say Literally"
"How to use an Apostrophe"

<p>... and if you are writing or talking about something that happend in the PAST, don't use the present tense.</p>

<p>And when you're relating about a conversation, the person does not "go ..." or "went...", he "says..." or "said...". (But again, use the past tense).</p>

<p>Also, in Latin, it is impossible to split an infinitive. In Latin, an infinitive word is a SINGLE word with a particular ending -- a single word cannot be split. Mafool, ever actually take any Latin?</p>

<p>So many advertisements improperly use "less" when they should say "fewer". </p>

<p>For example: </p>

<p>"X product has less calories than Y product." </p>

<p>Should be "fewer" calories.</p>

<p>You did not do it "X number of times". "X" is a number, like 1000. Does it make sense to say "we did it 1000 number of times"?</p>

<p>Absolutely my top pet peeves!!!</p>

<p>I just finished grading one section of high school essays. I get so very irritated at how often students use "atleast" and "alot". Furthermore, the texting/social networking has really hindered most of their basic punctuation skills. (For the love of God, can you please use capital letters to start each sentence and for proper nouns? Grrrr!!!)</p>

<p>that was the most elementary list ever...</p>

that was the most elementary list ever...


<p>And yet, I see these simple rules frequently broken by educated adults. They're almost so simple as to be tricky and easily overlooked.</p>

<p>My favorite rule from my high school English teacher concerning the use of "laid" versus "lied." "Only objects get laid." Ha!
I have taught my kids when deciding between "me" and "I" when another person is in the sentence, take the other person out and listen to how it sounds:
Sally and I went to the movie.
The movie scared Sally and me.</p>


<p>I remember one of my teacher's long ago giving us a good example of when to use "me" and "I"...</p>

<p>"Me and Sally went to the movie" is incorrect because it sounds like "mean Sally". We know Sally to be nice, so this can't possibly be right. "Sally and I went to the movie" is the proper way to say it (this is all grossly paraphrased of course).</p>

<p>Silly, yes, but I still think about it even now :)</p>

But most US people don't seem to take foreign languages any more -- that is where one learns grammar, not in English class or watching TV.


<p>It's a lack of elementary grammar education. By the time most students take foreign languages, it's too late to save their grammar. While learning a foreign language can help people learn English grammar terminology and rules, both are irrelevant to learning English grammar as a native speaker. If you learn at a young age, you need not learn the rules - you just know them.</p>

<p>There are many rules that I probably could not explain, but that does not prevent me from applying them correctly.</p>

<p>The "do not split infinitives" rule is (1) outdated, (2) almost as pedantic as "do not end a sentence with a preposition," and (3) perfectly acceptable to break. Although any rule can be broken by someone who knows what he or she is doing, this is one of the rules that anyone can break.</p>

Back to the OP:</p>

<p>The original list is terribly incomplete (although those are all awful mistakes). There are so many more common mistakes that I see without even bordering on being pedantic.</p>

<p>"This led to me being promoted" is often used instead of the correct "This led to my being promoted."</p>