There are four principles for writing good English: Clarity, Simplicity, Brevity, and Humanity.
All of these principles are hard to apply when you are a Spanish Speaker. When writing in English, grammar mistakes are not the only killers of credibility. An ornamental and musical style could make the text complex and messy for an English speaker. Writing in English requires changing the way of thinking. Then, It becomes important to follow these five simple rules taken from the Writing English as a second language:
- Short is better than long.
- Simple is good.
- Long Latin nouns are the enemy.
- Anglo-Saxon active verbs are your best friend.
- One thought per sentence.
What are those 8 common grammar mistakes?
- Subject-verb agreement errors: Check out this post My subjects and verbs disagree!
- Missing comma after the introductory element: Introductory clauses are dependent clauses that provide background information for the main part of the sentence, the independent clause. For example: If they want to win, athletes must exercise every day.
- Lack of transition words & phrases: Check out this list of Transition Words & Phrases
- No comma in a compound sentence: Compound sentences are two sentences joined by a coordinating conjunction that shows the relationship between them. For example, We washed the dog, and then we cleaned up the mess that he made. There are 7 Coordinating Conjunctions. FANBOYS it is an acronym to help remember them: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, so.
- Misplaced modifiers: A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies/describes. Check out here: Modifiers placement is a common source of mistakes for Spanish speakers.
- Vague Pronoun Reference when using words such as it, that, this, and which.
- Run-on Sentences with no punctuation or Superfluous Commas: Throwing commas when aren’t necessary.
- Split infinitives: An infinitive is the word “to” with a verb. A split infinitive separates the word “to” and the verb with another word (often an adverb). She tried to quickly finish the book.
The beauty of simplicity
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right [eleven straight one-syllable words], let us strive on [active verb] to finish the work we are in, to bind up [active verb] the nation’s wounds, to care [active verb] for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan [specific nouns],—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. – Lincoln addressing the nation in his Second Inaugural Address as president, in 1865, at the end of the long, terrible, exhausting Civil War