I just rounded off the editing phase of a client’s book project and decided to share with you important insights that will help you as a writer/speaker.
In our line of work, grammar is everything. You need to do everything possible to win your readers’ hearts and minds. When they are distracted by grammatical errors or confused by the meaning of a sentence, they aren’t likely to anticipate your next post or buy your next book — or finish the one they are reading.
Here are some common grammar mistakes that can kill your credibility as a writer or speaker.
Incorrect: The sun rises from the East.
Correct: The sun rises in the East.
Incorrect: How does he look like?
Correct: What does he look like?
Incorrect: Wet your appetite.
Correct: Whet your appetite.
Incorrect: I’m giving you leadway.
Correct: I’m giving you leeway.
Incorrect: I invest on the stock market.
Correct: I invest in the stock market.
Incorrect: I am a student of the University of Nigeria.
Correct: I am a student at the University of Nigeria.
Incorrect: Wait for your turn, please.
Correct: Wait your turn, please.
Incorrect: It is a high paying job.
Correct: It is a high-paying job.
Incorrect: Share it between the men in the building.
Correct: Share it amongst the men in the building.
Incorrect: I made a complete 360 degrees change in my life.
Correct: I made a complete 180 degrees change in my life.
Incorrect: For all intensive purposes.
Correct: For all intents and purposes.
Incorrect: You’ve got another thing coming.
Correct: You’ve got another think coming.
Incorrect: On accident.
Correct: By accident.
Incorrect: I could care less.
Correct: I couldn’t care less.
Incorrect: She goes home by foot.
Correct: She goes home on foot.
Incorrect: They go to work in bus.
Correct: They go to work by bus.
Incorrect: Tell us what is the matter.
Correct: Tell us what the matter is.
Incorrect: You are a matured man.
Correct: You are a mature man.
Incorrect: I’ll get down at the next junction.
Correct: I’ll get off at the next junction.
Incorrect: I stopped seeing him from Tuesday.
Correct: I stopped seeing him since Tuesday.
Incorrect: She died from cancer.
Correct: She died of cancer.
Incorrect: He was charged for murder.
Correct: He was charged with murder.
Incorrect: They were convicted for murder.
Correct: They were convicted of murder.
Merging them, you can say: They were charged with and convicted of murder.
Incorrect: Insure for theft and fire.
Correct: Insure against theft and fire.
Incorrect: Try this dress.
Correct: Try on this dress.
Incorrect: What is the time in your watch?
Correct: What is the time by your watch?
Incorrect: My first day in school was amazing!
Correct: My first day at school was amazing!
Incorrect: She was at the bottle for three years.
Correct: She was on the bottle for three years.
Incorrect: The soldiers died on the front line.
Correct: The soldiers died at the front line.
Incorrect: Have you ever been in a ship like this before?
Correct: Have you ever been on a ship like this before?
Incorrect: They got in from the window.
Correct: They got in through the window.
Incorrect: You can find everything in the internet.
Correct: You can find everything on the internet.
Incorrect: My boyfriend is in television.
Correct: My boyfriend is on television.
Incorrect: You’re just on time to catch the bus.
Correct: You’re just in time to catch the bus.
Incorrect: We’ll go after the dinner.
Correct: We’ll go after dinner.
Incorrect: You like sugar, isn’t it?
Correct: You like sugar, don’t you?
Incorrect: She has two son-in-laws.
Correct: She has two sons-in-law.
Incorrect: I stopped to work at 5 p. m.
Correct: I stopped working at 5 p. m.
Incorrect: Statue of limitations.
Correct: Statute of limitations.
Incorrect: Old wise tale.
Correct: Old wives’ tale.