Our last blog on making sure you get your grammar right when you’re trying to make an important point was so popular we decided to follow it up with a sequel, since there was so much still to say about the importance of accuracy, grammatical correctness and. Follow these top tips to make sure your important argument isn’t derailed by embarrassing errors next time you need to make an important point!
Know Your Audience (And spell it correctly!)
Constructing plurals is one of the most common areas in which grammar mistakes are made in English writing. If you are addressing a particular group of people and need to use a plural word, remember that it isn’t always as simple as just adding the letter ‘s’. Making plurals from words ending in ‘y’ can be particularly tricky, as this unfortunate sign demonstrates. For starters, don’t make the same mistake of inserting an apostrophe – apostrophes are not used to create plurals.
TOP GRAMMAR TIP: To turn a word ending in ‘y’ into a plural, first look at the letter immediately before the ‘y’. If it is a vowel, simply add ‘s’.
For example: monkeys, boys, toys.
If the letter immediately preceding the ‘y’ is a consonant, then remove the ‘y’ and add ‘ies’.
For example: fairies, ferries, berries.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
It is essential to do a thorough final check of any important piece before going to press, to prevent any accidental errors from compromising the communication of your point. Don’t make the same mistake as this American store, which missed out one vital word (accessories) from their sign, creating a very different message indeed from the one they intended!
And while you’re at it, make sure you proofread carefully for punctuation and spelling errors too – can you spot the misplaced apostrophe in the other sign in the background? Not to mention the wrong ending on the word ‘love’? These small mistakes can completely rob a sign of its impact, causing readers to miss the message altogether as they become distracted by the errors – don’t let it happen to you! Always use a!
Make Sure it Makes Sense!
Just because a sentence doesn’t contain any spelling and grammar mistakes still doesn’t necessarily mean it makes perfect sense, as this strange sign demonstrates! So don’t rely on electronic spelling and grammar checks to do the proofreading for you – it is essential to make sure you use a real human being!
This doesn’t have to mean using a professional proofreading service- even asking a friend or colleague to look over your work is a great way to see it through a fresh pair of eyes and pick up on any silly errors you may have missed yourself!