5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing in English

Writing involves expression of our thoughts, ideas, feelings and opinions. As we write in a flow, we tend to move away from the rules of the language.

It is extremely important to stick to these rules. Below is a list of common mistakes that people make while writing in English:

Incorrect capitalisation

It may take some time for non-native English speakers to understand the basic rules of capitalisation in English. As a result, there is lack of proper use of capital letters.

Following are some important rules:

  • The pronoun “I” is always capitalised.
  • Proper nouns (names of people, places and organisations) are always capitalised.
  • Common nouns need NOT be capitalised.
  • The first letter of a sentence is always capital.
  • Holidays, days of the week and months of the year are always capitalised.
Improper use of articles

The improper use of definite (the) and indefinite (a/an) articles is common.

The best way to judge which one to use is to check whether the noun is countable or uncountable. Use an indefinite article in case of countable nouns.

Definite article the is only used when referring to something that both  – the reader and the writer are familiar with.

Example: “A cat” refers to an unspecified cat whereas “the cat” refers to a specific cat.

To learn about articles in detail, click here.

Unnecessary shift in tenses

This is the most common problem that can be seen. Shifting between the past, present and future tense makes it difficult for the reader to follow the piece of writing. The verb form also gets messed up.

How to avoid this problem:

  • Make conscious effort to maintain the tense and be consistent in the same.
  • Change the tense only when there is a need to show a shift in time in your writing.
  • Keep a check on the verbs to make sure they are in the correct form.
    Inconsistent style of spelling

Be aware of the style of spelling that is followed by your audience. There is a slight variation in the American and British way of spelling, which may be difficult to understand.

To learn about the spelling variations, click here.

Exceptionally long paragraphs

Long paragraphs should be avoided as they may bore the reader.

It is considered ideal to stick to one topic per paragraph and not drag it too much. Short and crisp paragraphs are always better as they increase readability.

Keep these points in mind the next time you sit down to write !




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