Have you ever felt boxed in by rigid English grammar rules? The good news is that there are some situations where the rules can be flexible. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love it when they’re told making mistakes is ok? Read on to discover 6 common English grammar mistakes that are perfectly fine to make in certain situations.
Why some grammar mistakes are totally fine
Grammar rules are always changing, what might have been common mistakes in English grammar before could now be considered ok. This happens because the English language is always evolving, and rules sometimes need to change to fit how we use the language creatively.
Remember, whether a grammar mistake is ok or not depends on the situation. In formal writing, it’s important to stick to English grammar rules. But in informal writing, it’s ok to bend the rules a little bit. What matters most is that your writing is clear and easy to understand.
6 common grammar mistakes that work in casual writing
Let’s take a look at some common grammar mistakes that you can get away with in informal writing. Even native English speakers make these mistakes, but they won’t change the point you’re trying to make.
#1 – Using “me” as the subject of the verb instead of “I”
In informal writing, you might see “Me and my friends went to the park”. While the grammatically correct version would be “My friends and I went to the park”, the first option is widely accepted in casual situations.
#2 – Swapping “who” for “whom”
In English grammar rules, it’s important to differentiate between “who” (the subject) and “whom” (the object). For instance, in formal writing, you might ask: “To whom did you give the book?”. But in a more relaxed setting, many people simply say: “Who did you give the book to?”.
#3 – Mixing up subjects and verbs
Using the wrong subject-verb agreement is a common slip-up, but some people use it in relaxed conversations. For example, saying “The team are playing well” instead of “The team is playing well”.
#4 – Using “literally” instead of “figuratively”
Sometimes people write “literally” when they really mean “figuratively”. It’s a bit of a mix-up, but it’s quite common in informal writing. For instance, “I was literally jumping for joy” even though they’re not actually jumping.
#5 – Writing “less” instead of “fewer”
According to traditional grammar rules, “less” should be used with nouns you can’t count and “fewer” should be used with nouns you can count. But in casual writing, you can get away with mixing them up, such as “I have less apples than you” when technically it should be “I have fewer apples than you”. Both ways communicate the same message.
#6 – Starting sentences with “and”, “because” or “but”
In the past, starting sentences with “and”, “but” or “because” was discouraged. However, nowadays this rule isn’t as rigid. Using these conjunctions at the start of a sentence can make your writing sound more conversational. For instance, “But why not?”, “And here’s the thing” or “Because it’s raining, we decided to stay indoors.”
When you need to follow grammar rules
While it’s perfectly fine to embrace these grammar mistakes in casual writing, like social media posts or text messages, it’s important to follow proper English grammar rules in formal writing, such as reports or business emails. Clear communication is key, and using correct grammar in these situations helps to convey professionalism and clarity.
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