Grammar slip-ups happen, even for the most well-versed speakers. English language enthusiasts took to the internet to share their best (or worse?) grammar fails.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: For Example
One person points out that people commonly use “E.g.” instead of “i.e.” in sentences. “E.g., is to give examples, i.e., is to specify,” they said.
2: You Made the Bed
Another English speaker says people often don’t know the difference between “lay” and “lie.” They explain, “Lay requires a direct object, such as a book. ‘You lay the book on the table.’ Lie has no direct object. ‘You lie on the bed.'”
3: A Daily Occurrence
Someone says people confuse “every day” with “everyday” all too often. “The former is simply two words, and the latter is an adjective that means ‘daily’ or refers to something common.”
4: Going Extinct
“The use of subjunctive seems to be going the way of the dodo,” one person observed. “Subjunctive mood indicates a hypothetical situation such as ‘I wish I were brave enough to try that.’ Many people now incorrectly say, “I wish I was.” They said it even runs rampant on kid’s TV shows and educational toys.
5: How Flattering
“Compliment” and “complement” aren’t the same thing, contrary to what many seem to think. “I don’t think many people even know the latter word exists,” one person said. FYI: “Complement” means to add to or make something seem complete.
6: Inhale, Exhale
“Breath vs. breathe” is a painfully common grammatical error. “One’s a noun. One’s a verb,” explains a commenter. Another person responded, “Similarly, I see ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ confused a lot, as in ‘Could you please advice me on this?'”
7: Hang Out
People don’t know when to use “hanged” and “hung,” according to one person. “He was hanged for his crimes. The wreath was hung on the wall.”
8: Less Is More
One grammar stickler said it bothers them when people confuse less with fewer. “I couldn’t care fewer,” a sarcastic person responded.
9: Passing Through
English speakers understandably get “passerbys” and “passersby” mixed up. “I didn’t know it was a thing before,” one person said. When asked to explain the difference, someone said, “The second one is right. Passer is the noun, so that’s what you pluralize. Like attorneys general or notaries public.”
10: Defying Vocabulary
It’s definitely a common mistake, but when people type “defiantly” instead of “definitely,” it gets on one grammar buff’s nerves.
11: Eras Tour
It bothers one person when folks write “50’s” instead of “50s” concerning the era. “Absolutely,” another agrees. “Also, ’50s is correct.”
12: Plural Power
Many English speakers are guilty of adding an apostrophe to make a word plural when unnecessary. “This,” one person agreed. “I’ve even seen ‘Thank’s.'”
13: Acting Pretentious
While a grammar-savvy commenter said misusing who vs. whom happens all the time, sometimes it’s intentional. “I hate to say this, but whenever I say ‘whom’ correctly, I feel pretentious. Maybe that word will phase out.”
14: Nothing to Lose
One person wants others to understand that “lose” means something is missing, whereas “loose” means something isn’t tight. For example, when you lose weight, your clothes become loose.
15: Southern Charm
This one is more of a regional-specific mixup, but when people put the apostrophe in the wrong place when they spell “Ya’ll,” it’s annoying, one person says. “It’s y’all,” they explain. “A contraction of you + all. More of a southern U.S. thing.”
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