What errors do native speakers of English make more often than non-native?

If you guessed that the error is confusing your and you’re, you guessed it right.  The pervasiveness of this error is just mind bogging.  This error is common among both college graduates and  people who never got their high school diploma.  Why do people make this error?  I think the reason is laziness and discounting the difference between the two as something insignificant.  The reasoning goes something like this: they sound the same, and the context will help the receiver  of the message to figure out which one I mean, so why should I bother to spell them correctly? A close second is the “there, they’re, and their” confusion.

The ironic part is that non-native speakers learn to differentiate and use these words correctly relatively quickly.  This type of error is rare beyond the beginning level of English acquisition.

I don’t know about you, but when I see a native speaker making errors as basic as this, I can’t help but wonder whether this person is  also sloppy about other things in life…


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