3 common grammar mistakes in business writing26 May 2014
While it’s true that the content of your business writing is the most important element, your brilliant points wont reach your readers when shrouded in spelling and grammatical errors.
When you create a piece of content to share with customers you need to do more than just simply include the right information. When you make errors in a piece of writing viewed by a potential client, you risk losing their confidence in the end message.
Worried your grammar and spelling might not be up to scratch? If you have been trusted to create written content for your company, consider signing up for a business writing refresher course. Want to avoid the most prevalent errors straight away? Here are three of the most common grammatical mistakes made in business writing.
There – Their – They’re
One of easiest mistakes to make is to confuse words that sound the same but mean different things, known as homophones. A common example is when writers mix up the possessive pronoun “their”, the location “there” and the contraction of “they are”, which is “they’re”. Remember the meaning of these words when you’re putting pen to paper.
Additionally, keep “your” and “you’re” in mind. The former is a possessive pronoun while the second is a contraction of “you are”. When in doubt, read the sentence through with the non-contracted version (“you are”) to see which word makes the most sense.
Affect – Effect
Because these two words sound the same, many writers confuse their meanings and put the wrong version in their writing. However, they mean two very different things – “affect” is a verb – describing what you or something will do – “effect” is a noun, the actual end result of an action.
Then – Than
While “then” can be used in many situations, “than” should only come into the equation when comparing two things. Confusing this rule often leads writers to accidentally imply they are going to do something in succession, rather than not at all.
For example, writing that you would “rather follow option A, than option B” tells the reader a significantly different message to “following option A, then option B”.