You have just begun reading the sentence you have just finished reading.
Puzzled? Read it again. The sentence is both grammatically and chronologically correct! It’s the word play that matters. Simple sentences in our everyday lives are often misspoken and misspelled. It is essential to avoid silly grammatical mistakes, especially as a distance learner where you may have to rely heavily on written communication. We have compiled a list of 26 common grammar mistakes you can easily avoid:


Commonly misused words:



  1. “Your” versus “You’re”


“Your” shows possession, that something belongs to the person you are talking to.

E.g. This is your bag, not mine

“You’re = You are.” It is a contraction (or short way of writing).

E.g. You’re a talented writer = You are a talented writer.


  1. “Fewer” versus “Less”


Fewer is used to discuss countable objects.

Lesser is used for intangible concepts.

E.g: If you wasted less time stressing about unnecessary things, you’d have fewer things to worry about.


  1. “Who” versus “Whom”


Who is used when referring to “he”,“she” or “we”.
E.g: Who is he?

Whom is used when it’s “him”,“her” or “us”.
E.g: To whom did Mr. X deliver the roses?


  1. “Loose” versus “Lose”


Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained.
E.g: Your pants are loose.
Lose is a verb that means to suffer a loss.
E.g: I win! You lose!


  1. “Lie” versus “Lay”


Lay needs an object.
E.g: Lay the book down on the table.
Lie doesn’t have an object
E.g: Lie down on the sofa.


  1. “Farther” vs “Further”


Farther implies a measurable distance.
E.g:  I threw the ball ten feet farther than Ross.
Further comes into use when talking about figurative distance.
E.g: The financial crisis caused further implications.


  1. “Affect” versus “Effect”


Affect means to influence. It’s usually a verb.
E.g: Facebook affects people’s attention span.
Effect describes a real outcome. It’s usually a noun.
E.g: The effect on her pulse was electrifying.


  1. “Which” versus “That”


That is a restrictive pronoun.
E.g: I don’t eat fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic.

Which is more ambiguous and is a non-restrictive clause.

E.g: My new books, which have black covers, are on the desk.


  1. Assure” versus “Ensure”


Assure means to promise or say with confidence.
E.g: I assure you that Sikkim Manipal University is the best distance education university in the country.
Ensure means to make things certain.
E.g: Please ensure that you submit your application for the MBA course before 20th September.


  1. “Then” versus “Than”


Then makes way when you are discussing time.
E.g: If you knew that, then why did you do it?
Than is appropriate when making a comparison.
E.g: I have more money than you.


  1. “Between” versus “Among”


Between is used to refer to two or more things that are clearly separated.
E.g: Read between the lines.
Among serves as a reference to someone who is part of a group. It is also used to a mass of objects.
E.g: They chose her from among many students.


     12. ‘Its’ versus ‘It’s’


‘It’s’ is a contraction that means ‘it is’ or ‘it has,’ whereas ‘its’ is a possessive pronoun.
E.g: Even though I have spoken English all my life; it’s difficult to keep track of all of its quirks, nuances and exceptions.


  1. There, their, and they’re


‘They’re’ is equivalent to “they are”.
‘Their’ signifies something owned by a group.
‘There’ refers to a place.
E.g: They’re going to Italy– I have heard their food is the best!


Grammatical Errors:


  1. Incomplete Comparisons:


E.g: Our car model is faster, better, stronger.
The sentence is incomplete, as the customer doesn’t know what it’s compared to. The right example would be:
E.g: Our car model is faster, better, stronger than the Tesla X series.


    15. Comma


Incorrect: Let’s eat grandma
Correct: Let’s eat, grandma
The correct usage of a comma can save a person’s life! Use a comma after the first independent clause when you link two independent clauses with one of the following conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.


  1. Apostrophes


You insert an apostrophe only if you are making a contraction or making a noun possessive. The only exception to this rule is when you need to use an apostrophe to make a letter plural.

E.g: I can’t believe global warming’s effect on the average summer temperature.


  1. Subject-Verb Agreement


It’s essential to remember that subjects and verbs must always be the same in number. It means that a singular subject goes with a singular verb, and plural subjects go with plural verbs. It’s easier to remember when they are close to each other in a sentence.

E.g: The use of calculators is prohibited in the math exam.


  1. Pronoun Errors


They occur when pronouns do not agree in number with the nouns to which they refer. If the noun is singular, the pronoun must be singular. If the noun is plural, the pronoun must be plural as well. For example:

Incorrect: Everybody must bring their own lunch.

Correct: Everybody must bring his or her own lunch.


Misused Phrases:


  19. First-come, first-served


Often mistaken for “first-come, first-serve” which suggests that the first person to arrive has to serve all who follow. The actual phrase is “first-come, first-served”.


  20. Sneak peek


Mistaken for “Sneak peak”, where peak is a mountain top. A “peek” is a quick look. The correct expression is “sneak peek.”


  21Peace of mind


“Peace of mind” meaning calmness and tranquility. The expression is often confused with “piece of mind” which means to tell someone off.


  22. Pique my interest


“Peaked my interest” is mistaken for this phrase. To “pique” means to arouse, so the correct phrase here is “piqued my interest,” meaning that my interest was awakened.

E.g: The distance education courses offered by Sikkim Manipal University piqued my interest.


  23. Deep-seated


Often mistaken for “deep-seeded”. “Deep-seated” means firmly establishing something.


  1. On accident vs. By accident


You can do something on purpose, but not on accident. The correct usage is ‘by accident’


   25. I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less


‘I could care less’ about something implies that you do care about it at least a little. What you want to say is that you don’t care about it at all, so the right usage is ‘I couldn’t care less’.


  1. Moot point


It is mistaken for “mute point” which basically means unable to talk. Moot means irrelevant or obsolete. Basically, this is a moot point. Case closed.


All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life. Hope this isn’t the case with your grammar! By the way, the sentence is grammatically right.




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