6 common copywriting errors

The English language has several similar-sounding words that are easy to mix up: our editors here at Write My Site often find themselves correcting the following common copywriting errors:

common copywriting errors

1. Compliment vs complement

Wrong: That dress really compliments your skin tone

Right: That dress really complements your skin tone

‘Compliment’ means to offer polite praise, while ‘complement’ means adding to something in a way that enhances or improves.

2. Practise vs practice

Wrong: I have a law practise

Right: I have a law practice

‘Practise’ the verb is spelled with an ‘s’; whereas ‘practice’ the noun is spelled with a ‘c’. A lawyer practises law, but operates a law practice.

3. Effect vs affect

Wrong: This will effect her enormously

Right: This will affect her enormously

‘Effect’ is a noun that refers to a change resulting from another action or cause, e.g. “the argument had a big effect on her”. ‘Affect’ is most commonly used as a transitive verb, meaning to make a difference, e.g. “the argument affected her plans for the evening”.

4. Everyday vs every day

Wrong: I go to the gym everyday

Right: I go to the gym every day

‘Everyday’ is an adjective, while ‘every day’ is a noun phrase consisting of the adjective ‘every’ and the noun ‘day’. For example: “Tight deadlines are an everyday occurrence. We struggle every day to finish everything on time.”

5. Its vs it’s

Wrong: Its not fair

Right: It’s not fair

‘It’s’ is a contraction of the words ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. ‘Its’ is a one-word third-person singular possessive adjective, like ‘hers’ or ‘his’.

6. There vs their

Wrong: The meeting is at there office.

Right: The meeting is at their office.

‘There’ refers to a place or concept, whereas ‘their’ is possessive, meaning it owns something.

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