Common Grammatical Errors of Non-Native English Writers


Pieces written by native English speakers tend to be much more grammatically correct. The grammar and syntax also tend to be maintained in their proper placement and the piece tends to be much more fluid. If this is so for your piece, then you won’t have to do as much editing.

Here is a list of the most common errors that non-native English speakers tend to make:

  • They often confuse past and present tenses. For example, they may say something like “I do/done something” when they mean to say “I am/I’m doing something”.
  • They tend to leave out or make errors on future tenses such as, “we go on a trip in a month” when they mean to say, “we’re going on a trip in a month”.
  • They struggle with prepositions. For example, they might say, “why did you do?” when they mean to say “why did you do it?”
  • They sometimes don’t use punctuation or use it where it’s not necessary. This makes the content very confusing and difficult on the eyes. Similarly, some of them Capitalize Every Word.
  • They indiscriminately rely on dictionaries and thesauruses. They tend to look at the lists and then simply pick a word. They struggle with the fact that even though words may have similar meanings that one is simply more popular to use than another. For example, most native English speakers currently say “translate” in the place of something like “decipher”.

If you’re using SEO, chances are, you’re doing so for a business. In order to be able to continue to reach as many people as possible, you can’t afford for your content to look choppy. Not that non-native speakers aren’t just as capable of producing good content but they have to work much harder at it. They usually improve significantly with time and experience. When it’s obvious that your SEO piece has been written by a non-Native English speaker, you always have the option of asking for a revision or rejecting it. You would do best to base your decision on how well the overall content is written.