Grammar Bite #8: Mistakes with Word Type

13 January 2011

 

When we talk about word type, we mean the word’s part of speech. For example, is the word a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction, and so on?

 

Some common mistakes with word type include the following:

I would like to apologies for the mistake on your invoice.

The natural lanolin in this lotion will moisture your skin.

This is the most importance issue for our discussion today.

Please be specify with your description.

 

What’s wrong?

Let’s find the word type mistake in each of these sentences.

 

1.  I would like to apologies for the mistake on your invoice.

 

The word ‘apologies’ is the plural of ‘apology’ (a noun). What you need in that sentence is the verb ‘apologise’ (or ‘apologize’).

Correction:  I would like to apologise for the mistake on your invoice.

 

2.  The natural lanolin in this lotion will moisture your skin.

 

The word ‘moisture’ is a noun. What you need here is the verb ‘moisturize’.

Correction: The natural lanolin in this lotion will moisturize your skin.

 

3.  This is the most importance issue for our discussion today.

 

The word ‘importance’ is a noun. But what you need here is the adjective ‘important’.

Correction: This is the most important issue for our discussion today.

 

4.  Please be specify with your description.

 

The word ‘specify’ is a verb. What you need here is the adjective ‘specific’.

Correction: Please be specific with your description.

 

How to avoid these mistakes

To avoid mistakes of word type, pay attention to the types of words you need for various parts of a sentence. For example, do you need a verb, a noun, an adjective or adverb?

 

If you’re not sure what the word type is, just look up the word in a dictionary. Right next to it is its word type. Here’s an example for the noun ‘moisture’, from the Cambridge Dictionaries Online along with an example sentence:

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