For most, writing is a daunting task. I get it, believe me. There are so many rules when it comes to grammar that it is hard to remember and keep track of them all. Where does the comma go? Should I be using “there” or “their”? What even is a semicolon? AHHHH!!!

No worries. PCG Digital is here to help boost your writing and grammar skills and make the writing process as easy as possible.

Here are six common grammar mistakes that are easier to understand than you think!

1. Their/There/They're

Ok, we got this. Here is the difference between these three words that make heads spin across the world.

For example: “The cup is over there.” or “There she is!”

 

  • For example: “Their parents just got married.” or “Their coffee is ready to be picked up.”

For example: “They’re going to the mall.” or “They’re really upset that it’s raining.”

2. Anything Involving a Semicolon

According to Expert Editor, in its most simple form, the semicolon is used to link two related independent clauses together in one sentence. For example:

Correct: “Mark was obsessed with his hair; he used more styling products than his wife.”

While these two clauses could technically stand on their own, a writer might opt for a semicolon stylistically rather than breaking them into two sentences with a period. The big no-no comes when writers stick a conjunction in there right along with the semicolon:

Incorrect: “Mark was obsessed with his hair; and he used more styling products than his wife.”

3. Your/You’re

This one also confuses the masses, but when you see the difference, it is so easy to differentiate between the two!

For example: “Your shoes are by the door.” “Your outfit is so cute!”

For example: “You’re so pretty.” “You’re supposed to go to the dentist tomorrow.”

4. Then or Than

These words that sound the same but have different meanings are a killer, aren’t they?

For example: “We are going to the park and then we are going home.” “She told me she was going home and then she went to the party.”

For example: “I like cake better than brownies.” “Four is greater than three.”

5. Passive Voice

This one is a doozy, even for people who are professionals. Passive voice occurs when the writer turns the object of the sentence into the subject of the sentence, and it instantly weakens the impact of the action. When a comment is made on your writing that it sounds too passive or needs to be more active, this is what editors are referring to.

For example: “The dog was taken for a walk by me.” is written in a passive voice, and just sounds awkward. You want to make sure the subject of your sentence, which is “me” in this case, is at the very beginning of your sentence.

“I took the dog for a walk.”

This is now written in active voice, and makes the sentence much stronger.

6. Using the Word "Literally"

I, myself, am a victim of overusing and misusing the word “literally.” According to Expert Editor, over the past decade, “literally” has become one of the most frequently misused words in the English language. “Literally” means “actually, without exaggeration,” but the word is now often used in situations where the writer or speaker is completely exaggerating. It has become a nasty habit for writers and speakers to use “literally” when they actually mean “figuratively.” “When I saw Janet Jackson in person I literally died.” If the speaker had literally died, she wouldn’t be speaking in the first place. She would in fact be dead.

If you are struggling with writing, know that you are not alone! We are here to help!
Writing content is difficult, but practice makes perfect. Head on over to our PCG Blogs and check out all of our helpful tips! Or always feel free to contact us!
samantha murray
samantha murray
Samantha is a Content Specialist. She is a recent graduate of Monmouth University with a degree in Communications with her concentration in Public Relations and Journalism. She is a lover of baseball and coffee. You can catch her in her free time chasing a sunset!
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