Common Errors in English





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The concept of Common Errors is a fuzzy one. We leave to linguists the technical definitions. Here we’re concerned only with deviations from the standard use of English as judged by sophisticated users such as professional writers, editors, teachers and literate executives and personnel officers. The aim of this page is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak.

If your standard usage causes other people to consider you stupid or ignorant, you may want to consider changing it. You have the right to express yourself in any manner you please, but if you wish to communicate effectively, you should use nonstandard English only when you intend to rather than fall into it because you don’t know any better. Other sites do this. Ours is dedicated to errors in usage. This page is really aimed at the most errors of native speakers. The errors others make in English differ according to the characteristics of their first languages. Speakers of other languages tend to make some specific errors that are uncommon among native speakers.

We all commit mistakes from time to time. If you think you’ve found an error in our own writings, you are welcome to let us know it at once.

Here is the List of Errors beginning with S.


  • Sacred and Scared
  • Sacreligious or Sacrilegious
  • Safety Deposit Box or Safe Deposit Box

  • Sail, Sale and Sell

  • Sakes or Sake
  • Salsa Sauce or Salsa
  • Same Difference
  • Sarcastic and Ironic
  • Satellite
  • Saw or Seen
  • Say and Tell
  • Say Your Piece ( and ) Hold Your Peace
  • Says That and Expresses That
  • Scared or Ascared
  • Sceptic or Skeptic
  • Sci-Fi, SF and Science Fiction
  • Schizophrenic
  • Scone or Sconce
  • Scotch Free or Scot Free
  • Scotch or Scots
  • Scrapegoat or Scapegoat
  • Scratch and Itch
  • Sea Changes
  • Seam and Seem
  • Second of All ( or ) Second
  • Segway or Segue
  • Select and Selected
  • Self-Titled and Eponymous
  • Self-Worth or Self-Esteem
  • Semicolons and Colons
  • Semiweekly and Biweekly
  • Sense and Since
  • Sensor or Censor or Censure or Censer
  • Sensual and Sensuous
  • Sentence Fragments
  • Sergeant of Arms ( or ) Sergeant at Arms
  • Service and Serve
  • Set and Sit
  • Setup or Set Up
  • Several or Various
  • Sexist or Chauvinist or Male Chauvinist
  • Shall or Will
  • A Shambles or In Shambles
  • She, He, Her and Him
  • Shear and Sheer
  • Sheath and Sheaf
  • Sherbert or Sherbet
  • Shimmy or Shinny
  • Shock and Electrocute
  • Shoe-In or Shoo-In
  • Shone and Shown
  • Shook and Shaken
  • Should Of, Could Of and Would Of
  • Shrunk and Shrank
  • Shucks and Awe or Awe Shucks
  • Shutter to Think ( or ) Shudder to Think
  • Sick or Sic
  • Sierra Nevada Mountains or Sierra Nevadas
  • Signaled Out ( or ) Singled Out
  • Silicon or Silicone
  • Simplistic
  • Since Time Began, From The Beginning of Time, Anything More Specific
  • Singing and Music
  • Single Quotes
  • Sister-in-Laws or Sisters-in-Law
  • Site and Page
  • Site or Sight or Cite
  • Skiddish or Skittish
  • Slash and Backslash
  • Slaughter, Annihilate, Decimate and Obliterate
  • Slight of Hand or Sleight of Hand
  • Slog It Out ( or ) Slug It Out
  • Slow Gin ( or ) Sloe Gin
  • Sluff Off ( or ) Slough Off
  • Snuck or Sneaked
  • So and Very
  • So Fun ( or ) So Much Fun
  • So Much That, To Where ( or ) To The Point That
  • Soar and Sore
  • Social and Societal
  • Sojourn and Journey
  • Sole and Soul
  • Sometime and Some Time
  • Sometimes Not Always, Sometimes, Not Always
  • Somewhat and Pretty
  • Somewhat of A, Somewhat, Something of A
  • Songs, Works, Compositions or Pieces
  • Sooner or Rather
  • Sooner Than Later ( or ) Sooner Rather Than Later
  • Sort After or Sought After
  • Sort Of, Rather and Somewhat
  • Soup Du Jour of The Day ( or ) Soup of The Day
  • Sour Grapes
  • Sowcow or Salchow
  • Spaces After A Period
  • Spaded and Spayed
  • Span and Spun
  • Spare of The Moment or Spur of The Moment
  • Specially and Especially
  • Specie and Species
  • Rate of Speed
  • Spices and Herbs
  • Spicket or Spigot
  • Spiritualism
  • Spoke and Said
  • Spree
  • Squash and Quash
  • Staid and Stayed
  • Stalactites and Stalagmites
  • Stand and Stance
  • State Enthusiastically
  • States and Countries
  • Stationary and Stationery
  • Statue of Limitations ( or ) Statute of Limitations
  • Steal and Rob
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Step Foot or Set Foot
  • Stereo
  • Stint and Stent
  • Stock and Trade, Stock in Trade
  • Stomp or Stamp
  • Straight and Strait
  • Straightjacket or Straitjacket
  • Straight Jacket or Strait Jacket
  • Straight-Laced or Strait-Laced
  • Stress On ( or ) Feel Stress
  • Stricken and Struck
  • Strong Suite or Strong Suit
  • Strongly or Heavily
  • Stupid and Ignorant
  • Submittal and Submission
  • Subscribe and Ascribe
  • Substance-Free
  • Substitute With ( or ) Substitute For
  • Suffer With ( or ) Suffer From
  • Suit or Suite
  • Sulking or Skulking
  • Summary and Summery
  • Suped Up ( or ) Souped Up
  • Supercede or Supersede
  • Supine and Prone
  • Supposably, Supposingly, Supposively or Supposedly
  • Suppose To ( or ) Supposed To
  • Supremist or Supremacist
  • Sure and For Sure
  • Surfing The Internet ( or ) Channel-Surfing
  • Suspect and Suspicious
  • Swam or Swum
  • Symbol and Parallel
  • Sympathy and Empathy


  • Common Errors Index




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