Grammar is one of the foundations of composition writing. It usually comes after vocabulary and spelling, as it is through gramma where complete thoughts are formed. But while grammar is taught in almost every level of schooling, we still tend to be prone to commit mistakes in our essays.
Grammar mistakes can be easily corrected, but there are no shortcuts to mastering it. It takes years of training, discipline, and strict observance of grammar laws in order to apply them properly and effectively on written narratives.
As a parent, you can help on how to improve composition writing for your kid by knowing the most common grammar mistakes they make in their essays and how to correct them. Among these mistakes you should be able to spot and rectify are:
- Capitalizing the nouns.
It is common for most of us to capitalize words as a way to stress their importance in a sentence. Kids do the same way too, especially when they want to highlight certain words in their ideas. But this isn’t always necessary; oftentimes the whole statement becomes incorrectly structured because of the capitalized words.
You may want to help your child avoid this mistake by emphasizing on the differences between common and proper nouns. Common nouns need not be capitalized, while proper nouns, since they refer to names of specific items (people, places, branded things, etc.), are only those that need the first letter of their word to be capitalized.
As for putting emphasis, it can be done not always by capitalizing the whole word, but rather by adding stronger descriptions to the statement instead. For example:
- Wrong: We have TWO PETS at home, a CAT and a DOG.
Correct: We have two pets at home, a cat and a dog.
- Wrong: I have a DOG and his name is RUFUS.
Correct: I have a dog and his name is Rufus.
- Incorrectly placed commas.
Commas are used to separate the main from the subordinate clause in a sentence. They are also used as a means to separate items in a list. There are instances when kids forget to place commas in their sentences, thus their ideas seem to be confusing when read out loud.
Placing commas properly can be confusing at first, so it is important that you stress the importance of the said punctuation mark in their statements. One way on how to improve your kids’ composition writing is by reading their narratives out loud so they can realize how commas are useful in making natural pauses in their clauses, and as well as how commas distinguish one item from another whenever they are making lists.
Some examples include:
- Wrong: At school today I played on the slide.
Correct: At school today, I played on the slide.
- Wrong: On the show, the actress talked about cooking her friends and her family.
Correct: On the show, the actress talked about cooking, her friends, and her family.
- Wrong use of apostrophes.
Kids are also prone to using apostrophes incorrectly. This is due to the phonetic similarities between plural nouns and nouns that indicate possession. But apostrophes are used to convey possession, so you must be conscientious in reminding your kids about it.
There are also times when plural nouns also indicate possession. When in singular nouns the apostrophe is placed between the word and “s”, in plural possessives the apostrophe is placed after the “s”.
Some examples to look at are:
- Wrong: four car’s, five balloon’s
Correct: four cars, five balloons
2. Wrong: The boy’s are playing basketball.
Correct: The boys are playing basketball.
3. Wrong: The puppie’s are cute. Also wrong: The puppies’s are cute.
Correct: The puppies are cute.
4. Wrong: It’s been three day’s since the rain poured.
Correct: It’s been three days since the rain poured.