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12 Examples of Correct and Incorrect Grammar

 , December 12, 2019
Grammar is set of rules for constructing meaning in a language. This includes the syntax, semantics and word forms that are used to communicate and understand a natural language. The following are illustrative examples of correct and incorrect grammar in English.

Word Choice

Choosing the word that means what you think it means.
There dog ate my shoes.
Their dog ate my shoes.

Complete Sentences

A complete sentence has a subject, verb and makes sense as a complete thought.
Ate the hamburger.
Alice ate the hamburger.

Rick policy.
Rick influenced policy.

Rick went to the winter.
Rick went to the winter event.

Run-on Sentence

Two or more complete sentences that are presented as one. This can be addressed with a semicolon or by separating the sentences.
I went to the conference Rick was there and was set to give a speech he seemed a little nervous.

I went to the conference. Rick was there and was set to give a speech; he seemed a little nervous.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Plural subjects require a plural verb and singular subjects require a singular verb.
He walk six miles every day.
He walks six miles every day.

She are happy.
She is happy.

Split Infinitives

An infinitive is the use of "to" + verb such as "to compete." A split infinitive occurs when you try to put other words between.
She was determined to quickly buy a bike.
She was determined to buy a bike quickly.

Parallel Structure

Parallel structure is the presentation of multiple ideas in a consistent format. This can happen at the word, phrase or clause level. Parallel structure is a rule that some writers will break for effect.
People were coming, going and ignored him.
People were coming, going and ignoring him.

Modifier Placement

A modifier is a word that serves to color another word. These are usually adjectives such as "interesting" or adverbs such as "loudly" but can also be descriptive phrases. A misplaced modifier is a modifier that isn't placed directly adjacent to the word it modifies. A dangling modifier is when you try to modify a word that's not present in the sentence at all.
The woman was lost with the hat.
The woman with the hat was lost.

Even more were inside.
Even more people were inside.

Pronoun Ambiguity

A pronoun is a word that is used instead of a noun. Common examples of pronouns include I, me, we, they, he, she, it, that and this. Pronouns can be used in a way that is confusing due to ambiguity regarding which noun you are replacing.
Marty and Jim had an exam last week, he did well.
Marty and Jim had an exam last week, they did well.
Marty and Jim had an exam last week, Jim did well.

Superfluous Commas

Incorrectly placed and unnecessary commas. For example, it is typically incorrect to place a comma in front of a conjunction such as "because."
She ate cereal, because she was hungry.
She ate cereal because she was hungry.

Missing Commas

Commas that are missing where they are required. For example, the items in a list are separated with a comma.
I like drawing my coworkers and my dog.
I like drawing, my coworkers and my dog.

Possessive Apostrophe

An apostrophe + "s" is added to a noun to indicate possession. In the case that a plural noun ends in "s" the apostrophe is added to the end. The latter rule is sometimes dropped by modern style guides as it can be perceived as pretentious.
Ricks Cafe
Rick's Cafe

childrens toys
children's toys

the twins Dad
the twins' Dad†
† often dropped by modern style guides

Capitals

The first letter in a sentence is capitalized as well as proper nouns, family relationships, days of the week, the months of the year, holidays, directions and the pronoun "I."
On friday, sarah went to germany.
On Friday, Sarah went to Germany.

Grammar

This is the complete list of articles we have written about grammar.
Accept vs Except
Adverbs
Affect vs Effect
Affective vs Effective
Grammar Examples
Their vs There
Then vs Than
Transition Words
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Affect vs Effect

The difference between affect and effect with examples.

Affective vs Effective

The difference between affective and effective with examples.

Language Skills

A list of the basic language skills.

Adverbs

An a-z list of adverbs.

Definitions

The basic types of definition with examples.

Language

A guide to language.

Language Characteristics

The common characteristics of language.

Figurative Language

The common types of figurative language.

Literary Device

The common types of literary device explained with examples.

Abstract Nouns

The definition of abstract noun with examples.

Concepts

The definition of concept with examples.

Transition Words

A list of transition words.
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