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Common Grammar Mistakes You Didn’t Learn in School

If you’re like me, it’s been a long time since you’ve studied grammar rules in school. Thinking back to my days as a student, there were a lot of rules we were just expected to know {shouout to Miss Presta for beating these rules into me!} 

As we guide our students through these early stages of writing, we often bump into those pesky grammar mistakes and grammar errors that our little ones make. It’s important to model and find fixes to help your students correct these common grammar mistakes!

Using the Incorrect Past Tense Form of Irregular Verbs

First, irregular verbs can indeed be tricky. Think about little Sarah or Johnny saying, “I goed to the park.” or “He cutted me!|” Even though it sounds adorable, it’s a teachable moment.

Explanation:

Children, in trying to find patterns in language, sometimes assume that adding “-ed” will correctly form the past tense for all verbs. After all, patterns make things predictable. If “I walked” is correct, why not “I goed”? It’s our job to show them the exceptions.

The Fix:

Whenever you hear these, give a sweet reminder like, “Sarah, you mean you *went* to the park.” Playing matching games with verbs can also help them remember these special cases.

Misordering Pronouns in Compound Subjects

Next, using pronouns in the wrong order is a common grammar error. Here’s one you’ve probably heard: “Me and Jake played together.”

Explanation:

Young learners often struggle with the correct order and form of pronouns, especially in compound subjects. It’s a common mix-up because it sounds right to their little ears. But, order matters.

The Fix:

Remember those little songs and chants we love? Here’s one: “Jake and I, up to the sky!” It’s a catchy way to teach the right order.

Incorrect Verb Agreement

Next, incorrect verb agreement is a grammar error kids and adults often make. “She don’t like apples.” is a common mistake. It’s developmentally appropriate for students to apply regular patterns to verbs. 

Explanation:

Kids apply the patterns they know everywhere, even where they don’t fit. For example, they may generalize the verb “do” and its negation “don’t” to singular subjects, leading to agreement errors.

The Fix:

Chants work wonders! Let’s get them singing, “She doesn’t, he doesn’t, but they and we do!” It’s a rhythm that will get them grooving to grammar.

Using Object Pronouns in Place of Subjects

Finally, students often try to use object pronouns in place of subjects. “Can me go to the playground?” is a grammar error common for young readers and writers. 

Explanation:

Sometimes, kids mistakenly use object pronouns (me) instead of subject pronouns (I) in sentences. It’s a common mistake because me and I both refer to the student, but they play different roles in a sentence. 

The Fix:

To wrap it all up, these little grammar hiccups are all part of the process. Each mistake is a stepping stone to learning. With patience, creativity, and the active exercises we discussed, we can make these lessons stick. After all, what’s teaching if not turning little grammar errors into big learning moments? Here’s to making grammar fun and memorable for our students!

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