View Full Version : Common Grammar Mistakes

November 29th, 2007, 1:14 PM
Hello everybody, it's...Master Scythe-kun with his awesome grammar mistake thread. These are all common mistakes that everybody and some point in their lifetime, have made. Lord94 will be helping me out here.

Affect for Effect

Affect= verb meaning to influence: Will lack of sleep affect your game?
Effect= noun meaning result or consequence: Will lack of sleep have an effect on your game?

Accept for Except

Accept= verb meaning to recieve or to agree: He accepted their praise graciously
Except= preposition meaning all but, other than: Everyone wanted to go to the game except Alyson.

Advise for Advice

Advise= verb that means to recommend, suggest, or counsel: I advise you to be cautious
Advice= noun that means an opinion or recommendation about what could or should be done: I'd like to ask for your advice on this matter.

Conscious for Conscience

Conscious= adjective meaning awake, perceiving: Despite a head injury, the patient remained conscious
Conscience= noun meaning the sens of obligation to be good: Chris wouldn't cheat because his conscience wouldn't let him.

To help you remember: Remember from pinocchio the little cricket that told him right for wrong? That was his conscience.

Alrighty, there is the first chunk, everyday I'll either edit this (probably) or just make a new post.

Dogar The Brave
November 29th, 2007, 2:04 PM
This doesn't really apply to me, because I'm european (being in Ireland) but I decided to do it anyway.

Right, well, I'm sure you all know there are minor differences between American and British English, so here they are:

Use of the Present Perfect

In British English the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment. For example:

I've lost my key. Can you help me look for it?
In American English the following is also possible:
I lost my key. Can you help me look for it?

In British English the above would be considered incorrect. However, both forms are generally accepted in standard American English. Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in British English and simple past in American English include already, just and yet.

British English:

I've just had lunch
I've already seen that film
Have you finished your homework yet?

American English:

I just had lunch OR I've just had lunch
I've already seen that film OR I already saw that film.
Have your finished your homework yet? OR Did you finish your homework yet?


There are two forms to express possession in English. Have or Have got

Do you have a car?
Have you got a car?
He hasn't got any friends.
He doesn't have any friends.
She has a beautiful new home.
She's got a beautiful new home.

While both forms are correct (and accepted in both British and American English), have got (have you got, he hasn't got, etc.) is generally the preferred form in British English while most speakers of American English employ the have (do you have, he doesn't have etc.)

The Verb Get

The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English. Example He's gotten much better at playing tennis. British English - He's got much better at playing tennis.


Probably the major differences between British and American English lies in the choice of vocabulary. Some words mean different things in the two varieties for example:

Mean: (American English - angry, bad humored, British English - not generous, tight fisted)

There are many more examples (too many for me to list here). If there is a difference in usage, your dictionary will note the different meanings in its definition of the term. Many vocabulary items are also used in one form and not in the other. One of the best examples of this is the terminology used for automobiles.

American English - hood > British English - bonnet
American English - trunk > British English - boot
American English - truck > British English - lorry

Or Prepositions:

American English - on the weekend | British English - at the weekend
American English - on a team |British English - in a team
American English - please write me soon | British English - please write to me soon


Here are some general differences between British and American spellings:

Words ending in -or (American) -our (British) color, colour, humor, humour, flavor, flavour etc.
Words ending in -ize (American) -ise (British) recognize, recognise, patronize, patronise etc.

Ok, that's all for now, expect me to edit it later.

Thanks goes to a few of my friends from America that helped with this.

November 30th, 2007, 5:56 PM
Okay here's lesson #2 Idea/Ideal-Than/Then

Idea for Ideal

Idea= noun meaning a thought, belief, or conception held in the mind, or a general notion or conception formed by generalization: Jennifer had a brilliant idea -- she'd go the Writing Lab for helping with her papers!

Ideal= noun meaning something or someone that embodies perfection, or an ultimate object or endeavor: Mickey was the ideal for tutors everywhere.


Ideal= adjective meaning embodying an ultimate stand of excellence or perfection, or the best; Jennifer was an ideal student.

Its for It's

One of my favorite mistakes...the beadly contractions!

its= possessive adjective (possessive form of the pronoun "it"): The crab had an unusual growth on its shell.

[S-HIGHLIGHT]it's= contraction for it is or it has[/S-HIGHLIGHT] (in a verb phrase): It's still raining; it's been raining for three days. (pronouns have apostrophes only when two words are being shortened into one.)

Lead for Led

lead= noun referring to a dense metallic element: The X-ray technician wore a vest lined with lead.

led= past-tense and past=participate form of the verb to lead, meaning to guide or direct: The evidence led the jury to reach a unanimous descision.

Than for Then

One of the hardest differences.

Than: used in [S-HIGHLIGHT]comparison[/S-HIGHLIGHT] statements: He is richer than I.
used in statements of [S-HIGHLIGHT]preference[/S-HIGHLIGHT]: I would rather dance than eat.
used to suggest [S-HIGHLIGHT]quantities[/S-HIGHLIGHT] beyond a specified amount: Read more than the first paragraph

Then: a [S-HIGHLIGHT]time other than now[/S-HIGHLIGHT]: He was younger then. She will start her new job then.
next in time, space, or order: First we must study; then we can play.
suggesting a logical conclusion: If you've studied hard, then the exam should be no problem.

Hope this helps ya'll!

Saffire Persian
November 30th, 2007, 7:16 PM
Accept= verb meaning to receive or to agree: He accepted their praise graciously

I highly doubt you meant 'phrase' in the original sentence. As it's sorta a homophone, I suppose I might as well add it.

Phrase : It's usual meaning is "An expression consisting of one or more words forming a grammatical constituent of a sentence". Ex: It was a worn-out phrase, and Tyler was tired of hearing it.

Praise: "An expression of approval and commendation." Ex: He was praised greatly for his achievements.

Phase: Has many different meanings, but more often than not has to do with stages. As in, "The experiment has gone into the second phase."

Another word I get mixed up--not because I don't know the difference between the two, but because they sound the same-- are stare and stair.

Stare: A fixed look or gaze. Ex: He stared at her with a disgusted look.

Stair: A step. Rather obvious. Ex: He ran up the stairs.

November 30th, 2007, 11:04 PM
I'd like to add one, if I may... I've seen it quite often, even in stories by experienced writers:


'Discreet' means 'marked by, exercising, or showing prudence and wise self-restraint in speech and behavior.' Eg, 'She discreetly added some extra food to his plate.'

'Discrete', however, is completely different: 'consisting of unconnected distinct parts.' Eg, 'a government with three discrete divisions.'

Mostly I've seen people saying 'discrete' when they mean 'discreet', and it makes me cringe whenever I do, so... ^.^;;

Definitions and the second example come from thefreedictionary.com.

December 1st, 2007, 6:42 AM
Thanks for those purple_drake and saffire! They were aweshome examples!

December 1st, 2007, 7:35 AM
...and you're not planning to edit the phrase/praise mistake in your original post?

These aren't really grammar mistakes, though; they're homophones. Grammar mistakes would be stuff like using "catched" as the past tense of "catch" instead of "caught" or "I is" instead of "I am".


The Pokémon trainer threw the ball forward in the past tense. But he crawled through the tunnel. This mistake annoys me immensely.


To is a preposition: I went to school. It can also come before a verb to indicate that it is in the infinitive: I want to get a starter Pokémon.

Too on the other hand, implies an excess of something: I got too much food. It can also be put at the end of a clause to basically have the same meaning as an also placed after the subject: I want a starter Pokémon, too.

Two is the number and will never be anything else: Mewtwo.


Loose is an adjective meaning not constrained: The tiger's gotten loose! Lose, on the other hand, is what you do when you do not win: I don't want to lose the battle.


Won is the past tense of the verb to win: I won the battle.

One is the number and will never be anything else: I have one Pokémon.


You're is a contraction of you are: You're stupid. This means that if you couldn't write you are in its place, you do not write you're.

Your is the second person possessive pronoun: Is that your car?


Breath is the noun: I took a deep breath. The verb is breathe: I tried to breathe normally. People confuse the two ridiculously often.


No is the opposite of yes: Just say no to drugs. Know is a verb meaning that you are aware of some information: I know that cats have four paws. And while we're on the subject of knowing...


New is an adjective meaning that the thing it describes is recent in some sense: I bought a new car. Knew is the past tense of the aforementioned verb to know.

All I can think of at the moment. Except this:


The Pokémon is called Ninetales. Ninetails is when somebody attempted to write "nine tails" but forgot the space. :P

December 1st, 2007, 7:36 AM
Okay, can you please edit/delete that last post please? Those were all going to be in my next post. Thanks much~

December 1st, 2007, 7:39 AM
Um, what? Aren't you just happy that I saved you the work of posting them yourself? Frankly, it's pretty rude to tell somebody who did something before you that they have to delete all their work because you were planning to do it. The implication is basically "Man, your explanations suck, they absolutely must be deleted and replaced with my infinitely superior ones." I mean, feel free to post your explanations too if you made them already or want to add something, but I don't see why mine must be deleted first.

December 1st, 2007, 7:41 AM
Slighty...but I just wanted to make them myself. I let the other two post because I wasn't going to do those. Heres the ones you can keep.


The other ones please edit out. Thanks Much~

December 1st, 2007, 7:45 AM
Yes, but why must they be edited out just because you're going to explain them too? What's wrong with having two different explanations of the same thing? o_O I already spent my time writing out those explanations and can't see it as being anything but a waste to be then told that I must delete half of them because you were going to explain them too.

December 1st, 2007, 7:46 AM
Fine, argue with me and keep them there.

Careful With That Axe, Pichu!
December 1st, 2007, 7:50 AM
This may be a colaboration topic, but it is not gonna be sticked. And even if Scythemaster has all the right to ask politely and indiscriminately if people can cease contributing/interfering in his topic, I'd believe there's nothing wrong on letting help, regardless of topic, get in.

And also, those are basically homophones... Are you going to cover a broader area regarding real common grammar mistakes? In that case, shouldn't it belong to Hanako's topic with the proper permission?

December 1st, 2007, 7:59 AM
Well...these are just the first few lessons and they're on homophones. I asked Hanako for permission to make this thread and she approved of it. You know what though, this is getting too offtopic from the purpose of this thread, someone please close it.

Careful With That Axe, Pichu!
December 1st, 2007, 8:03 AM
I didn't really know what was the need of having two Grammar topics at the same time, even when one was slightly flawed.

locked upon request