There are two types of people in this world: grammar nerds, and everyone else. If you’re like me, seeing misused direct objects, dangling modifiers, and incorrect pronouns will make you scream. And don’t even get me started on your/you’re and there/their/they’re. I get hives just thinking about them.
Grammar nerds aren’t the only ones, though, who are bothered by this. Editor, which is a new feature in Microsoft Word, is here to spot your mistakes and help.
According to Mashable:
Using data gathered from Editor, one of Microsoft’s newest features in Word, Microsoft has released a list of the 10 most commonly flagged grammar mistakes by their proofing tools.
It’s worth noting that these mistakes go beyond just mixing up their/there/they’re. Editor learns your writing style as you use it, not only noting instances where you misspelled something but also offering suggestions to eliminate redundancy or confusing language.
Here are the top 10 mistakes, according to Editor. Are you guilty of any of these?
1. Too many white spaces between words
I manage large teams of people.
Sure, this was probably just an innocent mistake and therefore it is easy to fix. Don’t let such a silly error plague your next cover letter. It looks sloppy and just shouldn’t happen. Your next job could be riding on it.
2. Missing comma
When I go to the park I like to enjoy the sun.
Take a breath. Commas are there to help insert pauses into sentences. If you wouldn’t talk that way, don’t write that way. (Read the sentence above, as written. It sounds like a robot or like you forgot to breathe.)
3. Comma missing after introductory phrase
On the one hand Freddy likes to swim in the morning.
Please just don’t do this. Please. Your sentence deserves a pause. Reward it with a comma.
My fifty year old house is up for sale.
Hyphens are used to group together words that are acting as a single idea, and for modifying a noun. Hopefully, that will make this rule easy-to-remember.
5. Subject-verb agreement
The children plays in the yard.
Sometimes errors such as this one are the result of quickly editing a sentence and then forgetting to proofread it. Subject-verb agreement is one of the first lessons taught when learning a language. If it sounds funny, something might be off.
They chopped down the Tree on our corner.
Let’s get this straight: Capitalization is reserved for the first letter of sentences and proper pronouns. End of story.
7. Possessive and plural forms
Have you seen Jimmys lunchbox?
Ahhh! When showing possession, we use an apostrophe for nouns. My mother’s dress / Your cat’s claws / My husband’s tie. However (and this may complicate things), to show possession for the word “it,” we write “its.” The car has its own wheels.
8. Agreement with noun phrases
Have you watched these episode?
Once again, this error might have happened after a quick edit. Just be sure to proofread, because this is a mistake that is easy to spot. It just sounds wrong.
9. Commonly confused words
It’s important to breath when you’re stressed.
Yes, this can be tricky, because language, in general, can be tricky. Except/accept, affect/effect, bass/base. Just let Editor help you out here if these get confusing.
10. Incorrect verb form after auxiliary
I had spoke to her at the party.
Unfortunately, there are a good number of verbs that change form in certain tenses. For native speakers, it should be relatively easy to catch this mistake, as it sounds wrong when you say it. As always, proofread, proofread, proofread! (And if you don’t, you always have Editor to help you out in a pinch!)