Clear written communication is important for everyone, no matter what college or career path you choose. Mistakes with punctuation, spelling and grammar could lower school grades and limit career growth. Exceptional writing skills will carry you through life, opening doors and accurately conveying your thoughts, feelings and knowledge to others.
Although we all know the “I” before “E” except after “C,” rule, most students of higher learning, as well as many adults, don’t know the following basic spelling rules:
Words Ending with E or Y:
- When adding a suffix that starts with a vowel, such as “ing,” to a word ending in “E,” drop the “E,” as in rope to roping.
- When adding an ending to a “Y” word with a consonant before “Y,” change it to “I,” as in carry to carried.
- When ending with a vowel and “Y,” most words can remain the same when adding “ed” or “ing,” such as stay, to stayed or staying.
Q and X:
- The letter “Q” is always followed by “U,” as in queen
- “S” never comes directly after “X” without adding an “E,” as in fox to foxes
- The trouble with English spelling rules is that there is always an exception. For this reason, always look up a word in a dictionary
- Spellcheckers don’t always find mistakes in words like, “their,” “they’re” and “there” or “your” and “you’re”
- One way to illustrate this disparity is with the sound, “sh,” which is found in, but not limited to:
Show, Ocean, National, Sugar, Mansion, Passion, Fuchsia, Suspicious.
Every Syllable Includes a Vowel
Often, grammatical mistakes begin because the student does not fully understand how a word or a single syllable is formed. To do this, it is necessary to understand a syllable initially. There are several rules by which it can be determined:
- first, it must be a letter or a combination of letters;
- secondly, they must be pronounced from the same impulse of the voice, that is together;
- thirdly, there must be a vowel letter in each syllable.
If all the conditions are met, you can be sure that a syllable is precisely in front of you. Also, if you know about the rule of the vowel letter, you will be much easier to parse the word and determine the correct accent.
Do Not End a Word With V or J
Most often, common grammatical mistakes will necessarily include V or J words. The problem is that commonly used words with this ending do not exist. If you assume that a word will be used in everyday communication and ends in two letters, it is the wrong word.
The only variant this can be the case is the silent “e.” In this case, there are exceptions like hive or jive, which may occur occasionally. However, in regular communication, even these words would be completely different. Judge and Edge, here is the correct spelling. Work on your speech and writing so that you don’t cause problems for your readers while reading.
Although most students in college or high school know the basic grammar rules, these are the ones they break the most:
Passive Vs. Active Voice: Make the subject of the sentence carry out the action instead of being the subject that the action happens to:
- Wrong: My dinner was eaten.
- Right: I ate my dinner.
- If you can add “by zombies” at the end, it’s passive voice!
Comparisons: It is only possible to compare things that are the same:
- Wrong: The laws in America are more lenient than England
- Right: The laws in America are more lenient than the laws in England
Misplaced Modifiers: These are descriptive words or phrases that need to be beside the word they modify to avoid confusion
- Wrong: He served hotdogs to his guests from the grill.
- Right: He served hotdogs from the grill to his guests.
- Who or what is from the grill? The guests or the hotdogs?
Subject-Verb Agreement: Keeping tenses straight will help your subject and verb agree:
- Wrong: Each of the women in the class were nurses.
- Right: Each of the women in the class was a nurse.
Parallel Construction: Two or more concepts in one sentence that are parallel should be the same in grammatical style:
- Wrong: To provide farming tools to the village is like building their future.
- Right: Providing farming tools to the village is like building their future.
Pronouns: Should agree with and refer directly to a noun whether it is singular or plural:
- Wrong: My English professor talks loud, but they also talk way too fast.
- Right: My English professor talks loud, but he also talks way too fast.
It is essential to realize that common spelling mistakes can be caused by an inability to construct sentences correctly. There is a specific structure that allows you to make sure that you have done everything correctly and quickly. The most common structure is as follows:
- First comes the subject.
- Next comes the verb.
- Last to go is the complement.
The verb can also depend on what the subject is. The singular or plural is applied to two sentence elements at once. They must be the same, or the sentence will not be constructed correctly.
Most often, you can see Americas top spelling mistakes, and there will be some critical problems because of conjunctions. Their use is a real art that requires attention and concentration. These connecting parts of the sentence allow you not to lose the narrative thread and correctly convey your thoughts.
Here are the four main groups of conjunctions, although there are many more:
|or, and, but
|and/or, not only/but also
|since, because, when
Use the right past form of verbs
Sometimes top spelling mistakes are related to using verbs in the past form, which leads to confusion. It is essential to know a few rules:
- D must be added if the verb ends in E or EE;
- the final vowel is not doubled before the ending -ED;
- the letters X or W are never doubled either;
- if -ED is added, be aware that the ending Y changes to I.
Also, keep in mind that the final vowel will double under accent. With these simple hints, you can write the sentence correctly and get a high grade.
- Avoid confusion by separating introductory and independent clauses and words from the rest of a sentence, making them easier to comprehend.
- Separate lists of three to four items, free modifiers, quotations and phrases from the rest of a sentence, with the exception of clauses that begin with the word, “that”.
Colons and Semicolons:
- If the first part of a sentence can stand by itself, use in the following: research papers, essays and formal letters.
- If you use a semicolon; whatever follows must be capable of standing alone
- Indicate possessive nouns, such as Jean’s bike
- Replace missing letters in contractions, like “He’s funny.”
- When a plural word ends in “S,” put the apostrophe after the “S,” as in the Smiths’ house or bananas’ peels
- Never use apostrophes to indicate plurals: “list of tasks” is not “list of task’s” or “choice of sodas” is not “choice of soda’s”
- Show quotes or reference terms, such as:
- “I lost my tooth,” said the child.
- The term “astronomy” means the study of stars.
- Require commas to introduce quotes, “like this.”
- Uppercase the first word in a full quotation, such as, “Life is short.”
Dashes and Hyphens:
- Em-dashes are longer and more casual in use than the shorter en-dash
- En-dashes show ranges of numbers or time and reads as “to” or “through,” like chapters 3-8 or from May-September
- Use both sparingly and only when a comma can’t do the job
- To join words like eco-friendly or time-sensitive, use a hyphen
- Before using one for the first time in a piece, write out the full word with the acronym in parenthesis, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); thereafter, just use the letters, as in FBI
English spelling, grammar and punctuation is difficult to master, because it is in constant flux as usage changes and the language evolves. Yet practice makes it easier. Following these simple rules will help your written communication be easier to read and your message clearer. If don’t want to do it by yourself you can always use your essay maker service.
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