Blog Grammar Rules The Perfect Grammar Cheat Sheet [infographic]

The Perfect Grammar Cheat Sheet [infographic]

Grammar Cheat Sheet

You know who’s not impressed with shoddy grammar, run-on sentences, misused words, and five typos per page? Your professors, editors, parents, bosses, colleagues, and potential dates. Nobody’s perfect—but when it comes to grammar checking and word usage, you can come pretty close.

The infographic below by The Expert Editor provides a compact visual guide to common mistakes that writers make. The dangling modifier and the comma splice, for example, are frequent visitors in university halls and professional workplaces. Banish these grammar errors for tighter, clearer writing.

You’ll also find a primer on words that often cause trouble. These frequent offenders include the dreaded “alot” and “irregardless,” neither of which are actually words! Use “a lot” and “regardless” instead. The more you hone your writing skills, the more you may find yourself brutally eliminating certain turns of phrase and unnecessary filler words. That’s writing! Sacrifices have to be made.

Sometimes, even if your grammar is perfect, your text might still be lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. That’s where word choice comes into play. If you find yourself relying on words like “confused” or “surprised” to describe emotions, you may want to check out the cheat sheet below, which offers alternatives for overused words. Would “baffled” or “rattled” be a better choice? Does your original sentence still make sense? Does it make more sense or convey your meaning more precisely?

Finally, we’ve also included our top ten proofreading tips, from reading your text aloud to marking up a hard copy with a pen or highlighter. Following these tips will help you catch pesky errors and evaluate the overall flow of your text.

Grammar Cheat Sheet

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Lisa Lepki

Lisa Lepki

CMO and Editor of the ProWritingAid Blog

Lisa Lepki is ProWritingAid's CMO and the Editor of the ProWritingAid blog. A word nerd, she loves the technical elements of writing almost as much as the writing itself. She is the co-author of The Novel-Writing Training Plan, Creating Legends: How to craft characters readers adore... or despise!, How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring and 20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers.

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I just want to say that I liked your cheat sheet. It has lots of great pointers on it. The only thing that I didn't agree with is number six on the six grammar errors that can affect your storytelling. I know that commas are a hot topic. When to use them and when not to use them. However, number six says to get rid of unnecessary commas which I get but you took out the comma that is used between coordinating conjunctions which is a comma rule. How do you decide what is necessary and what is unnecessary, if you don't follow the comma rules?
Soooo helpful. Thank you!
The “less vs. fewer” rules actually depend on which style guide you are using. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends “less” for singular things and “fewer” for plural things.
Interesting compilation. However I have a query about point 4: misusing the apostrophe with “it’s.” Your sentence is: The police said the guns were for precaution when it’s obvious function was for threat. Since POLICE and GUNS are plural, shouldn’t the sentence read: The police said the guns were for precaution when THEIR obvious function was for threat.
Hi there! That's an interesting view. In this instance, while 'guns' would present as inherently plural, the reference being made here is more of guns being a singular group, so 'its' is appropriate.

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