English
Spelling and Grammar

 


Errors to Avoid
(In no particular order)
Error
Correction
American English
(see also Adverbs, below)
Canadian English - Wikipedia
Canadian English
Canadian English.org

Translations from French (or some other language)

Franglais = Frenglish
Frenglish: Montreal's Word of Mouth - Montreal Gazette
The Montreal Frenglish wiki - Montreal Gazette

Canadian English

definately, definatly, definantly, definetly, definently, defiantly .

D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y
seperate separate
Remember that "there is a rat in separate".
costumer

costumer = one who prepares costumes
customer = a purchaser, a buyer, a dealer

less

fewer

less - not as much of a thing (distance, degree, difficulty, time). Use less with objects you can’t count.
fewer - comparative of few, more than one.  Use fewer with objects you can count.
Fewer Versus Less | Grammar Party

amount
number

Use amount with things you can’t count (mass nouns).
Use number with things you can count (count nouns).
Number vs. amount | Grammar Party 

take decisions, decision-taking make decisions, decision-making
who - refers to people
that - refers to things
who - refers to people
that - refers to things

like / as

 
confusion with homonyms/homophones are
our
hour
its = possessive
it's = contraction = it is
It’s is a contraction, not a possessive. You would say, “It’s going to be a long day” but you wouldn’t say, “The dog hurt it’s foot.”
4Ps = Plural = There are 4 of them.  (Marketing mix = PPPP)
4Ps' = Plural possessive = Something that belongs to the 4Ps.
4P's = Singular possessive = Something that belongs to 4P (whatever that is).

no
know
taut
taught
there = there is an adverb indicating a place or point of action (the game happened there)
they're = they’re is a contraction meaning they are
their = their is a possessive, as in their books (the books that belong to them)

to
too
two
waste
waist

weather
whether
which
witch
your
you're
yore

confusion with homonyms/homophones
(these are not all really homonyms/homophones)

involved
evolved
lose
loose
of
off
then
than
thought
through
though
thorough
trough
affect
effect
Punctuation
  • There is no space between the word and the punctuation mark (,.;:?!").  There must be two spaces after a period or colon or exclamation mark or question mark.  There must be one space after a comma or semicolon.  All punctuation must be inside any quotation marks.
  • Put the period at the end of the sentence.  Put a comma after each item, item, item, or item.
  • This is what he said:  "I'll be back!"

from French

  • futur
  • informations
  • employes (from employés)
  • compagnie, compagnie's
  • revise
Use Word's "Spelling and Grammar" checker
Ask your parents, friends, etc. to proofread your work
Singular
Plural

Singular - he/she/it/him/her/his/hers/its
Plural - they/them/their
You must be consistent. 
Warning - If you must be "politically correct" to try to avoid using he/she/etc., you must NEVER use the plural (they/them/their) if you are referring to one person.  You must use an alternate sentence structure.   Try to make everything plural or everything singular in the sentence.
Avoid the ridiculous "his and her" or "he/she" or "s/he", etc.
(This is a controversial point of grammar.)
their - Definitions from Dictionary.com

1 datum or 2 data (e.g. the data were used to provide useful information)
1opus or 2 opera

McDonald's are a restaurant chain.  McDonald's serve burgers and fries.
They are a restaurant chain.

McDonald's is a restaurant chain.   McDonald's serves burgers and fries.
It is a restaurant chain. McDonald's is a company. 
McDonald's Restaurants serve junk food.

Adverbs - Most Americans do not understand adverbs
Americans use only adjectives, even when they should use adverbs.
"Think global; act local"  -  this is American - this is WRONG

It should be:  "Think globally, act locally".
Good or Well

Prepositions must take the accusative case, the object.
"Give them to John and I"- this is WRONG
The reasoning - You obviously couldn't say "Give them to I"
"Give them to John and me"
"Give them to me and John"
In other words, "Give them to John & Give them to me"

The subject must be in the nominative case.
"Me and John studied for the exam" - this is WRONG.
"John and me studied for the exam" - this is WRONG.
The reasoning - You obviously couldn't say "Me studied for the exam"

"John and I studied for the exam."
"I studied for the exam and John studied for the exam."
- Incorrect use of I instead of me in an objective case. This is another very common error. For example, people will often say, “She gave the money to him and I.” when it should be “She gave the money to him and me.” They think the first version sounds more correct. A simple way to remember the rule is to take out the first object and see if the sentence makes sense without it, i.e., “She gave the money to him and I.” “She gave the money to I” doesn’t sound right, does it? That’s because it’s not.
25 000 $ $25,000

Possessive - singular & plural
DVDs / DVD's / DVDs'
4Ps

DVDs = the plural of DVD = more than one DVD
DVD's = possessive = it belongs to the DVD
DVDs' = possessive = it belongs to the DVDs (plural)
4Ps = Marketing Mix = the four Ps = one P and two Ps (i.e. just add an 's')
4Ps' = possessive = it belongs to the marketing mix (e.g. the 4Ps' concepts are ...)
4P's = ??  (don't use this)
Plural vs. Possessive

company = one company
company's = belongs to the company (singular)
companies = more than one company
companies' = belongs to the companies (plural)

who vs that who = a person
that = a thing

web
email

Web (as in World Wide Web)
e-mail (as in electronic mail)
Thank you for your comprehension.  (This is French) Thank you for understanding.
Terms (words, phrases) to avoid.
  • You know what I mean?