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Most Common Errors in Sentence Construction

by Alex James
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Being able to formulate a good sentence is a vital part of academic writing. Errors in sentence construction not only make your writing difficult to understand and read but change the whole structure and context of the writing. Also, sentence-making errors reduce the rank of your writing by manifolds. Therefore, to help you ensure that any kind of assignment writing, whether it is an assignment, essay, or dissertation, is error-free, we are here to discuss the most common errors that you are likely to make in sentence construction. Hence, without any further ado, let’s get to the main discussion straight away.

The most common errors students make in sentence construction

It is the sentence structure which determines how different parts of an assignment or any other academic writing are put together. Following basic word and grammar rules is not enough to write an effective assignment. There are many other common errors that you have to take into consideration when constructing sentences for your assignment. A brief description of all those errors is given below one by one:

1. Comma splices – a very common error

Comma splices are the most common errors that we often see students making in the pursuit of perfect sentence construction. This error happens when the two independent clauses are combined with a comma. As they are two independent clauses, they can never be combined with the use of the comma. To join them, you must use a conjunction between them. An example of this error is as follows:

  • The girl wanted to get a dog, her brother wanted to get a parrot. (Incorrect)
  • The girl wanted to get a dog, but her brother wanted to get a parrot. (Correct)

2. Run-on sentences – another common error

When two independent clauses are strung together without any use of punctuation, the resultant sentence is called a run-on sentence. It is another common error in sentence construction made by students very often. These sentences look good in the form they are, but when used in academic writing, they do not get fit with the context. For example:

  • Dinner is ready we will be eating it in just a few minutes. (Incorrect)
  • Dinner is ready. We will be eating it in just a few minutes. (Correct)
  • Dinner is ready, and we will be eating it in just a few minutes. (Correct)

3. Sentence fragments – lack a subject

Sentence fragments are clauses that lack a subject or a verb. Due to this, these clauses are not termed complete. Such clauses need to be rewritten with proper sentence structure containing a subject or verb. A sentence fragment can also be a dependent clause which is combined with nearby sentences to remove errors. For example:

  • Kate has not arrived yet at the party. The girl who is bringing the cake. (Incorrect)
  • Kate, the girl who is bringing the cake, has not arrived yet at the party. (Correct)

4. Misplaced commas – happens in a series

When two or more than two items are described in a series, they should be joined by commas. It is the most common error that we see in the writing of students. This error is known as a misplaced commas error, where the writer does not have any idea where to place the comma and where to not. If you also do not know this, you should better contact assignment writing services. However, an example of this is discussed below:

  • As the mountaineer, you should have flashlight hiking boots and a camera. (Incorrect)
  • As a mountaineer, you should have a flashlight, hiking boots, and a camera. (Correct)

5. Subject-verb agreement

The next most common error on the list is subject-verb agreement. This error means that the subjects in the sentence construction are not matching the verb used. This is an unforgivable error because the verbs need to be conjugated with the subject of the sentence if you want to structure perfect sentences. Do you know in which sentences this error mostly occurs? Yes, sentences which have more than one subject are very much prone to this error. Collective nouns can also give birth to this error in your academic writing. An example of this error is as follows:

  • The chair and the table of my grandfather is for sale. (Incorrect)
  • The chair and the table of my grandfather are for sale. (Correct)


Making sentences which are grammatically correct is a must thing to do for students. It is the sentences that make the ideas clear to the reader and rank your academic writing high in the eyes of the examiner. Therefore, as the writer, you must not make the above-discussed common errors in sentence construction. Making these errors mean getting a low grade on the final assessment. Therefore, read all the errors, especially the run-on sentences and misplaced commas, and make your writing perfect.

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