Lay down? Or lie down?

Jon Gingerich @ 
20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes:

“…I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery.

Below are 20 common grammar mistakes I see routinely, not only in editorial queries and submissions, but in print: in HR manuals, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and even best selling novels. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve made each of these mistakes a hundred times, and I know some of the best authors in history have lived to see these very toadstools appear in print. Let’s hope you can learn from some of their more famous mistakes…”

  1. Who & Whom
  2. Which & That
  3. Lay & Lie
  4. Moot
  5. Continual & Continuous
  6. Envy & Jealousy
  7. Nor
  8. May & Might
  9. Whether & If
  10. Fewer & Less
  11. Farther & Further
  12. Since & Because
  13. Disinterested & Uninterested
  14. Anxious
  15. Different Than & Different From
  16. Bring & Take
  17. Impactful
  18. Affect & Effect
  19. Irony & Coincidence
  20. Nauseous
See full article for correct grammatical usage.


  1. Oh dear! I make most of them.


  2. Writer I am not. I appreciate the information. I will try to watch my writing in the future.



  3. Number 18 trips me up all the time. Now that I have this list, can probably find a few more bad habits.


  4. I make the same mistakes over and over. It’s hard to correct yourself when you’re in the moment of writing. I wish spell check was smart enough to catch them!


  5. I’d be LYING if I told you that I say LIE instead of LAY.


  6. I do not see it’s/its; there/their/they’re; and too/to in your list. I fight these errors with the high school students all of the time. Of course, they also commit every sin you have listed above.

    I taught Warriner’s Grammar for almost 10 years; as a result, I believe that I could handle an editor’s job. What I find, sadly, is that most of my younger colleagues (the teachers younger than 40 years old) are weak in grammar because they weren’t taught it in high school or college. The pendulum shifted away from explicit grammar instruction toward a holistic approach (work with students on their specific problems). The trouble with that philosophy is that a typical high school teacher has 150 students and 1-1 writing instruction is virtually impossible, especially when she must also monitor the rest of the classroom for misbehavior.

    Thus, we see, in our nation, a serious decline the quality of Standard American English — a decline that is hastened by improper grammar showing up in print and on television.

    Sorry for the rant, but your post hit a nerve with me (as I score a stack of projects peppered with inaccurate word choice).


    • Hi Mona. Yes, especially surprised not to see their/there and hear/here.

      I agree with your other thoughts. My son who is a good student, cannot be troubled to read (or write). Too many distractions with electronics. I’m afraid this generation has lost considerable ground on English front.


  7. Any particular reason why “your/you’re” and “then/than” are not in this list? They’re pretty common, though perhaps they’re more prevalent in less formal settings (text, social networks, etc).


  8. I will not be commenting out of fear of making a grammatical mistake.


  9. I know I make these same mistakes, but do I have some solace in the opinion that mistakes give you something to, which you can look forward? Is that sentence correct?


  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am going to print this list and keep it handy.


  11. Too funny. I just taught this in my Business Communications class Monday night. I also taught them how to blog. Bookmarking this post as an “example” blog.

    Thanks for giving the teacher some “street cred.”


  12. Omg, #1 & #18 are the ones I screw up the most! smh… lol


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