3 Tricky but Common Grammar Mistakes To Avoid

3 Tricky but Common Grammar Mistakes To Avoid

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by for a few unsolicited grammar tips. Let’s get started!

First of all, I’m going to skip the oft-mentioned mistakes like their vs. there vs. they’re and its vs. it’s, etc. If you don’t know those, please stop reading and Google them immediately…but don’t forget to come back and finish this post.

Also, remember that nobody’s perfect. Heck, I may even make a grammar mistake in this post somewhere along the way. If you find one, I welcome you to point it out and relentlessly make fun of me in the comments section.

Anyway, per my promise to you, I only have 300 words and less than three minutes; so here we go…

1. May vs. Might

Honestly, this one is a bit nitpicky. May and might can be used interchangeably to refer to a possibility, but might is the past tense of may. So it would technically be incorrect to say, “We may have already shared this post more than once.”

More importantly, may also refers to permission, and this can get confusing in certain sentences. If I were to say, “I may not edit this post later,” I could mean that I might not edit it, or I don’t have permission to edit it. In these cases, using might when referring to a possibility will eliminate any potential confusion.

2. Affect vs. Effect

This one is pretty simple, but I still occasionally have to pause to remember which one is correct in a given situation.

In short, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. If this post affects you the way I hope it will, the effect will be fewer (not less – but that’s a different rule) grammar mistakes in your writing.

3. e.g. vs i.e.

Boy howdy, I see these two get mixed up a lot! They are both abbreviations for Latin phrases – exempli gratia (for example) and id est (that is), respectively.

Use e.g. to give some, but not all, examples of what you’re talking about. Use i.e. to define something; in other words, what follows should be the exact equivalent to what preceded it.

For instance, “Lab3 Marketing is your go-to source for all things digital marketing, e.g. social media and blogging, and we’re experts in the big 3 social networks, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.”

One easy trick to remember these is to think of e.g. as example(s) given and i.e. as in essence.

That’s All, Folks!

Well, that about wraps it up. If you have some common grammar mistakes you notice (or make a lot), I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Written by David Boutin

David is a social media account manager and blogger for Lab3 Marketing and a HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketer.