Errors can mar your writing and this can be more embarrassing if you allow such errors get out without noticing them.
Errors could detract a great deal from good writing and put the audience off the message being portrayed. They also bring the writer’s credibility into question, as regards the qualification he or she has in authoring the literary piece.
But for the sake of this write-up, we shall be considering a list of word pairs or triplets often mistaken for the other. Some words sound alike but spelt differently. Due attention should be drawn to them to avoid misrepresentation when writing.
1. They’re, There, Their:
‘‘They’’ refers to third person plural pronoun, ‘‘there’’ refers to a place, and ‘‘their’’ is used to denote possession.
So you can say: They are going there with their bags.
2. Your, You’re:
‘‘Your’’ shows possession while ‘‘you’re’’ expresses what someone is. It is also a contracted form of ‘‘you are’’.
3. Its, It’s:
“Its’’ is a possessive pronoun used for a non-personal subject or object. “It’s” is a contracted form of ‘It is’.
4. Incomplete Comparison:
Incomplete comparisons can be detected in hanging statements. The non-completion of grammatical expression lies in its non-communication of a complete sense. For example:
Your car is slower, cheaper, and dirtier.
The statement did not tell us what the car is compared with.
It’s better put this way: Your car is slower, cheaper, and dirtier than mine.
5. Passive and Active Voice:
It is advisable for writers to use the active voice, which makes writing alive and clear in language expressions, rather than the passive, which makes the writing dull and difficult to understand, especially if the sentence is a compound, complex or compound-complex sentence.
6. Dangling or Hanging Modifiers:
This occurs when a writer uses an adjective, or adjectival phrase or clause, that does not relate to the noun it precedes.
E.g.: Having followed a strict diet, her weight dropped rapidly
It is better phrased as: Having followed a strict diet, she rapidly lost weight.
7. Affect vs Effect:
These are often confused in usage. When one is referring to one thing changing the other, the cause of change (noun) is followed by ‘effect’. But if it’s the action of change itself (verb), then ‘affect’ is appropriate.
Eg: The movie effected an unfamiliar mood in the audience.
The movie affected me greatly.
8. Me and I:
These are often confused in normal usage. ‘Me’ is the objective form for the personal pronoun‘I’, and of course ‘I’ takes the subject position in a sentence.
Eg: When he comes, tell him to send it to Bola and I.
Corrected: When he comes, tell him to send it to Bola and me.
9. To and Too:
‘To’ is used before a noun or verb to depict a destination, recipient, or action.
Eg: I am going to Lagos Island. (destination)
I will give it to him. (recipient)
I want to eat (action)
While ‘too’ is used in place of ‘as well’ or ‘also’ or express adjectives in extreme cases.
They, too, can do same.
They, as well, can do same.
We too have the pack of cards.
We also have the pack of cards.
It’s too cold for me. The sound is too loud. (extreme cases)