a) A common error is joining two sentences or two independent clauses incorrectly with an improper punctuation mark instead of using a correct punctuation mark which is the semi-colon, or using a conjunction as the following example shows.
EXAMPLE: We don't have a telephone, you will have to come round to the house.
The two independent clauses in the sentence are incorrectly joined by a comma.

We can correct the sentence in the following ways:

  • Treat the two clauses as separate sentences with the use of a full-stop (period) for each sentence.
    We don't have a telephone. You will have to come round to the house.
  • We can use a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet) to create a compound sentence.
    We don't have a telephone, so you will have to come round to the house.
  • We can turn one of the two clauses into a subordinate or dependent clause.
    Since we don't have a telephone, you will have to come round to the house.
  • We can use the semicolon to create a compound sentence.
    We don't have a telephone; you will have to come round to the hous

EXAMPLE:
I helped them all I could, I even brought my tools to speed up the work. (INCORRECT)
I helped them all I could; I even brought my tools to speed up the work. (CORRECT)
I helped them all I could and I even brought my tools to speed up the work. (CORRECT)

 

b) A type of sentence error known as sentence fragment is a group of words that used together does not form a complete sentence.

  • A dependent clause is being used as a sentence.
    INCORRECT: Because she was the best candidate.
    INCORRECT: Since ten o'clock this morning.
    CORRECT: She got the job because she was the best candidate.
    CORRECT: I've been here since ten o'clock this morning.
  • The wrong form of a verb is used.
    INCORRECT: He eaten his lunch just a while ago.
    INCORRECT: He has showed her how to catch butterflies.
    CORRECT: He ate his lunch just a while ago.
    CORRECT: He has shown her how to catch butterflies.


c) Words and phrases should be put in their rightful places.

EXAMPLES: The policeman is a very brave man who caught the thief. (INCORRECT)
  The policeman who caught the thief is a very brave man. (CORRECT)