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7 Common Grammar Mistakes That Will Cost You an Arm and a Leg in Editing Fees


Grammar mistakes are like landmines for writers – you never know when you're going to step on one and trigger a costly editing fee. To help you avoid these pesky pitfalls, here are 7 common grammatical errors to watch out for:

  1. Homophone confusion. Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings, and mixing them up can change the entire meaning of a sentence. For example: "I could of gone to the store, but I decided to stay home." "Could of" is a common mistake for "could have," so the correct sentence would be: "I could have gone to the store, but I decided to stay home."

  2. Apostrophe misuse. Apostrophes are often used to indicate possession, but they can also be misused in contractions. For example: "The cat's toy was stuck in the tree." "Cat's" indicates possession, while "its" is the possessive form of "it." A better sentence would be: "The cat's toy was stuck in its tree."

  3. Run-on sentences. A run-on sentence is one that's too long and confusing, and it can be difficult for readers to follow. For example: "I went to the store to buy milk and bread and eggs and oranges and bananas." A better sentence would be: "I went to the store to buy milk, bread, eggs, oranges, and bananas."

  4. Fragments. A fragment is a group of words that lacks a subject or verb and cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. For example: "Although the weather was nice. I stayed inside." A better sentence would be: "Although the weather was nice, I stayed inside."

  5. Misplaced commas. Commas are used to indicate a pause in a sentence, but they can also be misused. For example: "I went to the store, and bought milk bread and eggs." The comma after "store" creates a pause, but the list of items should be separated with commas as well. A better sentence would be: "I went to the store and bought milk, bread, and eggs."

  6. Incorrect verb tenses. Verb tenses should be used consistently within a sentence and in relation to the time frame of the story. For example: "Yesterday, I was walking to the store and saw a clown." "Was walking" is in the past tense, but "saw" is in the present tense, so the correct sentence would be "Yesterday, I walked to the store and saw a clown."

  7. Semicolon abuse. Semicolons are used to join two independent clauses (complete sentences) that are closely related, but they should not be used to replace commas or to separate a list of items. For example: "I went to the store; and bought milk, bread, and eggs." A better sentence would be: "I went to the store and bought milk, bread, and eggs."


Grammar mistakes can be costly in terms of both time and money, so it's important to proofread your writing carefully. These 7 common errors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to grammatical pitfalls, so be sure to keep an eye out for other mistakes as well. And if you're not sure about a rule, don't be afraid to consult a style guide or ask a professional editor for help. Your wallet (and your readers) will thank you.

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