Welcome to Clip from Spiral logo

Interactive video lesson plan for: How to Avoid 10 Common Grammar Mistakes

Activity overview:

Nutella Bread Recipe:

Watch more English Grammar Basics videos:

Impress even the pickiest grammarians by avoiding these 10 most common grammar errors.

Step 1: Ensure verb tenses match
Ensure your verb tenses always match, whether you are speaking about the past, present, or future.

For example, if Sally wears a dress, make sure she goes to the concert. If she wore the dress, make sure she went to the concert.

Step 2: Watch for subject-verb agreement
Be aware of subject-verb and subject-pronoun disagreement. Whether subject and verb or subject and pronoun, both must agree in number.

For example, say Jenny is going to the beach, not Jenny are going to the beach. Likewise, say Jenny is going to the beach and she will have fun, not they will have fun.

Step 3: Do not use comma splices
Do not incorrectly join two independent clauses with a comma, such as "Jen and I ate dinner, I enjoyed the chicken." This is called a comma splice. Instead use a period, conjunction, or semicolon.

A run-on sentence like 'I’m not sad I’m happy' is also an incorrect way of joining two independent clauses. Separate the clauses with a period or semicolon.

Step 4: Use commas correctly
Use a comma to separate independent clauses joined by a conjunction, after an introductory independent clause, in a nonrestrictive clause, to separate three or more words or phrases, when setting off geographical names, when shifting between main discourse and quotations, and to avoid confusion.

Step 5: Correctly use apostrophes
Correctly use apostrophes to illustrate possession or when omitting letters, such as in contractions.

Step 6: Beware of fragments
Beware of sentence fragments, or an incomplete sentence missing a verb or subject.

For example, in "I am good at several things. Such as painting and cooking." the second sentence is incomplete because it’s a dependent clause. Connect it to the independent clause by replacing the period with a comma after the word "things."

Step 7: Correctly use relative pronouns
Don't misuse your relative pronouns: that, who, whom, whose, which, where, when, and why. Relative pronouns join clauses to create complex sentences.

The most common misuse of a relative pronoun is between "that" and "which." Use 'that' with restrictive, or defining, clauses, and "which" with nonrestrictive clauses. Surround "which" phrases with commas.

Step 8: Don't misplace modifiers
Don't let your modifiers dangle. A modifier describes a word or phrase. Put in the wrong place it can change your meaning.

For example, "At two, my sister taught me Spanish," is incorrect, unless I mean when my sister was two, she taught me Spanish. The correct way is, "When I was two, my sister taught me Spanish."

Step 9: Use pronouns
Don't be afraid to use pronouns. A common mistake is overuse of a proper name when a pronoun would suffice.

Step 10: Proofread
Proofread everything. This is your key to detecting unnecessary errors. If you check and double check your work, you will be a grammatical superstar in no time.

Did You Know?
June 2009 marked a milestone in the English language -- "Web 2.0" was officially added to the language, making it English's one millionth word.

Tagged under: language,reference,writing,english,grammar,mistakes,common,verbs,commas,subjects

Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.

Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip

Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans

Play this activity

1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities

Share on:

Share How to Avoid 10 Common Grammar Mistakes on Google+ Share How to Avoid 10 Common Grammar Mistakes on Twitter Share How to Avoid 10 Common Grammar Mistakes on Facebook Pin How to Avoid 10 Common Grammar Mistakes Email How to Avoid 10 Common Grammar Mistakes

Ready to see what else Spiral logo can do?

With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.


Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking


Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class

Team Up

Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices


Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes

1000s of teachers use Spiral to deliver awesome, engaging activities that capture students' understanding during lessons.

Now it's your turn Sign up

Spiral Reviews by Teachers and Digital Learning Coaches

Review of Spiral by teacher: Kathryn Laster @kklaster

Tried out the canvas response option on @SpiralEducation & it's so awesome! Add text or drawings AND annotate an image! #R10tech

Review of Spiral by teacher: Room 220 Math Stars @3rdgradeBCE

Using @SpiralEducation in class for math review. Student approved! Thumbs up! Thanks.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Miss Ord @ordmiss

Absolutely amazing collaboration from year 10 today. 100% engagement and constant smiles from all #lovetsla #spiral

Review of Spiral by teacher: Adam J. Stryker @strykerstennis

Students show better Interpersonal Writing skills than Speaking via @SpiralEducation Great #data #langchat folks!

Review of Spiral by teacher: Dr Ayla Göl @iladylayla

A good tool for supporting active #learning.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Brett Erenberg @BrettErenberg

The Team Up app is unlike anything I have ever seen. You left NOTHING out! So impressed!

Get the Clip Chrome Extension & Create Video Lessons in Seconds

Add Clip to Chrome