8 tips and tricks to improve your writing in just 8 minutes
The English language is full of quirks that can trip you up – and when you’re writing for business, mistakes can cost you sales.
These simple tips will stop you falling flat on your face.
A lot, as well, thank you, no one and all sorts are all two words.
(Unless you happen to be writing about Liquorice Allsorts, which – let’s face it – is unlikely.)
Don’t use here’s (here is: singular) or there’s (there is: singular) when you mean here are or there are: plural.
“Here are tips”, not “here’s tips”.
Too means also (“can I come, too?”) or excessively (“that’s too loud”).
To indicates direction (“I’m going to London”) or shows the infinitive form of a verb (“I’m going to have some lunch”).
Two is always a number.
It’s usually wrong to say you have two choices – you have one choice, with two (or three, or ten) alternatives.
An ellipsis is always three dots – no more, no less (and never a random number just to fill a gap).
Stop confusing you’re and your.
You’re is short for ‘you are’.
Your means belonging to you.
“You’re driving to town in your car.”
Blame pronunciation for this one. Saying could’ve, would’ve, and should’ve often leads to writing could of, would of, should of – which is wrong.
Always write could have, would have, should have.
Use fewer for things you can count, and less for things you can’t. Less food = fewer calories.
Ditto number (for things you can count) and amount (for things you can’t).
Coming soon: The Little Book of Confusables
Wouldn’t you love a handy guide to those tricksy spellings that trip you up and make you look bad? Words like PRACTICE and PRACTISE, AFFECT and EFFECT, or IMPLY and INFER.
The Little Book of Confusables shares simple, memorable spelling tips and examples for more than 500 of the words you find most confusing. Supercharge your vocabulary and avoid embarrassing mistakes! Sign up to my monthly newsletter for updates.