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12 Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Unprofessional

Ring Central Blog

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4 min read

In the professional world, written communications is the most pervasive method of interaction. On a daily basis, we business people write emails, proposals, analyses and — in the social media age — tweets and status updates. The words we write and share reflect our credibility and level of attention to detail.

Most professionals know to spell-check their writing. But all too often, we make other types of grammatical errors that make us look unprofessional and overshadow the good ideas in our communications.

Below are the twelve most common mix-ups in business writing. Re-learn the distinction between the words to keep your business communications as polished as possible.

1. Affect vs. Effect

2. Complement vs. Compliment

3. E.g. vs. I.e.

4. I vs. Me

  • The rule: “I” is a subject pronoun, while “me” is an object pronoun. “I” is the subject of a sentence or clause. “Me” is the direct object of a verb in a sentence or clause. If you’re trying to determine which pronoun to use, simply use the sentence with just the pronoun to see if it makes sense.
  • Examples:
    • My colleague and I worked on the project together.
    • The CEO gave awards to the team and me.
    • He likes analyzing numbers more than I [do].
    • He likes analyzing numbers more than he likes working with me.

5. Fewer vs. Less

6. Ironic vs. Coincidental

7. Its vs. It’s

8. That vs. Which

9. Their vs. There vs. They’re

10. Your vs. You’re

11. Who vs. Whom

12. Who’s vs. Whose

Originally published Sep 02, 2012, updated Aug 27, 2020

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