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13 Common Grammar Mistakes You’ve Probably Made As Well

13 Common Grammar Mistakes You’ve Probably Made As Well

There are a ton of really common grammar mistakes that almost all of us make a few of every day. Here are fifteen of the most common ones explained so that you can avoid them in the future.

1. “Bring” vs. “Take”

“Bring” means move towards. “Take” means move away. You bring your kids to school in the morning, and you take them home in the afternoon.

2. “You’re” vs. “Your”

“You’re” is a contraction meaning “you are.” “Your” indicates possession. You’re a nice person, but your attitude wasn’t great today.

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3. “Its” vs. “It’s”

Another place where people make grammar mistakes by misusing contractions. “Its” is possessive, while “it’s” is short for “it is.” For example: See that car? It’s time to change its oil.

4. “A lot” vs. “Allot” vs. “Alot”

You might spend a lot of money. You might allot a certain amount of money to eating out. “Alot” is not a word.

5. “Lay” vs. “Lie”

This is one of those grammar mistakes that has a specific rule of thumb. If you can replace the word with either “put” or “place,” then “lay” is the correct word choice. Otherwise, use “lie.” You lie down, or you lay your body on the bed.

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6. “Borrow” vs. “Lend”

You only borrow something from someone. You only lend something to another person. For example, Barry borrowed money from Lenny, who lended him cash. If you get that ingrained in your head this becomes among the simplest grammar mistakes to avoid.

7. “Affect” vs. “Effect”

If you’re influential, you affect someone. In other words, you have an effect on them. “Affect” is a verb. “Effect” is a noun. It’s pretty much as simple as that, so this is one of those grammar mistakes that would be especially harmful to make in a spot where you need to look professional.

8. “Principle” vs. “Principal”

One of the grammar mistakes I’m most prone to. I have to continually remind myself that a “principle” is the word that means moral belief and that “principal” refers to rank. For example, my high school principal really values the principle of honesty.

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9. “Which” vs. “That”

A lot of people think that these words are interchangeable; I did for a long time. On the contrary, though, they serve different purposes. “Which” generally introduces something about what it’s referring to that’s not essential. For example, “This is an apple, which I bought at a grocery store. “That” is always referring to something essential to the sentence. For example, “An apple that’s brown on the inside has gone spoiled.”

10. “May” vs. “Might”

“May” suggests uncertainty, whereas “might” suggests that chances are slimmer. You may make a lot of grammar mistakes in the future, but we don’t know for sure. You might avoid them altogether if you heed this advice, but it’s doubtful.

11. “Farther” vs. “Further”

“Farther” is the word to describe actual distances. He ran farther than five miles. “Further” describes lengths that are more abstract. Not drinking enough water during the race caused further problems than he expected.

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12. “Disinterested” vs. “Uninterested”

“Disinterested” means impartial. Someone is disinterested in the outcome of a trial they have no stake in. “Uninterested” signifies not caring at all. A bookworm is uninterested in the winner of the sports match.

13. “Irregardless” vs. The Dictionary

It’s impossible not to use the word “irregardless” wrong, because it’s not a word at all. This is among the easiest grammar mistakes to avoid; just stop saying/writing/typing it.

Featured photo credit: Daniel Silliman via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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