10 Common English Grammar Mistakes By Beginners

Most Common English Grammar Mistakes By Beginners

No matter what industry you are in, no matter what type of work you are doing, mistakes happen all the time. When we talk about writing, there are some repetitive mistakes that people often make. These mistakes usually relate to misuse of apostrophes, incorrect plural, confused words, etc. This can be a really big problem, especially for beginner writers who learn from already written content.

In order to help young writers avoid these mistakes, we created a list of ten most common English grammar mistakes. You will see through examples how to stop making mistakes that trouble even some seasoned writers.

Using Apostrophes In Wrong Situations

Apostrophes are common in the English language. They are used when we want to show possession or write contracted words. There are some exceptions, and this is where people hook to making mistakes.

Here is an example to clarify the issue

"In the 1980's we had a lot of great bands." - In this example, we can see that an apostrophe was used where it shouldn't be in use. It is clear that "S" is there to create a plural, so there was no need for an apostrophe.

The correct form of this sentence would be

"In the 1980s we had a lot of great bands" - We can see that there is no apostrophe before "S", which makes it a correct form of plural.

Mistaking ITS for IT'S

This is one of the most common mistakes you could find.

Let us take a look at an example:

"It's red light was shining brighter" - We can see a mistake in this sentence where "It's" stands instead of "Its". This is wrong because "It's" is a contracted form of "It is" while "Its" shows possession.

This is the correct use of ITS and IT'S

"Its power button is on the left side" - This sentence has correct use of ITS because it shows possession.

"It's not necessary to do that" - This is also an example of correct use, because IT'S stands for IT IS.

Your and You're

Homophones are a usual reason for mistakes, and this one is the most common of them all.

Here is how people often make mistakes:

"This is not how your going to win" - In this example we can see how word YOUR (which indicates possession) was placed wrongly instead of YOU'RE which is short for YOU ARE.

Let's see the proper use of both terms in one sentence:

"You're the one that had your own opinion" - We can see both words used in their proper places. YOU'RE stands instead of YOU ARE and YOUR indicates possession.


Another case of words that sound the same but have a different meaning, and they spell differently.

They're is short for THEY ARE which is a plural of TO BE. "They're on time" Meaning someone arrived on time.

Their shows possession. "Their love was strong"

There is used to show location. "There is a wrench on the desk"

Fewer and Less

These two words both represent quantity, but there is a difference between the two.

Fewer is used for items that could be counted individually.

"There are fewer cakes in the jar than there were last day" - This is correct

Less is used for commodities, items we can't count individually.

"There is less water in the basement now" - As we can see, LESS is used to show the quantity of water in the basement. This is correct.


Yet another homophone example. These three words are easy to find in the wrong place. Here is what each of them means, and where it should stand.

To shows direction. "I'm talking to you"

Two is a number. "There are two boys in the car"

Too means "also". "I love to sing, too"

Then and Than

These two words are at the very top of grammar mistakes list. At least when it comes to the English language. Let's take a look at what confuses people about them.

Then is used to declare something is coming after.

"Let mi finish my work and then we will play"

Than shows comparisons.

"We are better than you"

Who and Whom This is one of the most common mistakes, and it's really not that hard to learn the rules regarding these terms.

Who is used for subject, while Whom stands with objects of a sentence.

"Who are you?" - This is correct because we use Who with the subject.

"To whom are you talking to?" - This is also correct because Whom stands with the object.

Affect and Effect

This mistake is often made in the English language. Although these words are very similar in sound and spelling, they are not the same.

Affect is a verb. This word means to influence something.

"These region is affected by the tornado." - this is the correct example.

Effect is a noun. It represents the result of being affected by something.

"This workout had no effect on me." - this is the correct example.

Invite and Invitation

You can see this mistake all the time. Sometimes we can even come across it in printed media. The core of this problem is a misunderstanding.

Invite is a verb. It means that you are asking someone if they would like to do something or go somewhere. Let's see some examples:

"I would like to invite you to dinner." - This is the correct use of word invite.

"I am waiting for her invite." - This is not the correct use of word invite, there should be a noun instead.

Invitation is a noun, and it refers to the actual message.

"I would like to extend my invitation to you." - This is the correct use of word invitation.


We have seen some interesting and common grammar mistakes. They happen all the time, and almost everyone makes them. As a beginner writer, you should always work on improving your grammar and spelling. This is important because your work will be more valuable and it would have a general benefit for your literacy. We hope that these examples helped you resolve some of your disputes or helped you confirm your previous knowledge.

What kind of grammar or spelling mistakes you make most often, how often do you notice your mistakes? Let us know in the comments section, we would love to read your experience.

Kerrie Haynes is a final year student at the University of Oxford. She is a young journalist and likes to write about kids and education as it is one of the important things in life. You can find her at https://myessaywriting.co.uk/
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