Cracking the Code:
ENGL 101 Course pack
By Melinda Dewsbury
Trinity Western University
Revised for English 101A/B
General Writing and Resources
Grammar Error Checklist
o I do not use I, me, my, mine.
o I do not use you, your, yours.
o I do not use let.
o I only use people, human, society, lives, life a few times. o I do not use contractions like can’t, didn’t, don’t. o I do not use slang like guys, cool, awesome.
o I use academic vocabulary instead of good, bad, big, small, important. o I have not used the word besides.
o I use marry or to get married as the verb form.
o I use to have a baby or to give birth (NOT to born a baby). o When I talk about problems, I say experience, encounter, face, or cope with. I do
NOT use meet. o I have not used direct translation from my first language or from my electronic translator.
o I have checked the words image and imagine.
o I have checked the words from and form.
o I do not use there is or there are.
o I have checked the words scared and sacred.
o I have put my essay through spell-check on the computer.
o I use the word research as a non-count noun.
o I use the word evidence as a non-count noun.
o I use the word stress as a non-count noun.
Cause and Effect Grammar
o I use one cause or one of the causes. (NOT one of cause) o I say cause of NOT cause for.
o I do not use cause, reason, why, come from together.
Correct: The causes of happiness are internal.
Incorrect: The causes of happiness come from internal thoughts.
Correct: The reason that married people are happy is…
Correct: The reason for married people’s happiness is…
Incorrect: The reason why married people are happy is…
Verbs and Prepositions
o I use similar to and different from.
o I use take care of or care for.
o I use harmful to (+ noun).
o I use related to
o When I use the word contact, I say to have contact with or contact + object. I do
NOT say “She contacted with him.” o I use think of + noun/pronoun + as + noun.
Correct: Happy people think of failures as life lessons.
o When I use can + adverb, I do NOT use an infinitive.
Correct: can easily go
Incorrect: can easily to go
Incorrect: can easy to go
o After that I use a full clause (SVO) as the object.
Correct: They said that happy people do not blame others. o I do not use about and that at the same time.
Correct: Happy people care about others.
Incorrect: Happy people care that about others.
Common Grammar Problems
o I use he for a male author and she for a female author and they for more than one. o I have used the present tense for the reporting verb when citing a source.
Correct: Sapir discusses the restrictions that language puts on perspective.
Incorrect: Sapir discussed the restrictions that language puts on perspective.
Incorrect: Sapir is discussing the restrictions that language puts on perspective.
o I have checked whether the verb takes a gerund or infinitive. I have not mixed them together (began to looking for…). o When I use make, I do not add the infinitive.
Correct: Happiness makes children behave.
Incorrect: Happiness makes children to behave.
o I have used a noun or noun phrase after during, NOT a full clause (SVO).
Correct: The choices that people make during their teen years can have an impact on
their entire life.
Incorrect: The choices that people make during they are teenagers can have an impact on
their entire life.
o I have used a full clause (SVO) and the progressive verb tense following while, OR I have used a gerund following while.
Correct: John Doe used a seatbelt while he was driving.
Correct: John Doe used a seatbelt while driving.
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