10 Spelling & Grammar Errors We Need To Stop Making in 2019

Common Grammar Mistakes
Common Grammar error_There their they're

Is bad grammar driving a wedge between you and your loved ones? Do you disgustedly stop reading and start questioning your whole relationship when you see a misplaced apostrophe in your best friend’s status update? 

For English teachers, with every cursive reminder, we furiously scrawl on torn spiral pages (often for students who were never taught cursive writing, and who therefore dismiss our corrections as some ancient cryptograph), we are simply begging our kids to CARE about something. 

If you or someone you love could use an intervention, here are ten common spelling and grammar mistakes, and some tips for getting them right:

1. Their, There, and They’re

“Their” is possessive. The correct spelling contains the word, “heir,” which denotes inheritance, or eventual possession. The heir to a teacher’s life savings may be disappointed to find that their fortune consists of unused coffee gift cards and a handful of pens that still work.

“There” is a place. The correct spelling contains the word, “here,” which is also a location word. The fact that you have been misusing this word all your life is neither here nor there; just please get it right from now on. 

“They’re” is a contraction, or two words that have been squeezed together. In a contraction, the apostrophe replaces one or more letters. In this case, the apostrophe replaces the letter, “a,” in “are.” Use “they’re” when combining your subject and verb to say, “they are.” They’re all gawking at your grammar mistakes, so get yourself together.

Their or there_Common grammar mistakes

2. Your and You’re

“Your” is possessive. Look inside the word and you will find the word, “our,” also possessive. Your errors are not our errors. 

“You’re” is a contraction for “you are.” If you are searching for errors in a tenth-grader’s essay, you’re in the right place. 

3. Affect and Effect

“Affect” is usually a verb. You can remember this by thinking of “a” for “action word.” Unfortunately, the advent of texting has negatively affected our grammar. 

“Effect” is usually a noun. Grammatical carelessness is just one of the effects of technology on modern education.

Common grammar mistakes

4. I and Me

“I” is used as a subject. I am so tired of you kids leaving your garbage in my classroom. 

“Me” is used as an object. Give the hot fries to me until you are finished with your assignment. (Here, the word, “me,” is the object of the preposition, “to.”)

Most students understand these rudimentary usages of “I” and “me.” They tend to be more confused by sentences with compound objects. For example: 

CORRECT: My teacher took all the contraband snacks from my classmates and me.

INCORRECT: My teacher took all the contraband snacks from my classmates and I.

Because they have been so well trained in compound subjects containing “I” (ex: She and I really wanted those hot fries), this incorrect usage of the object looks correct to them. An easy way to confirm that you are using the correct word is to remove the rest of the object. No one would say, “My teacher took all the contraband snacks from I.” 

5. To, Too, and Two

“To” is a preposition for expressing motion in the direction of something or a marker that makes a verb infinitive. Please go back to school if you wish to improve your grammar.

“Too” means also. There is also an extra “o” in this spelling of the word, “too.”

“Two” is a number. “Two” and “twice” are both spelled with a “w.” Feel free to share your two cents on bad grammar, too.

6. Farther and Further

“Farther” is used when discussing literal, physical distance. You can remember this because it contains the word “far” in it, and “far” relates to the actual space between things. I like to park farther away from the building so student drivers don’t wreck into my car.

“Further” is used when discussing figurative distance. You will surely go further in life if you stop using apostrophes to form plural nouns.

red pen common grammar errors

7. That and Which

“That” generally introduces an essential clause, one that adds necessary information to the sentence. Teachers love coffee mugs that acknowledge they are the “world’s best.

“Which” generally introduces a non-essential clause, one that adds supplementary information. These non-essential clauses are set apart from the rest of the sentence by commas. The classwork, which has sat untouched for two weeks, is going into the fireplace this evening. 

8. Passive and Active Voice

Passive voice refers to a verbal construction in which the action is received, rather than performed. The half-time show was performed by the marching band. 

Active voice refers to a verbal construction in which the subject directly performs the action. The marching band performed the half-time show.

Active voice is generally preferred for its clarity and conciseness. Eliminate passive constructions to instantly improve the overall flow of your writing.

9. Less and Fewer 

“Less” is used for singular mass nouns, like water, money, potentialI have less patience for my own child’s shenanigans after a challenging day with students. 

“Fewer” is used for countable things, like pencils, butterflies, socks. I have less love to give when I have had fewer M&M’s. 

10. Caring Less

Pop Quiz! What’s wrong with this sentence?

I could of cared less. 

A. “Less” should be “fewer.”

B. “Could” should be “could not.”

C. “Of” should be “have.”

D. OMG, BOTH “B” and “C,” for the love of holy English grammar!

If you answered “D,” you are CORRECT! By saying you “could care less” about something, you are implying that you care at least enough about that thing that it would be possible to care less than you do. I don’t think that’s what you really mean, do you? And “could of?” What the heck, people? Think about what you are saying, and you will see that this construction makes no actual sense. 

OK, kids. You think you are so good at grammar? You could have fooled me. Or you could’ve fooled me. But you could not OF fooled me. That’s just gross. 

Take our Grammar Quiz to find out your grammar level!

Like it? Share with your friends!


I'm a public high school teacher specializing in English and Theatre Arts. On any given day, I summon the energy five times in a row to fire kids up about Shakespeare or semi-colons or the virtues of getting to class on time; then I move all of the desks out of the way and rehearse the school play in a building with no actual theatre. I love my kids, and I love teachers, and celebrating them is one of my favorite things in life. At night, I write.

Choose A Format
Share your amazing stories, tips, opinions, and other stuff that matters.
Upload your funny, inspiring, DIY, or informative video(s) for the world to see!
Personality quiz
Leave the serious quizzes at school, these are strictly fun! You make the questions and pre-define the results.
Trivia quiz
Time to test your friends' knowledge! You choose the subject and have fun seeing who scores the highest!
Pose any question to millions of educators by creating your own polls/surveys, whether for research, for fun, or for the sake of curiosity!
Share your classroom decor, costumes, funny classroom antics, silly grading moments, or other teacher life shenanigans!