Errors of Style



A play on words. Not necessarily an error of style but still included in the section for examination purposes.

Example: My mom just took away my mood ring: I don’t know how I feel about it.

Ambiguity/Misrelated participle

This is where the sentence can have more than one meaning. The participle isn't only qualifying one noun.

Example: Each of us saw her duck.

As seen above, the sentence here does not specify whether they actually saw her animal duck or they saw her duck (verb).


A phrase or opinion that is overused and is not original. 

Example: The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

This phrase can be seen in many places and is clichéd.



Speaking around the point and not speaking about the topic that was given - being evasive.

Example: “Our father who art in heaven” instead of God

Circumlocution is similar to verbosity in this sense.



Using too many words to say something that could be said in fewer.

Example: The device which increases atomic vibration in objects is broken. 

Instead of saying, “The microwave is broken”, the above is used. Too many words were used to explain something that could’ve been explained in fewer.



Including parts of information that mean the same thing in the same sentence. 

Example: He died in the fatal car accident. 

In the sentence above, we can see that “fatal” and “died” mean more or less the same thing in the sentence and one is not necessary. 


Comma splice error

Two independent clauses are connected with a comma.

Example: Messi is the best football player in the world, Ronaldo can compete with Messi for the Ballon 'd Or

In the sentence above it can be seen that each of the clauses that are joined could stand by themselves. This indicates a comma splice error.


Error of concord

This is where the concord of a sentence is incorrectly written. 

Example: The people was playing.

The sentence above should be The people were playing. The concord is the word that qualifies the participle to the noun. The correct concord has to be used depending on the plurality of the subjects in the sentence. 



The incorrect word is used in the sentence. The outcome is usually comical.

Example: The head monster is in charge of the school.

Head monster was used instead of headmaster. Children usually make these mistakes.



The first and last letters are swapped around.

Example: Tease my ears // Ease my tears

Children often make this mistake.



"Only" and "Even" must be directly in front of the word they qualify.