When words are used in improper forms, as "seen" for "saw," and "done" for " did," or when the use of one word is confused with that of another, we say that the user is ungrammatical and ignorant. A moderate knowledge of the grammar will enable every one to speak and write ordinary sentences correctly. But this should be supplemented by careful observation of the usage of the best writers and speakers. One should correct his own mistakes when discovered, and exercise care in not repeating these mistakes. Note the following errors which are to be avoided and test your own language and productions to see that they are clear of these errors.
1. Do not use the objective in place of the nominative ; as, "Him and me did it." Say "He and I."
2. Do not use the nominative for the objective of the pronoun ; as, " who are you looking for ? " instead of whom. This is an error that can always be avoided by putting the preposition at the beginning of the sentence, not at the end: as, " For whom are you looking ? "
3. Do not use like instead of as ; " She looked like [as] she did a year ago."
4. Do not use them for those, or this here for this; as " Give me them books."
5. Do not use done for did, seen for saw, has went for has gone, and similar improper forms of verbs.
6. Do not confuse use of each other and one another. The former should only be used in reference to two persons : " Let us all then promise each other [one another.] "
7. Do not confuse a transitive verb with an intransitive. Say "I lie, lay or have lain on the sofa " and " I lay, laid or have laid the book on the table." So also in the use of sit and set, raise and rise, lean and teach, and other verbs.
8. Do not use singular form of a verb with plural subject or more than one subject; as "The man and woman is at the door ;" " The theatres is crowded."
9. Do not use a plural verb with a singular subject. This mistake often happens when a plural noun or two connected singular nouns are connected with the subject; as, "The Story of all his adventures and wanderings make [makes] an interesting book."
10. Do not use two negatives instead of one ; as, " I didn't see no one."
11. Do not say don't for doesn't in the third person singular of the present indicative; as "It don't [doesn't] matter." "He don't [doesn't] know." This is a mistake of frequent occurrence even among cultured people.
12. Do not use adjectives for adverbs in "ly"; say, "The birds fly swiftly" not "swift," and "He writes well" not "good." On the other hand do not use adverbs in " ly " for adjectives ; say " She looks beautiful," not "beautifully."
13. Avoid the use of slang ; as, " You bet," "level best," "go it blind" and similar expressions.
14. Do not use Superlative of the adjectives when Comparative is required; say "He is the stronger of the two," not "strongest."