Bad grammar makes your writing stand out for all the wrong reasons.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an email to a colleague or a sales letter to new customers, nobody trusts or engages with copy that’s riddled with glaring grammatical errors.

You might have a perfectly interesting point to make – but if your ‘you’re’ is written as ‘your’ then your writing immediately loses impact.

Perhaps worse than that, bad grammar gets on people’s nerves.

As a copywriter Bristol, I understand that everyone misplaces an apostrophe from time to time – and nobody likes a grammar pedant.

However, grasping the grammar basics is easy – and will instantly improve the quality of your writing.

To help, here’s a handful of the most common grammar mistakes, and advice on how to avoid them…

  1. Its and It’s

This is probably the number one mistake that people make. ‘Its’ is the possessive pronoun of ‘it’, as in ‘The dog ate its dinner’. ‘It’s’ is a contraction of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’, as in ‘It’s a lovely day’. A good rule of thumb that I use as a copywriter Bristol is if you can say ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ instead, then always use an apostrophe.

  1. Your and you’re

‘You’re’ is a contraction of ‘you are’ and should only ever be used to mean this – no exceptions! Meanwhile, ‘your’ marks possession, as in ‘I like your jumper’. If you frequently get stuck, try reading the sentence with ‘you are’ instead of your/you’re. If it still makes sense, you should be using ‘you’re’. If not, use ‘your’.

  1. There, their, they’re

This one’s tricky because ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ all sound the same – but mean completely different things. The only way to ensure you avoid this mistake is to ensure you understand what ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ mean. Reading what you’ve written aloud can also help flag up this mistake before you hit ‘send’ or ‘print’.

  1. Could of, should of, would of

It’s ease to see why ‘of’ is so frequently written instead of ‘have’. It’s based on how the words are pronounced in conversation. However, writing ‘could of’, ‘should of’, ‘would of’ makes no sense. Always proof read to check for this error and replace with ‘have’.

As a copywriter Bristol, my biggest pet peeve of all is a misplaced apostrophe. In fact, I think this deserves a blog post of its very own, so check back soon!

Of course, hiring a professional copywriter can free you from your grammar worries forever! Whatever you need writing, get in touch to find out how I can help.