9 Common Grammar Mistakes
(Last Updated On: March 1, 2022)


Have you ever read a social media post and corrected the grammar in your head? Or maybe you have commented on the post to point out the incorrect grammar? For those who consider themselves “the grammar police,” seeing grammar mistakes is painful. But many people genuinely don’t know they are using incorrect grammar. Let’s be honest, there are many more than 9 common grammar mistakes. One of the most common grammar mistakes is incorrectly using homophones, which sound the same but have different spellings. Other words sound similar or have similar meanings which can be confusing.

Here are 9 common grammar mistakes that you might see in those social media posts and elsewhere.

1. There vs. Their

The word “there” commonly refers to a place or position, such as “over there.” It can also be used as an exclamation, such as “There! I told you so!” But if you ever see the word “there” used as a possessive pronoun, you know it’s wrong. If you’re showing ownership, use the word, “their.” It is correct to say, “Their house is over there.”

2. To vs. Too

The word “to” usually means you’re moving toward something. For instance, “You’re going to their house.” The word, “too,” on the other hand is another way of saying, “also.” Such as, “I’ll go, too.” But “too” can also be used to describe excess. Such as, “That house cost too much money.” It is correct to say, “Let’s go to that house that costs too much money.”

3. It’s vs. Its

These two words seem pretty easy to figure out, but many people still get them wrong. The word “it’s” is a contraction for “it is.” The word “its” shows possession. It is correct to say, “It’s a fluffy cat and its tail is black.”

4. You’re vs. Your

Again, this one seems obvious but many people either get it wrong or they just forget to add the apostrophe and the extra letter at the end. The word “you’re” is a contraction for “you are.” The word “your” shows possession. It is correct to say, “You’re nice but your friend is not.”

5. Then vs. Than

The word, “then” usually refers to a point in time. Such as, “She was happy back then.” It can also be used to put things in order. Such as, “I’ll do the dishes, then the laundry.” The word, “than” is usually used when comparing things. An example would be, “she is happier today than she was yesterday.”

6. Affect vs. Effect

These words might not sound exactly the same, but they still get mixed up a lot. The word, “affect” is usually used as a verb and means to make a difference to. For example, “The cat in the house will probably affect my allergies.” The word “effect” is usually used as a noun and usually describes the difference itself. For example, “The cat had a profound effect on my allergies.”

7. Peek vs. Peak

One of these words is a verb and the other is a noun. If you are playing a game with your child, you’re probably playing “peek-a-boo.” Or, you’re taking a peek into the refrigerator late at night. However, if you’re climbing Mount Everest, you’re trying to reach the peak. The word peak can also mean something has reached the greatest intensity. For instance, “The leaves were at peak foliage.”

8. Principal vs. Principle

One of the best ways to use these words correctly is to think of the head person at school as your pal, hence the word, “principal.” The word “principle” usually refers to a basic truth or a rule of conduct. It is correct to say, “He had to go to the principal’s office a lot because he was not a student of good principle.” It’s also important to note that “principal” can also be used as a sum of money on which interest is paid.

9. Capital vs. Capitol

The word, “capital” either refers to money, a city, or uppercase letters. The word, “capitol,” however refers to a building. It is correct to say, “The capitol building is located in the capital city.” It is also correct to say, “The nation’s Capitol building should always begin with a capital letter.”

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