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Guest blogger: Clean up your writing by avoiding these six common mistakes

I’ve been swamped of late, so today I turn over my blog to a guest poster, Prajwal Sharma.

Here are six grammatical errors that I see a lot. This post does not cover in-depth grammar rules involving words you may have long forgotten. It does not require your knowing the difference between an antecedent and an appositive. I am a firm believer in learning by examples, so those are all you’ll find here.

  • Never say “between you and I.” It’s always “between you and me.”
  • “This is her” couldn’t be more wrong. “This is she” is what it should be.
  • Remember: I am one of those people who HAVE good grammar, but he is the ONLY one of those people who HAS good grammar.
  • Do not hyphenate -ly compound modifiers. It’s never “scantily-clad.” It’s always “scantily clad.”
  • Saying “my job lasted less than two years” is incorrect. Replace “less” with “fewer.”
  • Here’s a quick primer on lie, lay, lain, lying, and laid:
    • Why don’t you lie down?
    • I lay down there yesterday.
    • I had lain down there for sometime.
    • I am lying down.
    • I will lay down the book.
    • I laid down the book.
    • I had laid down the book.
    • I was laying down the book.

Prajwal Sharma is a freelance copy editor and writer in New York City. He was the editor-in-chief of detours: An Explorer’s Guide to the Midwest, a collegiate national-award-winning travel magazine focusing on Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. He works full time as an advertising executive at The Village Voice.

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