Since Hurley Write courses cover organization, clarity, and other composition issues rather than grammar and proofreading, we thought our blog would be a good place to address some common writing errors we see.
This isn’t a test, and we aren’t pointing any fingers. However, even the best and brightest of us have made errors. After all, ain’t nobody perfect.
- Pronoun-antecedent agreement
Make your pronoun match the noun it's replacing.
Incorrect: Attention employees! No one should eat lunch at their desk.
Correct: On his birthday, the CEO will buy lunch for the entire company.
2. Subject-verb agreement
Singular or plural? The verb should match the subject that’s performing the action.
Incorrect: Every single one of the employees deserve this benefit.
Correct: The HR manager will certainly approve this proposal for unlimited vacation days.
3. It’s v. its and their v. they’re v. there
Remember that the apostrophe replaces part of a word. Do you mean “it is” or “they are?” If not, choose another form.
Incorrect:Its also true that I don’t want to know what their doing.
Correct: It’s completely possible that they’re going in there.
4. Colon Use
In a sentence, a colon should only follow a complete thought.
Incorrect: The Colorado-based company loves: football, snow, and beer.
Correct: The company celebrates unusual holidays: Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and Tim Tebow’s birthday.
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