5 Common Grammar Errors in English as a Second Language and How to Correct Them - Owlcation - Education
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5 Common Grammar Errors in English as a Second Language and How to Correct Them

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Know the most common grammatical mistakes in English as a Second Language and learn how to correct them easily and quickly.

Know the most common grammatical mistakes in English as a Second Language and learn how to correct them easily and quickly.

Quick Fixes for Grammar Mistakes in ESL

English as a Second Language can be very tricky for non-native English users.This is because non-native English users must keep in mind several English grammar rules in order to use English as a Second Language effectively.

Below are some useful tips on how to avoid the common grammatical errors in English as a Second Language.

By following these tips, non-native English speakers can dramatically improve the quality of their writing, make their sentences concise, and their written messages clear.

Also, the following tips can help non-native English users easily and quickly spot grammatical errors, reducing their dependence on grammar checkers.

Learners of English as a Second Language must avoid writing run-on sentences.

A run-on sentence is composed of two sentences that are wrongfully combined in one sentence.

To combine two sentences in one sentence correctly, English as a Second Language students must make use of commas, semi-colons, or connecting words.

People trying to study English as a Second Language can correct run-on sentences in four ways:

  • Separate the run-on sentence into two different sentences with the use of period.
  • Separate the two independent clauses in the run-on sentence using a semi-colon.
  • Separate the two independent clauses in the run-on sentence using a semi-colon and words like therefore, thus, however, consequently, furthermore, also, and nevertheless.
  • Separate the run-on sentence into two different sentences with the use of comma and connecting words like for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.

Fix Run-on Sentences:

Example:

Incorrect:

  • Tamara enjoys traveling she does not want to stay at home during vacations.

Correct:

  • Tamara enjoys traveling. She does not want to stay at home during vacations.
  • Tamara enjoys traveling; she does not want to stay at home during vacations
  • Tamara enjoys traveling, for she does not want to stay at home during vacations.
  • Tamara enjoys traveling; thus, she does not want to stay at home during vacations.

People using English as a Second Language must be very careful in selecting the pronoun that they use in their English sentence.

This is because many students of English as a Second Language commit mistakes in pronouns.

In English, the pronoun must agree in number with the nouns to which they refer.

Thus, students of English as a Second Language ought to remember that a singular pronoun must refer to a singular noun.

A plural pronoun must refer to a plural noun.

Example:

Incorrect: Everybody was asked to pay their bills on time.

Correct: Everybody was asked to pay his or her bills on time.

Some students of English as a Second Language make the unfortunate mistake of using apostrophes in possessive pronouns.

The result of this action is an embarrassing grammatical mistake on the part of English as a Second Language learner.

It is quite important for English as a Second Language learners to remember that apostrophes are used to show possession.

Thus, apostrophes are not supposed to be used in possessive pronouns like hers, his, mine, my, our, ours, their, or theirs.

Delete Apostrophes in Possessive Pronouns.

Example:

Incorrect:

  • Our family’s hotel room is next to their’s hotel room.

Correct:

  • Our family’s hotel room is next to their hotel room.
  • Our family’s hotel room is next to theirs.

English as a Second Language learners must always strive to make the subject in an English sentence agree with its verb.

The reason for this is that some English as a Second Language learners often fail to use a singular verb with a singular noun.

They also forget to use a plural verb with a plural subject.

Use Suitable Verb for Each Subject:

Example:

Incorrect: The tours is for first-time travelers.

Correct: The tours are for first-time travelers.

English as a Second Language learners must place a modifier as close as possible to the word that it modifies.

This is because some English as a Second Language learners make the mistake of placing a modifier near a word that it does not modify.

Such mistake changes the meaning of an English sentence.

Place the Modifiers in their Right Places:

Example:

Incorrect: At young age, my pre-school teacher taught me how to be a confident English speaker.

Correct: At a young age, I learned from my pre-school teacher how to be a confident English speaker.

© 2011 kerlynb

Comments

godana belay halake on May 26, 2019:

thanks.iam glad to read this page

WassupBuddy! on September 13, 2017:

Thankssss yooooooo :)

Cathy Nerujen from Edge of Reality and Known Space on July 18, 2013:

So many writers who have English as a first language even make these mistakes. These are excellent suggestions in your hub. Great to read this. Thank you. :)

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 23, 2012:

@sunilkunnoth2012 Hi! Oh, but your English is just great! :)

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on September 23, 2012:

Read your article with interest. I am from a non english speaking region. Can you spare a few hours to read some of my articles and suggest how my english goes. I need your valuable tips too improve further. So please help me dear.

livingabroad from Wales, UK on May 26, 2012:

Hi Kerlynb. This is great, I am an EFL teacher and am ashamed to say I don't know all the grammatical rules unless I get a book out and study! You are doing a great job highlighting them here.

I will be following and sharing with my Thai girlfriend who is learning English. Your easy guides and examples are perfect for learners.

Keep up the good work! Naturally, Up and Useful!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 09, 2011:

@Michael Tandoc You're welcome kababayan :) Glad you found my hub useful.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 08, 2011:

@Matty Says Thank you for your well-thought-out comment. Glad you found the time to visit my hub :) Again, many thanks!

Matt Stupar from Toronto, Canada on September 08, 2011:

Beautifully written hub, Kerlyn. I think you have a better grasp of the language than most EFL (English as a First Language) speakers.

#2 also touches on another area of English grammar that is greatly misunderstood: the difference between "their," "there" and "they're." That topic could probably take up an entire hub! When you really look at the facts, English is a pretty confusing, jumbled language and I admire your ability to learn it and teach it to others. (Notice how I didn't write "other's?" :)

Keep up the great work!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 08, 2011:

@jean2011 Thanks so much for dropping by my hub and taking the time to comment :) Appreciate your feedback.

jean2011 from Canada on September 07, 2011:

Good tips and examples to help ESL students. Thank you for sharing. I have voted this hub as useful.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@cristina327 I'm glad you found the explanations in this hub clear. Thanks much for dropping by :)

Cristine Santander from Manila on September 05, 2011:

Great hub which presents great instruction to consider in our daily conversation. You presented it with much clarity. Thank you for sharing this great wealth of information here at Hubpages. I wish you a great day today. Best regards.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@justmesuzanne Whoa, you made my day! :D Such compliment from a native English speaker and an ESL tutor such as yourself is just... moving. Thanks!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@suzettenaples You only have good words for other people. You're very nice :) Hmm, I would like to learn native English eventually. Perhaps through native English speakers such as yourself. For now, I'll stick with ESL. I haven't mastered it yet :(

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@Agbo chinedu LOL! I'm not :D Just trying to learn ESL as much as I can.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@Joe Macho Argh, I'm actually guilty of that grammatical lapse! :( LOL! :D OK, I learned from one hubber that both "I" and "me" are pronouns. But I should be used as a subject and me as an object in a sentence. Awww, I think my explanation is a bit technical for some but really, that's the simplest and only explanation there is about the use of I and me.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@Kathleen Cochran Oh, glad to get an extra tip from a native English speaker, really! :) I'll keep your advice in mind: Keep sentences and verb tenses simple. Thank you!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@asmaiftikhar Thank you so much for your message. All over the world, there are so many people wanting to master English. But mastering English is not easy for us non-native English speakers. It just feels nice to share with them some of the small yet important things I've been learning in my own English studies.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@lord de cross So it's in New Jersey! :D Wow, I would suppose it's a Filipino restaurant. If you've got Filipino friends there, I'm sure they'd be more than willing to teach you how to prepare chicken dishes the Pinoy way :)

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@Ratanak Ou Thanks so much for dropping by my hub. We Asians love learning English, don't we? We would like to learn this global language so we can simply expand our horizons beyond Asia :)

justmesuzanne from Texas on September 05, 2011:

Nicely done! Voted up, useful and shared! :)

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on September 05, 2011:

kerlynb: This is an amazing hub! I hope you are teaching English as a Second Lanuage in the Philippines. You really understand the the language and how the grammar works. You could teach English here in the U.S. and no one would know it was a second language for you. Your examples are excellent. I am a former English teacher and your English is better than some of students here in the U.S.

Agbo chinedu on September 05, 2011:

This is beautiful,i never knew you are also a grammarian.

Zach from Colorado on September 05, 2011:

Thanks for the useful hub. I always like to read little bits on proper grammar just as a refreshment. Another thing that drives me crazy is when people say "Susan and Me". I'm not sure what part of grammar this is, but the proper way of including yourself with someone else is, "Susan and I". I hear this pet peeve all the time, they even say me instead of I on many TV sitcoms. It's just bad grammar.

Thanks for the hub. Voted up and useful.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on September 05, 2011:

Wow - these are common errors for native speakers as well! As a former teacher of ESL I would add that too many new English speakers make it too complicated. Keep your sentences simple in present or past tense. Leave the past perfect tense for later!

asmaiftikhar from Pakistan on September 05, 2011:

salute to u mam,your article is really very useful and informative.you highlighted the very common but serious mistakes .keep benefiting the people like this.many many thanks.

Joseph De Cross from New York on September 05, 2011:

Casa Manila is a restaurant here in NJ. Good chicken hmm!

Ratanak Ou on September 05, 2011:

That is so good for learning English with you.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@damek Thanks so much! Really glad you found this hub useful :)

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 05, 2011:

@lord de cross Yes, Tagalog is my mother tongue :) I'm trying to learn English as a second language though. Hmmm, I have to say learning a new language is really tough for some people because of the differences in terms of grammar and vocabulary between their native language and the foreign language they are studying :( Wow, so you're going again to Casa Manila. Wonder where that is... :D

damek from USA on September 05, 2011:

I really liked reading this one. Useful for hubbers. Now I know how not to write :)

Joseph De Cross from New York on September 05, 2011:

Very Good and useful hub, Kerlin. I wonder if you were born talking Tagaloh first? I have lots of filipinos friends in the USA. Is english really hard as a second language for some natives over there? Going later to Casa MANILA to get me some soup. Voted up! and keep the wonderful work.

LORD

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