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Correcting Spoken Grammar Errors

Go to and read Correcting Spoken Grammar Errors. Learn how to correct another's mistakes properly and with elegance! Read and enjoy. 

3:18 min read
  Teri Lapping  —  Grammar Tips
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Most of us will make the occasional mistake when speaking, whether we confuse an irregular verb tense or pronounce a word incorrectly. Whether English is our mother tongue or a second language, we might feel a bit embarrassed when our mistakes are called out. 

Correcting someone's spoken grammar can be a sensitive business. However, if the situation calls for it, it can also be helpful in improving their communication skills and making their message clearer. 

In this article, we will give you 7 tips on how to correct spoken grammar errors.

1. Check your motivation.

What motivates your desire to correct another’s grammar?
Make sure you check the source of your motivation. You might be genuinely trying to be helpful and supportive, or you might be showing off your strengths by emphasizing another’s weakness. 

2.Establish a rapport.

Does this person want to have their grammar mistakes corrected? 

Not everyone is open to your feedback. Before diving into someone else’s language usage, it's important to establish a good relationship with them. 

Make sure that you have taken the time to build a basis of trust and confidence, demonstrating to them that you genuinely care about their growth and development. If they feel comfortable around you, they will be more receptive to your feedback. 

3.Determine the best time to correct mistakes.

Do they want their errors corrected immediately? 

We are most sensitive to the mistakes of those people who are closest to us: our family, friends, teachers, and colleagues. We can ask them if they want us to correct their language and, if so, we can agree together on the most comfortable time. 

Do they prefer a quick correction in the middle of a lecture or a class? Many people would rather be told in private, avoiding embarrassment and allowing them to focus on improving their grammar without feeling self-conscious.

4.Correct rather than criticize.

When you do decide to correct someone's grammar, make sure to do so politely and respectfully. 

Use a gentle and encouraging tone. Avoid interrupting the person in the middle of a sentence. Avoid sounding condescending or judgmental, as this can make the person feel defensive and less likely to listen to your feedback. 

5.Choose your Corrections Wisely.

Instead of nitpicking every grammar mistake, focus on the message that the person is trying to convey. 

If you can understand what they are saying, then it may not be so important to focus on the grammar mistakes. 

However, if the mistakes are making it difficult to understand their message, then it is a good idea to correct the errors in order to clarify the meaning. 

6.Offer alternatives.
When correcting someone's grammar, offering alternative words or phrases is often the most effective strategy to use. 

This way, the person will hear the correct grammar, learn from their mistakes, and improve their communication skills over time. 

For example, if your friend says, “My dad doed the whole Sunday New York crossword puzzle yesterday,” you might correct her by saying, “Your dad did the whole crossword puzzle yesterday? He must be good with trivia!” 

7.Encourage practice.

Learning correct grammar takes practice. 

If appropriate, encourage the person to correctly repeat the phrase that you have corrected. This can help them internalize the correct grammar rules and become more confident in their communication skills.

For example, if your daughter says, "My friend goed to the store yesterday," you might reply, "Your friend went to the store yesterday. Now you try saying that sentence."

Final Thoughts

Overall, correcting someone's spoken grammar can be a delicate matter, but it can also be a valuable opportunity for growth and development. 

By approaching the situation with kindness, respect, and a focus on improving communication, you can help the person improve their grammar and become a more effective communicator.

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