Sunday, April 16, 2023

Eight Common Usage Mistakes

This is an example of a misplaced modifier that creates a humorous image. Was it the man who has leather seats?

We all make mistakes, and I am certainly not the Internet Police, but after seeing these bloopers online on social media, I thought these 8 common usage mistakes would make a good topic for a post. Here are just a few of some common errors I recently saw on Facebook and Twitter and a little information on how to avoid them.

1.  The dog's were all barking.
Do not use an apostrophe to make a noun plural.
Correction: The dogs were all barking.

 2.  "The puppy has a microchip in case she might loose her collar."
Loose means not tight.  Lose means to misplace.
Correction: The puppy has a microchip in case she might lose her collar.

3.  "I laid down for 5 minutes and woke up 2 hours later."
Laid means to put or to place something.
Correction: I lay down for 5 minutes and woke up 2 hours later.

4.  “I think that Mom's who watch soap operas are way two dramatic.”
There are two errors in this sentence.
1.  Do not use an apostrophe to make a noun plural.
2.  The word two means the number 2. The word too means to an excessive degree.
Correction: I think that moms who watch soap operas are way too dramatic.

5.  “I was just laying around feeling sick all week.”
The past progressive form of the verb “lie” is was lying. “Laying” means to put or to place.
Correction: I was just lying around feeling sick all week.

6.  “George is a very healthful person.”
Healthy and healthful are adjectives that can be used as synonyms for each other unless one is talking about a person. Spinach can be a healthy or a healthful vegetable, but when talking about a person, always use “healthy.”
Correction: George is a very healthy person.

7.  "I feel badly for you."
Badly is an adverb and will not follow a linking verb
Correction: "I feel bad for you."

Remember to not use badly with the verb "feel." If you say"I feel badly," you are really saying that your sense of touch is poor. (Maybe something is wrong with your fingers if you feel badly.) 

8.  "The woman that stood on the corner was tall."
Use "who" not "which" or "that" to refer to people unless you are referring to a group.
Correction: The woman who stood on the corner was tall.

Here are two free resources you can use to give your students practice with possessive nouns and confusing words.

If you would like to help your students practice correcting misplaced modifiers, this is a resource for sale in my store.

Here are some blog posts written by my teacher friends from The Best of Teacherpreneurs Marketing Cooperative. I think you will find them interesting and helpful.

Thanks for reading,

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