Grammar Error or Grammatical Error – Which Is Correct?

It is so easy to be confused by the English language, to the point that even the terms we use to refer to mistakes in grammar (or the use of the language itself) can be put into question. This article discusses the terms “grammar error” and “grammatical error”.

Grammar Error or Grammatical Error – Which Is Correct?

You can use either of the two terms to refer to errors in grammar, as both have the same meaning. While the phrase ” grammatical error” is the more common and the more often used term, “grammar error” is also grammatically correct.

Grammar error or Grammatical error

The term “grammar error” is a compound noun. Meanwhile, the term “grammatical error” uses the adjective “grammatical” to modify the noun “error”.

They both mean the same thing: a mistake in grammar. Because the two terms have the same meaning, they can also be interchanged with one other. Take a look at the sentences below:

  • There was a grammatical error in the second paragraph of her paper.
  • There was a grammar error in the second paragraph of her paper.

Both of the above sentences express that there was a mistake in grammar in “the second paragraph of her paper”.

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Grammar Error

The term “grammar error” is used to refer to a mistake in grammar.

When you want to talk about incorrect word usage, misused prepositions, incorrect subject-verb agreement, or other grammar mistakes, you can use the term “grammar error”.

“Grammar error” is a compound noun. It is made up of the words “grammar” and “error”. This term is synonymous with the more popularly used phrase “grammatical error”.

Below are examples of how to use “grammar error” in a sentence:

  1. Take care to avoid making grammar errors when you write.
  2. There is a grammar error on the teacher’s note, but no one has the guts to point it out.
  3. I think I left a grammar error unchecked on my college application essay.
  4. She can’t believe she accidentally put in a grammar error on the first sentence of her final paper.
  5. I don’t want any grammar errors on this report, do you understand?
  6. There’s a grammar error on the title of your essay, you should fix that.
  7. Nathan is worried that he forgot to edit a huge grammar error in his report.

Grammatical Error

The term “grammatical error” is the more popular term to use when talking about a mistake in grammar.

You use the term “grammatical error” when referring to grammatical errors such as misused pronouns, misplaced apostrophes, wrong use of tense, etc.

Here, the word “grammatical” is used as an adjective which modifies the word “error”. In other words, it defines what kind of error it is.

Below are examples of how to use “grammatical error” in a sentence:

  1. Take care to avoid making grammatical errors in your examinations, because I will be subtracting points for them.
  2. Carla noticed a grammatical error on her teacher’s note, but she doesn’t have the guts to point it out.
  3. Fernando is panicking because he thinks his college application essay is filled with grammatical errors.
  4. I can’t believe that I accidentally left a grammatical error on the first sentence of my final paper, even after all the revising I did.
  5. Professor Juarez doesn’t want a single grammatical error on this report, so we really have to be meticulous in writing it.
  6. Is there some sort of grammatical error in my conclusion?
  7. His story is practically unreadable because of all the grammatical errors.

Which Is Used the Most?

According to data from Google Ngram Viewer, the term “grammatical error” is more commonly used than “grammar error”.

Google Ngram Viewer allows us to see how often certain terms are used in a wide range of books. Based on data from books written in English between the years 1900-2019, the phrase “grammatical error” is more popular than “grammar error”.

Grammar error or Grammatical error english usage

It is interesting to note that the popularity of “grammatical error” over “grammar error” has remained consistent since 1900.

Final Thoughts

You can use either “grammar error” or “grammatical error” to refer to mistakes in grammar because both of these terms share the same meaning. While you are more likely to encounter the phrase ” grammatical error”, “grammar error” is also grammatically correct.

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