Grammar Tutorials for Children and Teens

When it comes to grammar usage, knowing the errors you need to avoid is just as important as knowing the proper practices you should be employing. Therefore, keep reading to learn about some common mistakes children and teens often make on English and grammar assignments.

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Avoiding Grammar Mistakes: A Brief Tutorial

Dangling Participles

Dangling participles are phrases that don't modify or describe the correct word. They are usually found at the beginning of a sentence. When you encounter this error with a participle, the sentence usually doesn't make sense. Consider the following sentence:

While hiking up the mountain, my backpack fell to the ground.

In the above sentence, it sounds like the backpack was hiking up the mountain by itself. That doesn't make any sense! The writer would need to make a change to have the sentence read more clearly, like this:

While I was hiking up the mountain, my backpack fell to the ground.

Comma Splices

Comma splices occur when you attempt to join two independent clauses together by only using a comma. A phrase or clause is called 'independent' when it can stand on its own as a complete sentence. Trying to join two of these together with only a comma creates a run-on sentence. Here is an example of an independent clause in a sentence.

I woke up late this morning, I didn't make it to school on time.

To correct a comma splice, you can connect the two independent phrases properly by adding a coordinating conjunction, such as and, but, so or yet. You can also separate them by adding ending punctuation and keeping them as two individual sentences. Alternatively, you can change one of the phrases into a dependent clause and connect them with a comma.

I woke up late this morning, so I didn't make it to school on time.
I woke up late this morning. I didn't make it to school on time.
Because I woke up late this morning, I didn't make it to school on time.

Subject and Verb Agreement

Problems with subject and verb agreement occur when they don't agree in number. If the subject of a sentence is a singular noun, the verb in the sentence must be singular, too. Likewise, if the subject is a plural noun, the verb in the sentence must also be plural. The main issue that usually trips students up is that the singular verb form has to have an -s added to it, while the plural doesn't have an -s.


The child plays.
My father works.
Daniel runs.


The children play.
My parents work.
Daniel and Susan run.
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