Grammar Tips and Tricks

Grammar Tips and Tricks.

Although hiring an appropriate editor for your particular needs is crucial, following a few simple grammar tips and tricks will allow you to concisely share your thoughts with your intended audience.

This week, Part 1 of my 3-part series, “Grammar Tips and Tricks,” focuses on 3 common writing errors and how to avoid them.


Grammar Tip 1: Focus on Sentence Construction and Subject-Verb Agreement

First, I would suggest focusing on sentence construction, or how your sentences are formed. In English, sentences are typically constructed as (subject + verb) or (subject + verb + object).

The subject is typically a noun (a person place or thing), which is followed by the verb (an action or state of being) and the object (which receives the action of the verb).

For example: Natalia (subject) forgot (verb) her sweater (object).

When writing, it is best to avoid a lack of subject-verb agreement. For example, if the subject is singular, the verb must be also singular. Likewise, if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.


Here are some additional examples, that demonstrate best practices in subject-verb agreement.

Incorrect: The dogs is running.

Correct: The dogs are running.


Grammar Tip 2: Avoid Comma Splices

Another grammar tip and trick to improving your writing is avoiding comma splices. In particular, a comma splice joins two sentences, or clauses, incorrectly.

One way to avoid comma splices is to split sentences, using a semi-colon or a subordinating conjunction, such as, but not limited to, despite, because, though, or unless.


Here are some examples.

Incorrect: Natalia forgot her sweater, she was very cold.

Correct: Natalia forgot her sweater. She was very cold.

Natalia forgot her sweater; she was very cold.

Natalia forgot her sweater, so she was very cold.


Grammar Tip 3: Avoid Misplaced Modifiers

Thirdly, when writing, I would recommend avoiding misplaced modifiers.

Now, you may be asking, what is a misplaced modifer?

Modifiers affect, or modify, the meaning of a sentence, including adding detail.

A modifier must be placed beside the word that it will modify in order to avoid confusing your audience.


Here are some examples to help clarify.

Incorrect: The dog wore a leash on its neck that was too big.

Correct: The dog wore a leash that was too big on its neck.


I hope that these grammar rules were helpful. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of “Grammar Tips and Tricks” coming soon!

For copy editing projects,  please visit my copy editing page, which lists my experience and rates.Questions? Comments? Contact me for more information about your project needs.

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