How To Fix Common Elementary Grammar Mistakes

Children learn to talk when they’re about 2 to 3 years old, which shows how adaptable and what fast learners they are. But being fast learners comes at a price: they may develop habits that are hard to change in the future. This is normally the case for children, and they make elementary grammar mistakes due to their choice of words. Find out some of the most common grammar mistakes that kids make and learn how to correct them.

When to use “Then” and “Than”

A common mistake for kids is using “then” and “than” interchangeably. As the two words look and sound similar, they are often mixed up. It should be kept in mind that “than” is used for comparison while “then” is used in the context of time or sequence of events. A simple trick to teach children is that “than” has an “a”, just like “compare.” Likewise, “then” has an “e”, which is found in words like “time.”

I and Me

Both “I” and “Me” are first-person pronouns, and it’s difficult for kids to discern when to use which. It’s important that kids know when to use each word instead of relying on a “sounds okay” basis.

A simple lesson is that “I” is used when it is the subject in the sentence and the word “me” is used as the predicate. An easy way for them to remember is to imagine a sentence like “Mary and I went to school” and take away the name “Mary.” Ask your child if it makes sense. In this case, the sentence is grammatically correct.

Their, They’re, and There

Again, these words are often used interchangeably because they sound similar. “Their” is used when something belongs to other people. “They’re” is the contraction of “they are.” “There” refers to a place. Encourage your child to practice using these words both in spoken conversations and writing.

It’s and Its

“It’s” and “its” are confusing because they sound the same. Some kids might question what the point of the apostrophe (’s) is and use either word indiscriminately. Similar to “they’re,” “it’s” is the contraction of “it is.” “Its” (with no apostrophe), on the other hand,  is a possessive pronoun.If you need more educational resources for your child, contact JEI Learning Center! Our after-school English programs are designed for children according to their respective abilities.