It’s a common mistake: Because we don’t hear certain letters when we’re speaking, we assume we don’t have to use them in writing.
Probably the most common error is leaving out verb endings. Listen to yourself say these sentences aloud:
Coppin used to work with domestic violence victims.
We’re supposed to be in court at 9:30.
The memo lists everyone who’s going to the meeting.
What you probably noticed is that you couldn’t hear the d in “used to” and “supposed to”: It blends with the t in “to.” And most people don’t say the final s in “lists.”
Writing is different. You absolutely have to include those d and s endings.
Here’s a practice activity: Can you find and fix the errors in these sentences? Scroll down for the answers.
1. I’m suppose to meet with the chief at 10:30.
2. Before that park was cleaned up, drug sellers use to hang out there.
3. A visit to the emergency room cost $250 before the doctor even sees you.
4. After Joe list the changes, I’ll make sure the staff knows about them.
1. I’m supposed to meet with the chief at 10:30.
2. Before that park was cleaned up, drug sellers used to hang out there.
3. A visit to the emergency room costs $250 before the doctor even sees you.
4. After Joe lists the changes, I’ll make sure the staff knows about them.
How did you do?
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