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Brush up your English skills

Brush up your English skillsWhether you’re writing an essay or a job application, it’s always good to revise your basic English skills so simple mistakes in spelling, punctuation and grammar don’t let you down. Read on to find out more.

No matter how much research you’ve put into your essay or how much experience is on your CV, a misplaced apostrophe or misspelt word could mean the difference between failure and success. But it’s easy to avoid these errors by always re-reading and revising everything you’ve written before handing it in. Getting someone else to look over it first is always a good idea too.

Remember to look out for these three main areas:

Spelling

A dictionary or computer spellcheck is your best friend here. Always check the spelling of any words you’re not sure of, paying particular attention to technical terms or more unusual words. You also need to be careful of Americanized spellings like ‘color’ instead of ‘colour’. Make sure you’ve set your spellcheck to ‘UK English’ and are using a British dictionary.

Punctuation

Putting apostrophes into plurals – like ‘rabbit’s’ instead of ‘rabbits’ – not using commas to separate lists and forgetting to put quotations in inverted commas are all common punctuation mistakes. If you do find punctuation confusing, try this easy-to-understand punctuation guide.

Grammar

Grammar is all about putting words and sentences together in the right way, and most grammatical mistakes happen when people write long sentences or use words they’re not sure about. Always check the exact meaning of any word you’re not familiar with in a dictionary, and try to write in short sentences. If there’s anything you’re not too sure about, you can check this grammar guide.

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