top COMMON grammar MISTAKES - IELTS
Updated: Apr 3
INTRODUCTION TO IELTS
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the English language test designed to test the ability of foreign language speakers who plan to work, study, or migrate to an English-speaking country. The IELTS is scored from 0 to 9 and most of the countries do accept the band score of 7 to 7.5. Once the IELTS exam is cleared, it acts as an entry ticket to a native English-speaking nations.
Types of IELTS tests: IELTS can be either academic or general. IELTS for academic is for people who wish to pursue their graduate or undergraduate program in countries which teach in English.
IELTS general is for people who are interested in migrating to another country, which proves useful after migration. An IELTS score is often required for the countries like US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, and Australia. This certificate acts as an evidence for competency in English language while applying for immigration and study visas.
IMPORTANCE OF GRAMMAR
Grammar is the nervous system of any language. Without grammar, any language would be just words, which makes no sense at all. To learn any new language, grammar becomes the foundation and once the foundation is laid, any language can be mastered easily. Grammar is to study how words are used in sentences, and how they are used differently to get different meanings out of it. Not just words, punctuation placed at different places makes the meaning of the sentence change a whole lot. If you don't think punctuation is important, try forgetting the comma when you tell someone, "I'm sorry, I love you."
Now, with enough being said on the importance of grammar, we will slowly move towards most commonly made grammatical mistakes by people. In the modern era of internet, a little bit of effort would go a long way in producing grammar-error free content.
TOP COMMONLY MADE GRAMMAR MISTAKES
Subject-verb agreement errors: This just means the subject and verb of a sentence must agree in number. Generally, it is easy to make subject verb agree for a simple sentence like; "the fruit is sweet, the crayons are colourful, and so on." The real challenge arises when the sentence isn't simple enough and identifying the subject of the sentence is where the real problem lies. In a sentence like this "the cakes in the bakery are tasty," the subject of the sentence is "cakes" and not "bakery" and so the verb would be a plural one. Usually, people consider "bakery" as the subject, and would format the sentence as "the cakes in the bakery is tasty," which is grammatically wrong. So, the trick here would be to identify the subject in the sentence, understand about what the sentence is about, and use the right tense of the verb.
Wrong usage of apostrophe: Apostrophe is used to show possessiveness that is used when things 'own' other things, just like John's book, Mary's cycle, etc. Apostrophe can also be used to contract words, such as "do not" becomes "don't" and "we are" becomes "we're." The most common mistakes people do with the usage of apostrophe is with "its." "It's" is a contraction of "it is" or "it has", and can be used in a sentence like this, "it's a rainy day." Whereas, its is the possessive of "it" as in, "That's a very ancient tree, but I don't know its age." Plural nouns or word ending with "s" takes an apostrophe after the "s," such as Moss' box or dogs' leashes, etc.
Comma usage in a compound sentence: Compound sentences are those which has independent clauses joined together to make a complete sentence. Generally, a comma is required after each clause, else the sentence gets vague and weird while reading. For example, "My sister is very smart, and I've learned a lot from her." Here, the simple thumb rule would be to read the second part of the sentence after the conjunction, and if it can stand alone, then a comma is required, if not, we don't use a comma.
Me versus I: Most of the experienced writers get confused with the usage of "me" and "I." An example of this would be "when you are done using the stapler, can you pass it on to Mary and I"is totally incorrect. The sentence should have been "when you are done using the stapler, can you pass it on to Mary and me." The simple trick here would be to drop "Mary and" and read the sentence, and if it sounds odd with "I," then go for "me." Another classic wrong usage would be "My daughter and me are planning to visit the zoo this weekend." It sounds alright in this sentence, but then it is wrong. Try dropping "My daughter and" and you would understand, it should be "I" and not "me."
Misplaced dangling modifiers: Dangling modifiers can be words, phrases, or clauses that defines something else in a sentence. Wrong placement of these modifiers would change the meaning of the sentence. A wrong usage would be "The pizza was enjoyed by all that was cheesy." Here we are describing the pizza, but the placement of the modifier doesn't convey that. The right way to write that would be "The cheesy pizza was enjoyed by all." Sometimes, while we write, with the flow of our thoughts, we do miss out on simple things like this.
Wrong usage of homophones: Homophones are the words having same pronunciation, but different spelling, meaning, and usage. More often than not we do come across people using them interchangeably without even realizing the meaning of it. The most common wrong usage I've come across is "your versus you're," "break versus brake," etc.
Wrong word usage: There are many words that are misunderstood and misused in sentences. We come across people using "accept instead of except," "bare instead of bear," "breathe instead of breath" and so on. The simplest thing one could do is pause while writing and I'm sure such wrong usages can be curbed.
The list of such grammatical mistakes can go on and on, but then the list should stop somewhere. Most of the errors do happen not because they don't know, but it might be a casual error, people might forget what they have learnt, and in a hurry they end of doing mistakes.
IELTS concentrates on four areas one of which is writing. Once a person writes comfortably, error-free sentences, then mastering the other three becomes easy. We at Infimind Institute, conduct IELTS program, and we ensure that every student who enrolls here, clear the IELTS exam at the very first attempt.