Because workplace communication is so important, common grammar mistakes can kill your credibility—and hold back your career. Knowing correct grammar, including correct spelling, punctuation, and word order—shows that you’re an outstanding communicator. Here are seven common grammar mistakes that are easily avoided.
Incorrect: “This year’s report was 50 percent shorter.” (Shorter than what?)
Correct: “This year’s report was 50 percent shorter than last year’s report.”
Incorrect: When the client located Lisa’s report, she was relieved. (The client or Lisa?)
Correct: When the client located Lisa’s report, the client was relieved.
Further/Farther. The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” refers to abstract lengths.
Incorrect: The plane traveled one hundred miles further than we had thought.
Correct: The plane traveled one hundred miles farther than we had thought.
Incorrect: Because I joined the firm, I will be promoted.
Correct: Since I joined the firm, I’ve been promoted twice.
Incorrect: After finally taking off, we relaxed.
Correct: After the plane finally took off, we relaxed.
Incorrect: “Dan works fast, he always turns in projects on time.
Correct: “Dan works fast; he always turns in projects on time.
Also correct: Dan works fast. He always turns in projects on time.
Incorrect: Every team member must sign in when they arrive.
Correct: Every team member must sign in when he or she arrives.
Incorrect: My friend's work never seems to be done.
Correct: My friend’s work never seems to be done. (When referring to more than one friend, you would write “My friends’ work…”)
These common grammatical errors can confound readers, who are likely to tune out. Knowing correct grammar lets you craft business memos, reports, emails, and more that clearly communicate your ideas.