Top 5 Grammar and Spelling Mistakes that Make you Look DUMB

Every life has its bmups, errr, I mean bumps, but don't let these basic grammar and spelling mistakes be one of them.

One of these errors on a resume can cost you a job. Already have a job? Well, these blunders used often enough in emails or other interoffice communications will keep you on the bottom rung of the ladder.
Leslie Ayers at Free Republic offers seven grammar and spelling mistakes that will make you looks stupid.

Here is Leslie's top 4:

You're / Your
The apostrophe means it's a contraction of two words; "you're" is the short version of "you are" (the "a" is dropped), so if your sentence makes sense if you say "you are," then you're good to use you're. "Your" means it belongs to you, it's yours.

* You're = if you mean "you are" then use the apostrophe
* Your = belonging to you
Correct Example: You're going to love your new job!

It's / Its
This one is confusing, because generally, in addition to being used in contractions, an apostrophe indicates ownership, as in "Dad's new car." But, "it's" is actually the short version of "it is" or "it has." "Its" with no apostrophe means belonging to it.

* It's = it is
* Its = belonging to it
Correct Example: It's important to remember to bring your telephone and its extra battery.

They're / Their / There
"They're" is a contraction of "they are." "Their" means belonging to them. "There" refers to a place (notice that the word "here" is part of it, which is also a place – so if it says here and there, it's a place).

* There = a place
* They're = they are
* Their = belonging to them
Correct Example: They're going to miss their teachers when they leave there.

A lot / Alot / Allot
First the bad news: there is no such word as "alot."

* A lot = a place, like a lot of empty land OR * A lot= an abundant quantity
*Allot= to distribute or parcel out.
Correct Example: There is a lot of confusion about this one, so I'm going to allot ten minutes to review these rules of grammar.

For purposes of college usage avoid using "a lot" to mean abundant. Instead use abundant, plentiful, or large in number.

And number FIVE:

Choosing the incorrect word from Spell Checker.
You've written the sentence, "I am a very fsat typist" in a cover letter attached to your resume. Spell check pops up offering >fast, fat, first. In haste you choose, "fat" making your sentence read, "I am a very fat typist" - meaning large, not phat.

So while you have chosen a correctly spelled word, you've chosen the wrong one. To solve this problem, pay close attention and proofread EVERYTHING before you hit "send" or "print."

Three of these common grammar mistakes deal with contractions, so avoid using contractions and you will eliminate some basic errors.

Can you come up with your own correct examples using one or two of these five basic grammar and spelling errors?


  1. Nik Sharma-
    I feel as if people do not pay attention enough when they're typing/writing. I think that the introduction of new ways to communicate via new technology has somewhat degraded grammar skills of people. Faster ways to type out messages such as "u r.." have a negative effect when it comes to professional writings. Grammar mistakes when using "your" or "you're" can change the meaning of the entire sentence being constructed. Yet people tend to over look these details and continue to type/write anyway. I do agree with the first sentence of the blog stating how a grammatical error on a resume can cost you a job, and the sad part is, people don't pay attention to what they are writing. I think that instead of taking shortcuts while typing messages to friends, people should actually use appropriate grammar so they won't look stupid in the future.

  2. This blog was a great review of how contractions can mess up your paper. It's good to have these reviews every once and a while, it really helps in the future. I just wanted to know what state and street was that picture from. How can somebody not even notice that when making that sign. I also learned to keep away from contractions, when a sentence doesn't sound correct. Another thing was to avoid using "alot" in my papers, and instead replace it with words like abundant, plentiful, or a large number. I notice that I use "alot" quite often, so hopefully when I'm writing my next paper I will stay away from using "alot".

    - Sami Wadood

  3. I agree with what this blog has to say about common grammar mistakes that could affect how others perceive us. Many college students write in an informal way like they're text messaging their friends, which is not what you want to do when you're emailing your professor or typing a paper. It makes others think you can't write or speak proper english. Even though I try not to fall into these spelling mistakes, I often see many of my friends doing it and I will correct them.

  4. Chenxiao Zhu
    After I reading this blog, I think in our daily life we are losing our right grammar in this rapid developing society. When appearing of cell-phone, iPad, and other electronic tools, we can see people type things very quickly. How do they do that? We can see when they are typing, they are shorting many words which cannot be shorted. For example, from this blog, “It's = it is Its = belonging to it.” This is really a common mistake people would make. Along with the high speed society, maybe we will think we do not have enough time for us to check our grammar, even to see what we type in text or massage. However, it is important for us when we doing this during our work time. Because people will not care these mistake during chatting, but everyone would care them during the work. When you taking a work, our co-worker or boss will not want to see these stupid mistakes even they can understand. When you send an official email, I think the receiver also will not like to receive email which has so much grammar mistake. May be you are proud of your high speed typing; maybe you think this is really cool for you to chat; may be you even do not care about these mistakes. In my opinion, this blog not only teaches us about grammar mistake, but also tells us about how to value these errors when we have a job. You can change the errors immediately, but you cannot find a good job at once.

  5. When I was younger, these sort of grammatical mistakes didn't bother me in the slightest. But as I've grown up, and probably become more grumpy, spelling mistakes have become a major pet peeve for me. My least favorite of these mistakes is the "their/there/they're" example. I've found myself correcting friend's texts constantly with this sort of mistake, often causing a slightly uncivil argument.

  6. The dumbest spelling mistake I ever saw was in my junior year in high school. I was in my schools journalism class and due to the failure in the editing process "Crap" passed through the spell check. Since crap is a real word the spell check didn't mark it wrong and since know one proofread the article it got published with the work crap instead of crab. The worst part was this article was on the cover page. So the front of the newspaper read "Crap feed" instead of "Crab feed." and because of this mistake we couldn't distribute the paper and was wasted money publishing something that we couldn't use. Since then I have always been careful to have someone else proofread my articles.

  7. I use to have a lot of these types of mistakes because I use to type really fast without going back to spell check my papers. I now take the time to read over my stuff so that I don't have spelling errors. I always use to have a problem with their/there/they're. I knew how to use them but I would just write the wrong ones and I would never go back. I think that these mistakes are happening so much because when people text it doesn't matter what you use because you know that the other person will understand.

  8. Grammatical mistakes have always bothered me. Ever since grade school I have always made an effort to make sure my writing was proper, and that mistakes (if any) were minimal. To this day, I still am conscience about submitting a piece of work before I go through it three or four times. However, I have noticed that many people aren't as cautious. My cousin, for example, never rereads his work. Once it's done, it's done. This is a terrible thing to do, as mistakes make you seem unprofessional.

  9. I agree with this article 100%. Simple spelling and grammatical errors can and do make a person look dumb. When I see people on facebook leaving comments on their friends' pictures saying "your so pretty," it just irritates me. We are all in college now and it is about time that everyone know the difference between your're and your! I blame texting for the improper use of your,you're,they're,their,there, etc. Everyone texts in shorthand and ends up creating their own unique way of spelling words. By the time that they actually have to write a formal paper, it's hard to remember the correct way to spell a word.

  10. I've always been a stickler for grammar, so I tend to re-read everything I write at least two or three times. Even then, small things fly under the radar of both my eyes and my teacher's. It's usually nothing as bad as the mistakes pointed out above, but there are times when I'd look back at my past work and feel like laughing because they seem so obvious (but when I show them to my friends, they tend to just shake their heads and tell me there's nothing wrong with it and that I'm being a "Grammar Nazi").

    I try not to be so critical of words, especially for lighthearted things like texting or posting on message boards. The only time I ever really get angry about grammar mistakes is when people use "u" instead of "you" when they should honestly know better. It's a small thing, but, really, it's only two more letters.

  11. I use to have the same grammar and spelling mistakes years ago. Sometimes it was accidental or sometimes I just misunderstood the rules. With practice I was able to avoid simple mistakes such as knowing the difference between "your" and "you're".

    This article should be introduced to students in middle school and high school to help them avoid simple mistakes. I myself criticize people who make the same grammar mistakes simply because I want to help them learn and it makes me feel like a teacher.

  12. This post pointed out interesting points which have to do with grammar errors that can easily make you look dumb. I agree with this post for the simple fact that some people especially young adults such as myself typically forget to proof read before submitting things and it can be a critical error in the near future. I think it is important to make sure you look over things you write especially on resumes like the example on this post. Having many spelling errors on your resume can easily disqualify you from employment because initially no one would want someone representing their company and can't spell, it looks bad on your behave. Personally I make sure I re read things carefully before I submit a paper or when I update my resume. I also keep the way I text and the way I write a paper seperate because everyone should have a professional side when it is needed along with using slang at the appropriate time. I don't think this post is set out to make people feel like they are really "dumb" the post is just trying to help individuals look over their writing for mistakes that way it doesn't effect them and actually make them look dumb when they can't get that dream job because of simple grammar mistakes that could easily be fixed.

  13. I completely agree with Nik Sharma in that the introduction of new (faster) ways to communicate is somewhat degrading proper English. It bugs me when I see text-message-style writing any where other than in a text message. I think I am one of the only people that spell out everyword in the majority of my text messages with the exception of lol(laughs out loud), JK (just joking) and smh (shaking my head, it took me months before I knew what that meant). If I send a message from my phone to an e-mail or other form of electronic message, besides text and instant message, I feel the the need to excuse any mistakes because I am sending the message from my phone. I agree with the article because everytime I see text-style writing on anything other then a text I do think how dumb can this person be. The crazy part is I hate proof reading, so I wonder how many people think the same about me lol, jk.

  14. I just had a class discussion in my English 118 class. We went over many words that people often misuse. Words that sound similar but mean differently. They're called homonyms. We went over words such as Weather and whether. We also went over to,too, and two. Fair and fare is another pair that we dicussed. These words pulled my attention and gave me interest in the class discussion.

  15. Personally, these grammar and spelling mistakes are one of my biggest pet peeves. These are things we learned in grade school! It's sad to see college students, some of them my friends, still type sentences like "Your the coolest" or "I really want to go their". I agree that it really does make you look dumb and that people should take the time to understand the differences.

  16. There are actually many people that use words incorrectly. I never really took the time to notice until I seen that many people would always complain or correct others when it came to words they were using when they were on social networks, etc. The word that I notice that is misused most is "you're". Many people use your instead, which is my own little pet peeve.

  17. People have lost there grammar skills due to things such as texting and emailing. They tend to use made up words or completely misspelled words, when texting and using other types of technology to communicate. This has led to the degradation of peoples grammar skills. They don't pay close attention to what they are typing or writing and let the spell check do all the work for them, instead of actually thinking when they are writing. This characteristic or tendency to be lazy gives a negative affect on peoples writing skills.

  18. I know on my iPod when I am writing something really fast, the auto spell checker can be helpful. Other times, not so much. There's been incidents where auto spell check changed the entire meaning of what I was trying to say and made me laugh out loud.

    Most of the times I see the common mistake with "there" and "their". I've noticed people prefer to use "there" over "their". For example, my friend will text me: There cat was mean to me... I don't think too much of it in a text message, but when I am proofreading an essay, then there's a problem.

    Another one that I see very often is the confusion of "your" and "you're". One could say "Your hair is lovely." But if you decided to put "You're hair is lovely," it would be wrong. "You are hair is lovely," just does not sound right.

  19. This is the third time I have written a blog attempting to respond to the article on the most common mistakes when writing a resume. I clicked the publish button the first time and poof, it disappeared. I clicked the preview button the second time and my post vanished, so in my third attempt I would just like to say that I now know why I am stopped by spellcheck at the word alot, when writing essays and that sort of thing. I have also learned that is suggested to not even use the word a lot when pertaining to the meaning of many, plentiful, or a large number. Not only had I been spelling the word wrong, but I shouldn't have been using the word at all.

  20. I won't lie. Sow,times I make the little grammatical mistakes like, there their and they're. I can easily fix these mistakes since I do know when they should be used and shouldn't be. Sometimes one is too focused on an idea that we don't seem to noticed these little mistakes. The mistakes done can be avoided by focusing on slowing down when writing. I am a kind of writer that writes quickly and fasts it hour re reading it sometimes, if I were to slow down and re read my work, I would not have to. Deal with these little grammatical mistakes.

  21. Makes you feel like idiot. Everyone should keep these small things in mind to avoid these mistakes.


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