3 Common Writing Mistakes students make


writing mistakes


1. “Sit”and “Seat”:

Note:”Sit” can be used as a verb but not as a noun, while “seat” can be used both as a verb and a noun. 

Consider the following examples:

  • Please sit down. (“Sit” is used as a verb)
  • Please have a seat. (“Seat” is used as a noun)
  • This theater seats 8000. (“Seat” is used a verb)

2. “extend” and “extent”:


“Extend” means making something (such as a duration or an object) longer. 

“Extent” refers to the degree of something (such as an injury or damage).

Consider the following examples:

  • We are unable to finish the project. Please extend the deadline.
  • Do you know the extent of the damage caused by that typhoon?

3.  One of the [NOUNS]


When we see “one of the…” in a sentence, the noun immediately following this phrase is usually plural.

Consider the following examples:

  • One of the students (plural) was absent from class yesterday. (Note that in the sentence, “was” was used immediately after “students” because “one of the” implies only one entity and hence, the verb following that is singular)
  • John took one of the sweets (plural) from the bowl over there.

Author’s background: Patrick Tay is an English Writing Specialist who lectures in various polytechnics in Singapore, and coaches students in English as a private tutor. His professional services can be found here


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