Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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As an avid reader, I have come across numerous books where the grammar was less than stellar.
While a few errors here and there are to be expected, we're all human (until AI replaces us 🤖), some mistakes are so common that they stand out and distract from the story.
Here are the three most common grammar mistakes that I have noticed in books:
Homophones: Words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Some common examples of homophones include "their" and "there," "your" and "you're," and "its" and "it's."
Authors often mix these up, leading to confusing or outright incorrect sentences. For example, writing "your going to love this book" instead of "you're going to love this book" changes the meaning of the sentence completely.
Punctuation Usage: Authors struggle with using punctuation correctly, leading to unclear or confusing sentences.
For example, using a comma instead of a semicolon to separate clauses can change the meaning of a sentence. Similarly, using an exclamation mark instead of a question mark can alter the tone of the sentence.
As a reference, I recommend The Best Punctuation Book, Period by June Casagrande. You can find it here
Verb tense: Many authors struggle with maintaining consistent verb tense throughout their writing. For example, switching between past and present tense within the same paragraph can be confusing for the reader. It is important to choose a verb tense and stick with it to avoid confusing the reader.
While these are some of the most common grammar mistakes that I have noticed in books, they are by no means the only ones. Other common errors include incorrect use of articles, misplacing modifiers, and subject-verb agreement errors.
As an author, it is important to re-read your work carefully and have it professionally edited and proofread to catch these mistakes and improve the overall quality of your writing.
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