a group of letters or symbols written or marked on a surface
as a means of communicating ideas by making each symbol stand for an
idea, concept, or thing (
), by using each symbol to represent a
set of sounds grouped into syllables (
), or by regarding
each symbol as corresponding roughly or exactly to each of the sounds in
the language (
- a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or
inattention; "he made a bad mistake"; "she was quick to point out my
errors"; "I could understand his English in spite of his grammatical faults"
The main steps to avoid making errors in
1. MAKE YOUR SUBJECTS AND VERBS AGREE
The subject in a sentence has to agree with the verb. This means that the
verb has to be correctly inflected (i.e., have the right ending) to match the
subject. You know, of course, that you mustn't write things like "You has
to go," so we won't bother with the basics. There is, however, an error
that you might make without ever noticing, and you must stop. Take a
look at these examples :
"Pavel Bure is a faster skater than him."
If that looks right to you, you are dead wrong. This is because both
"Pavel Bure" and "him" are both using the same verb, "is." The sentence
is a comparison of what Pavel Bure and some other shmuck can do, but
the second use of the verb is assumed and left out. If it were included, the
sentence would read like this: "Pavel Bure is a faster skater than him is."
That would be so wrong. The correct way to write the phrase is this:
"Pavel Bure is a faster skater than he." If that sounds funny to you, we
recommend that you include the second instance of the verb, i.e., "Pavel
Bure is a faster skater than he is.
" The wrong way: "Belinda is prettier than her," "We wreck shop at a
higher level than them," and "John eats more toast than me." The right
way: "Belinda is prettier than she," "We wreck shop at a higher level than
they do," and "John eats more toast than I." People make this error so
often that it's difficult to keep it out of your speech, but if you're careful
you can eliminate it from your writing and give your critics one less
reason to smirk.