As I mentioned, I've had more opportunity to read papers written by students at this level. I'd like to point out some common mistakes, and how they can be avoided.
The most basic mistakes are spelling errors.
- the present participle -ing (studying, listening, skiing, tapping)
- the past participle -ed (stopped, planned, studied, played)
- the third person singular form for the present simple (study - studies, play - plays)
Past participle forms with -ed, and third person singular forms for the present simple for a verb ending with a consonant followed by y also change. The y becomes ie : study - studies, and studied. This doesn't apply for verbs which end with a vowel and the consonant y: play - plays, and played.
- plural forms (watch - watches, tomato - tomatoes, company - companies, holiday - holidays, loaf - loaves)
For nouns ending in ch, sh, s, x, or z, and certain nouns ending in a consonant and o add -es: watch - watches, tomato - tomatoes.
For most nouns that end in f and ef the f /ef becomes ves: loaf - loaves.
Don't forget there are also irregular plural forms: child - children, mouse - mice, etc.
- adverbs formed from adjectives (usually, really)
- adjective comparative and superlative forms (fit, fitter than, the fittest)
- easily confused words (quiet - quite, hour - our)
quiet: an adjective we use to modify a noun when we want to say that it isn't noisy
A quiet town.
quite: a word we use to modify an adjective to make it stronger
This task is quite easy.
hour: is a noun we use to speak about time
The exam lasted an hour and a half.
our: is a possessive adjective for the first person plural (we)
This is our car. (It belongs to us.)
And, so on. Click here for more examples.
- capitalisation (I, Friday, August, English, Dear Mr. Smith)
- always capitalise the first word of a new sentence.
- always capitalise the first person singular personal pronoun I, regardless of where it stands in a sentence.
- capitalise days of the week, holidays, and months of the year. Do not capitalise seasons.
- capitalise countries, languages, and nationalities (adjective form of a specific country).
- capitalise letter salutations (openings) and closings.
- Examples: Dear Mr. Smith,
In a next entry we'll discuss common grammar mistakes that we make when writing.
Below are some useful sites with further examples. Bookmark these. They are excellent reference tools.
The plural of mouse
Adverbs Spelling -ly
Basic Adverbs Spelling
Easily Confused Words
Common Errors in English
Homophone List for ESL Learners