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Types of Errors and How to Write Error Free Sentence

Grade 10
May 9, 2023

Right Sentence

Writing sentences in the right way includes writing them error-free. First, we will discuss the types of errors.

1. Types of Errors

  1. Wrong-word errors
  2. Punctuation errors
  3. Usage errors

2. The sentence fragment

3. The run-on sentence

4. A dangling participle.


5. Lack of parallel structure.

1. Types of Errors

i. Wrong-word Errors

commonly confuse words

a. It’s / Its / Its.’

It’s a wonderful day! (Contraction of “it is”)

Download the author notes, along with their details. (possessive)


b.  Affect / Effect

The outage shouldn’t affect anyone during work hours. (Verb – to act on, influence)

The outage shouldn’t have any effect on users. (Noun – result)

c. You’re / Your

You’re going to be a great writer! (Contraction of “you are”)

Your hair looks nice today. (possessive)

d. Who’s / Whose

Who’s on first base? (Contraction of “who is”)

Whose watch is this? (possession)

e. They’re / Their / There

They’re going to Museum together. (Contraction of “they are”)

The students are in their winter break. (possessive)

Please place my book there. (adv. – indicates location/direction)

f. You’re / Your

You’re going to be a great actor! (Contraction of “you are”)

Your hair is so long and soft. (possessive)

g.   To / Too / Two

We are going to a park. (preposition)

Maria decided to go along too. (adv. – also)

My shirt is too small. (adv. – to a great extent)

I have two new flats in Paris. (number)

ii. Punctuation Errors

Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) to join two independent clauses.

  1. The cricket match was over, but the crowd refused to leave.
  2. Yesterday was her birthday, so they went out to dinner.

Use commas after introductory clauses, phrases, or words that come before the main clause.

  1. While she was eating, the dog barked at the door.
  2. To get a seat, you’d better come early.
  3. Well, perhaps they meant no harm.

Commas should be used to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in
a series.

  1. The Indian Constitution establishes the government’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
  2. Use commas to set apart a parenthetical phrase in a sentence.
  3. For example, my friend Juliet lives in Chicago and is a yoga teacher.

Use a semi-colon between two related independent clauses that are not joined by a

  1. The participants in the first study were paid; those in the second were unpaid.
  2. Use a semi-colon to separate elements in a series that already contains commas.
  3. The students in the class were from Lynchburg, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

iii. Usage Errors

Subject-verb agreement

      a. Singular Subjects Must have Singular Verbs. 

  • Plural subjects must have plural verbs.

Rule of Thumb:

  • Subjects ending in “s” are plural
  • Verbs ending in “s” are singular

      b. Correcting Agreement Errors:

  • Become familiar with irregular verb forms. (Focus on the subject, not any additional modifiers)


High levels of mercury occur in some fish.

What we need are more pots and pans.

c. Verb Tense:

Verb tenses should be consistent throughout your writing.

  • Reviews of literature should be in the present tense.
  • Historical events should be in the past tense.
  • Correcting tense shifts:
  • Be consistent throughout your sentences and paragraphs.
  • Be familiar with verb forms and tenses.


A complete sentence must have three components:

  1. A subject (the doer in the sentence)
  2. A predicate (the verb or action)
  3. A complete thought (it can stand alone and make sense).

Sentence Fragments Error

A fragment is a sentence that is incomplete and, therefore, not grammatically correct. Sentence fragments are problematic because they are disjointed and confusing to the reader.

There are Three Main Causes of Fragments: 

  1. A missing subject;
  2. A missing verb;
  3. An incomplete thought (it cannot stand alone and does not make sense).

Features of Fragment

  1. Is an incomplete sentence.
  2. It cannot stand alone and does not express a complete thought. Some fragments lack either a subject or verb or both.
  3. Dependent clauses are also fragments if they stand alone.

Examples of Fragments:

  1. Went out of business after Starbucks Coffee opened.
  2. One of my friends who won a contest by playing a variety of instruments.
  3. Since I went fishing.


  1. A run-on sentence is a sentence comprised of two or more independent clauses not properly separated.
  2. Lack of punctuation and conjunctions
  3. Incorrect punctuation
  4. A comma splice—two independent clauses joined by a comma—is a run-on sentence.
  5. A run-on sentence is not simply a long sentence.

A run-on sentence is one which actually contains two (or more) complete sentences without the proper punctuation to create separate sentences.

There are two common forms of run-on:

  1. The “comma splice” in which a comma is inserted between two complete sentences where a period should actually be used;
  2. A lack of punctuation where a semi-colon or period is needed.

Examples – The comma splice

  1. Joseph is a musician; he plays the guitar for his livelihood
  2. The girl walked home; she decided not to ride the bus.

Correct answers:

  1. Joseph is a musician. He plays the guitar for his livelihood
  2. The girl walked home. She decided not to ride the bus.

4. A Dangling Participle

A dangling participle is a word or phrase that modifies a word not clearly stated or an unintended noun in the sentence.

  • Correcting dangling participles:
  • Reword the sentence.
  • Provide the missing information.

5. Pronoun Antecedents’ Agreement

A pronoun is a word which is used instead of nouns.

Antecedents are the words that the pronouns refer to.

Pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number, gender, and person. 

  1. Number = singular or plural
  2. Gender = masculine, feminine, or neuter

6. Parallel Structure

The parallel structure of a sentence refers to the extent to which different parts of the sentence match each other in form. For example, when more than one phrase or description is used in a sentence, those phrases or descriptions should be consistent with one another in their form and wording. Parallel structure is important because it enhances the ease with which the reader can follow the writer’s idea.

Consider the following examples.

Examples of Parallel Structure:

1. John is strong and a tough competitor.

Notice that “strong” and “a tough competitor” are not the in the same form. “Strong” and “competitive” are consistent in form.

2. In the last minute of the game, John intercepted the football, evaded the tacklers, and scored a touchdown.

Notice that the first two phrases in this sentence are consistent with one another: “intercepted the football” and “evaded the tacklers.” However, the final phrase, “and a touchdown was scored,” is inconsistent with the first two phrases.

Correction of Parallel Structure

  1. He is strong and competitive.
  2. In the last minute of the game, John intercepted the football, evaded the tacklers, and scored a touchdown.
Right Sentence


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