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Common Grammatical Errors

Fragments (missing subjects and verbs)

Subjects are necessary in English, so they always need to be mentioned before the verb. Be careful with phrases that begin a sentence: introductory phrases are not subjects. Also, the subject only needs to be stated once (My mother she bought some flowers from the store.). Do not put the subject in the object position: Was difficult the test = The test was difficult.

Using "It"

"It" is a pronoun used to the fill the subject space when another noun or pronoun does not fit. For example, we do not say, "Was cold today." The correct sentence would be "It was cold today."

Subject-Verb Agreement

It is important for the subject and verb of your sentence to match. This is especially problematic with third-person singular in simple present. An "s" is added to the verb to make it agree with the subject.

Count and Noncount Nouns

English has count nouns (can be plural) and noncount nouns (cannot be plural). Some common noncount nouns are homework, advice, fruit, bread, news, and water.