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10 common grammar traps
altSpotting these mistakes in your child's speech can prevent them from making their way into your child's schoolwork. You may find these errors in adults' conversations as well! Note: Suggested replacements/improvements in text are shown in green.

1. Got one time, I was so late for school that no time to bathe also. Then, because of rushing , I forgot to off the tap.
Improved version:
Once, I was so late for school that I had no time to bathe. Then, because I was in a rush, I forgot to turn off the tap.

2. Although my sister is only three years old, she already knows her alphabets. Her favourite alphabet is "T".
Improved version:
Although my sister is only three years old, she already knows her alphabet. Her favourite letter is "T".

3. Have you ate your lunch? Did you finished your homework?
Improved version: Have you eaten your lunch? Did you finish your homework?
Note: It is a very common tendency for children to apply the past tense wrongly, especially when they are referring to events that are supposed to have taken place.

4. Peter is always forgetting and never bring one.
Improved version: Peter is often very forgetful and
unable to remember what he is supposed to bring.

5. My father honked the driver and he glared at my father like want to fight.
Improved version: When my father honked at the driver,
he glared at my father angrily.

6. Let me show you, its easy to do.
Improved version: Let me show you, it's easy to do.
Note: It's is a contraction of "it is" or "it has", while "its" is a possessive pronoun, as in "it lost its owner."

7. If you are sick, you should go take MC.
Improved version: If you are sick, you should
get an MC (medical certificate) and go on medical leave.

8. He don't know as he never do before, give him chance, can?
Improved version: He doesn't know how to do this as it is his first time. Let us give him
a chance to (get it right)/(do it well).

9. Can you bring your sister home once her tuition class ends?
Improved version: Can you fetch your sister from the tuition centre once her class ends?

10. I never bring my wallet so can you borrow me some money?
Improved version: I forgot to bring my wallet today. May I borrow some money from you? OR: I forgot to bring my wallet today. Could you lend me some money?

For some ideas on how to make learning grammar fun, check out this article:

Are there other common grammatical errors that irk you? Do share with us.

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by FOONG SOON LENG, MDM, July 22, 2010
written by Toby, July 31, 2010
Sentence number 7: get an MC (why do we use 'an' instead of 'a' since MC is a consonant and not a vowel?
written by Sarin, August 02, 2010
Hi Toby,
A good rule of thumb is to note that the choice of article ("a" or "an") is actually based upon the phonetic (sound) quality of the first letter in a word, not on the written representation of the letter. so, If the first letter makes a vowel-type sound, you use "an"; if the first letter would make a consonant-type sound, you use "a." That is why we usually say "an MC" and "an MRT", not "a MRT". However, if you were to spell or say out the words in full, then you should be saying "a Medical Certificate". Hope this helps!

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