In this day of predictive text, voice recognition and constant electronic communication, one study proves that proper grammar still does matter.
In a study conducted by a grammar software company and cited in Forbes, they reviewed the LinkedIn profiles of 100 native English speakers in the consumer packaged goods industry. The individuals they chose to review all had similar resumes – each had no more than three employers in the first 10 years of their career. However, after those 10 working years half were promoted to director level and half were not. Furthermore, the study found a correlation between those promoted and their correct use of grammar. In the LinkedIn profiles of those surveyed, those who had not been promoted made 2.5 times more grammar mistakes than those who were. Plus, those who were promoted more often (those with 6 – 9 total promotions over the 10 years, vs. those who had only been promoted 1 – 4 times) made 45% fewer grammatical mistakes in their profile.
The article in Forbes also surveyed several CEOs and executives about the importance of grammar in hiring/promotion decisions. One executive stated that poor grammar was indicative of a person’s overall working style and traits, including their attention to detail, their critical thinking skills and their intellectual ability or aptitude. Another called bad grammar a “career limiting move.”
So with that in mind, we present The Ten Most Common Grammar Mistakes we see in transcripts – because everyone deserves a refresher now and then!
1. Confusing who, which and that – Who refers to people; which refers to animals or things; that refers to persons or things.
Jane is the one who rescued the dog.
Mike is on the team that won first place.
Which car do you prefer?
2. Anyone vs. any one – Anyone means “any person” and could refer to multiple people; any one refers to a single person.
I could use any one of these tools for the job.
Did anyone see the moon last night?
3. Loose vs. lose – Loose means not firmly fixed in place; lose means to fail or to misplace something.
The board was loose and caused Jamie to fall.
I always lose my car keys.
4. There, their and they’re – In general, there refers to a place, and it can also be used to start a sentence or as an expletive; their is a possessive form of “they”; they’re is the contraction (shortened version) of “they are.”
Are we going to have dinner there?
Both mothers put their children in Smith School.
They’re not coming to dinner.
5. Your and you’re – Your describes something that belongs to you; you’re is the contraction (shortened version) of “you are”
Is this your book?
You’re going to read that?
6. Effect vs. affect – Effect is a noun meaning a result of an action; affect is a verb which means to influence.
The effect of the new law was fewer accidents on the highway.
Several law enforcement agencies were affected by the change.
7. Its vs. it’s – Its is the possessive form of “it”; it’s is the contraction (shortened version) of “it is.”
It’s no problem at all.
The bird built its nest in our tree.
8. Lay vs. Lie – Lay means to put something down; lie means to rest or recline.
She lay the book down on the desk.
I need to lie down, I am feeling dizzy.
9. Then vs. than – In general, then conveys time, such as “at that time” or “next”; than conveys a comparison.
I didn’t drive back then.
Gas was cheaper than $1.00 a gallon.
10. Who’s vs. whose – Who’s is a contraction (shortened version) of “who is” or “who has”; whose is the possessive form of who or which.
Whose food is this in the fridge?
Who’s going to be at the party?
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