Home > General Rules > Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Letter Writing Grammar Letter Writing

No matter that you've addressed a letter correctly or even if the content is important, interesting or entertaining - all your efforts could be disregarded to one extent or another if the content is filled with poor examples of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Quite often, this can come about as a result of carelessness, i.e. not checking your letter and reading through it once or twice after you've completed it in order to look for grammatical errors and/or spelling mistakes.

Interpretations on Your Character Based Upon Your Use of the Written Word

In some instances, grammar, spelling and punctuation might not matter too much if it's an informal letter to a family member or friend but it can be looked upon more harshly in other situations, for example, when applying for a job. If an employer or HR manager opens your application and comes across numerous grammatical errors, they might,

a) think that your basic level of English is not up to the job you've applied for and/or

b) think that if you've not taken care to check your letter thoroughly, then you might also adopt a similar casual attitude in the workplace.

Checking, Double-Checking and Getting Someone Else to Check

Either way, and with usually so many applications to sift through, your letter and application is likely to hit the bin before the first few lines have even been read so it's well worth spending time checking it over for errors, once you feel you have said all you want to say. It could make all the difference and even those with a high command of English are prone to overlook mistakes occasionally so it's useful to check and double check your letter before sending it. Quite often, it's useful to hand over your draft to someone else to read first as they might see an error which you've overlooked yourself.

Checking by Computer is no Guarantee

If you use a computer to write your letter, there will usually be a spelling and grammar checker in the tools section of your word processing program. These are quite useful, especially if your spelling isn't great in particular, but they aren't infallible. For example, sometimes you might have spelt a word correctly but it might not make sense within the context of the sentence. An example would be:

"I brought the product from your store yesterday but it wasn't worming when I got it home".

Does this make sense to you? Well, in terms of the spelling, it's all correct and a spell checker wouldn't flag up any mistakes. However, it may be confusing to a shopkeeper if you meant to write the following:

"I bought the product from your store yesterday but it wasn't working when I got it home."

Computers can't be relied upon to spot all grammatical and punctuation errors either.

Bad Examples of the English Language

Other examples of bad punctuation and grammar include using commas where there should be full stops and vice versa. Incorrect usage of apostrophes is another common error. Using 'you're' instead of 'your' and vice versa is another prime example.

If your spelling, grammar and punctuation aren't perfect, you're not alone. However, try and show the letter to somebody who's more proficient in these areas before sending it. There's nothing worse than receiving a well thought out letter in terms of content, being ruined by a poor command of the English language and it can make all the difference as to how both the letter and you, yourself, might be perceived.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sow
    Re: Writing to Your MP
    I want to write an letter to MP, requesting for recommendation for my citizenship application.
    22 May 2019
  • JAYGA3
    Re: Letter to a Judge to Defend my Case?
    I am trying to write a professional letter to a judge to ask for arbitration in my divorce case.
    20 May 2019
  • JDQ
    Re: Letter Announcing a Death
    how do I write a letter informing my meeting colleagues of my father's death; as required by one of the meeting rules
    17 May 2019
  • MIkar
    Re: Letter of Complaint to the Council
    Can you help me with a complaint of how to write a letter to council and discuss the poor outdoor play area?.Thankyou
    10 May 2019
  • pavan
    Re: Letter to Insurance Company Placing a Claim
    i need advice for house insurance ,worktop damage which is happend by accidently in the kitchen
    6 May 2019
  • Mafi
    Re: Writing to Your MP
    Hi. I need help on how to write a letter to my local MP regarding parking charges from the hospital I work with.
    30 April 2019
  • nwai
    Re: Letter Announcing a Death
    Iwant to write a letter informing other local municipality about passing of one of our ward councilor from the office of the speaker
    30 April 2019
  • Ayesha
    Re: Letter of Complaint to the Council
    II don’t know how to write a letter to council that i want a garden hose outdoor Plz help me
    25 April 2019
  • Nil
    Re: Letter Notifying of a Name Change
    I want to change my name from Olatokunbo to Osinusi due to separation between us so as to notify my pension and cooperative…
    15 April 2019
  • Thejam
    Re: Writing to Your MP
    My son of 6 yr old has been a happy lovable child, he loves school has lots of friends, invited to birthday parties, however, the last six…
    6 April 2019