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We all make grammar mistakes—and that’s totally fine, because as you know, we at Frayed Passport always advocate for editing your work a few times after you’ve finished it, or having someone else look at it for you.

For today, let’s look over this list of common mistakes you can make with your travel writing so you can be sure to edit for them later!

Common Word Mix-Ups

Could have, would have, should have or could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. Never could of, would of, should of.

Passed, past. “Passed” is a verb: He passed the science test. Time passed slowly. “Past” has many roles, but never as a verb: He walked past the shop. His past is sketchy. In the past, I enjoyed canoeing.

Lie, lay. To recline or rest is to lie, lay, have/has/had lain, or lying. To put something someplace is to lay, laid, have/had/has laid, or laying. She lay on the bed after she laid her keys on the table.

Farther, further. “Farther” is a measurable distance. “Further” is to a degree or extent. We went one mile farther down the trail to further our experiences with the wild.

Affect/effect. “Affect” is a verb meaning “to influence.” “Effect” is noun referring to the result: Our noisy tour guide affected our ability to see animals in their natural habitat. The effect of his voice sent the animals scurrying.  

Misused Punctuation

Colons are used to offset lists. I took too many things on vacation: twenty shirts, a dozen shoes, three cameras, and my dog.

Exclamation points should be used rarely. Their purpose is to emphasize the importance of something. If you use them at the end of every sentence, they lose their meaning.

Semicolons should be used to tie two closely related thoughts together or before a conjunctive adverb. Travelers don’t want hold-ups; they want things to run smoothly. Travelers don’t want hold-ups; therefore, we make sure things run smoothly.

Unless using three periods as an ellipsis, which indicates trailed thought, more than one usage of ending punctuation isn’t needed. Rather than add three exclamation points or question marks, use italics to emphasize the statement or word.

Featured image via Unsplash.

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