Even professional authors are not immune to making common writing mistakes. In order to avoid criticism and prevent risking your reputation, it’s better to present an error-free text. But how to make sure that your writing doesn’t have any mistakes in it when it’s so easy to miss a comma or mix up one word with another, even unintentionally?
Here’s our list of the most common writing mistakes, which at times may cost dearly to those unlucky writers who didn’t manage to correct errors prior to presenting their work to the audience.
1. Affect and Effect
- Affect is a verb. For example, “The weather affects my health”
- Effect is a noun. For example, “The weather has an effect on my health”
2. Its and It’s
Even the best of writers tend to mix up these two.
- It’s is a contraction of either it is or it has
- Its is possessive similarly to his, her, their
If you’re in doubt, try to replace the word with either it is or it has and if the context doesn’t get altered, you are free to use the apostrophe.
3. There, They’re and Their
- There refers to a specific location or an idea. For example, “You can find it over there!” and “There are many options.”
- Their is possessive and denotes that something is owned by a group. For example, “Their house is very beautiful.”
- They’re is a contraction of they are. For example, “They’re ready to go.”
In fact, the difference between those words is very clear and the mistake can be made when you’re in a rush or too concentrated on the meaning of the words instead of their spelling.
4. To, Too and Two
- To is used before either verb or noun to indicate a recipient, an action or a direction
- Two is a number, which equals one plus one
- Too has double connotation one of which indicates the excess and another can be used to substitute as well or also.
5. Lose and Loose
- Lose is the antonym of win
- Loose describes something that is not firmly fixed in place or appears to not fit tightly
One way of remembering the difference between those two words is to think of loose, which has more “o’s” than the word lose, as a description of something with too much space.
6. Weather and Whether
- Weather is a noun, which refers to the atmospheric conditions
- Whether is a conjunction that can be substituted by if
These two words appear to be among the most commonly confused words and there’s no perfect solution to how to remember in what context to use these words. Some people associate the word weather with the sea because of the shared combination ea while some learners remember the difference by relating weather to the word eat for the same reason (ea combination).