The 8 most common spelling and grammatical errors in the thesis

The 8 most common spelling and grammatical errors in the thesis

In our exercise as style proofreaders we have reviewed a number of theses and we have found some errors that the thesis generally commit.

For that reason, we have compiled them and in a brief way we explain why they are wrong, and also we leave you some tips to write the thesis in a better way, without needing to stop hours in the RAE to understand the spelling and grammar rules.

We assure you that with these tips, your writing will be much more correct.

  1. Incorrect use of capital letters

One of the most recurrent errors in the degreeworks is the capitals badly used, so keep in mind the following:

  • It is not advisable to use a capital letter in the text, unless the format of the university requires it.
  • In addition, you should use initial capital only when strictly necessary, such as own nouns, names of people, names of countries, names of companies or brands, etc., which should always be capitalized. The analysis categories defined in your thesis are also capitalized.

Important: the names of the months, gentilicios, days of the week and positions in companies are usually placed with capital letters by the thesis, but should not go well, but all in lowercase.

  1. Errors with homophones

It is a very common error in theses the incorrect use of words because their meaning is confused because their pronunciation is the same; These are the most repeated:

  • Oh, there and there. Ay is an interjection, that is to say that it is used for exclamation: Oh, how terrible! There is an adverb of place: there was the woman. There is a conjugated form of the verb to have: there are many apples in the basket.
  • Environment and around, the first refers to the context or environment, and the second is synonymous with about or about. Example: Colombia is the ideal environment for many amphibian species. Example 2: talking about the financial situation of the country is an issue that is extensive.
  • Above all and above all. The first is an expression that denotes emphasis and the second is used in many countries to designate a type of shelter. Example: the temperature of the coast has increased, especially in the departments of Bolívar, Magdalena, La Guajira and Atlántico.

Still you should know that even without tilde it means even and even with tilde it means still, examples:

  • Even with the flu, he went out into the street.
  • He went out to the street and has not yet returned.

More and more. But without tilde means but; more with tilde refers to quantity.

For example: I go to the cinema but not to the park; I like going to the movies more than going to the park.

No number and no number. No number means an infinite number of elements; without number represents something that is not numbered. Example:

  • There are countless theories about it. The final document was sent without a number of pages.
  • Do and do Haz comes from the verb to do and has comes from the verb to have. Example: do what your advisor tells you; Have you studied for the exam?
  • But if not. But it is an adversative conjunction and is always written in a single word; if it is not a conditional sentence and it is written in two words. Example: not only do I have to make the theoretical framework but also the conclusions. If you do not study you lose the exam.

Trick: if you can write a subject between yes and no, it is separated.

If (you) do not study you lose the exam.

  1. Incorrect use of prefixes

Many times the thesis think that when they unite a word to a prefix they must separate them by a script, and that most of the time is incorrect.

Remember, according to the RAE (s.f.):

  • The prefixes are written together with the base to which they affect when it is univerbal, that is, when it consists of a single word: anti-stick, anti-theft, quasi-deliverer, ex-minister, ex-boyfriend, pre-contract, postmodern, vice-mayor, vice-president, supermodel, etc.
  • They are necessarily written separately from the base they affect when this is pluriversal, that is, when it is made up of several words: ex public relations, anti death penalty, human rights.
  • They are joined with a script to the base word when it begins with a capital letter, that is, when the prefix is prefixed with an acronym or a universal proper name: anti-ALCA, mini-USB, post-Gorbachev, por-Obama. It is also necessary to use the script when the base is a number, in order to separate the sequence of letters of the number: sub-21, super-8.
  1. Yes without tilde

If it is written without a tilde when it is a conjunction (“If you start today, you will finish faster”) and when it refers, as a noun, to the musical note (“If he reaches it easily).

While it is written with a tilde when it is an affirmative adverb (“Yes, it is in the house”), when it is a reflexive personal pronoun (“He believed in himself) and when it is a noun that expresses approval (” He said yes “). ).

Do not forget, because we assure you that this dilemma between yes and yes will be present throughout your final document.

  1. Solo and demonstrative pronouns with tilde

A very common mistake in the thesis is to write sentences like this:

  • “The Bank managed to increase its profits through the granting of credit cards, however, it also increased its costs.”
  • “The Bank gives credit cards only to those who can pay it.”

However, the word alone, both when it is adverb and is equivalent to only (“I only had a couple of coins in my pocket”) and when it is an adjective (“I would not like to be alone”), it should not have a tilde.

In turn, the demonstratives this, that and that, with their feminine and plural, function as pronouns (“this is intelligent, I want that”) or as determinants (“those guys, the girl that”), should not carry tilde.

  1. Write uppercase after two consecutive points

After two points the next word should always start lowercase. Except when the phrase below is a textual quote or a direct thought, in that case it must begin in capital letters after the opening quotation marks.

  • “What I want to do today is go to the movies and walk in the park.” (Right)
  • “What I want to do today is: Go to the movies and walk in the park.” (Incorrect)
  • My mom told me: “Go do your work before playing.” (Right)
  • My mother told me: Go to do your work before playing. (Incorrect)
  • My mom told me: “go do your work before playing.” (Incorrect)

Remember these examples and apply them in your thesis.

  1. Write acronyms in plural

The thesis writers write many acronyms in their documents, so it is necessary to take into account that when acronyms are written, they should not be pluralized, because they are invariable in the written language. The plural must be expressed in the word that precedes it, therefore, the RAE always recommends to always write a determinant to introduce the acronym when it expresses plurality. Example:

  • “The project has been supported by the various NGOs in Mexico.”
  • “Current education is based on different ICT”.


  • Writing ICTs, ICTs or ICT’s is incorrect. The right thing is ICT.
  • Just as writing NGOs, NGOs or NGOs is wrong. The right thing is the NGOs.
  1. Question marks or admiration

Surely this question has been presented many times, so always remember the following tips that will help you to better use the question marks and admiration:

  • In English it is an error not to write the question marks and opening exclamation, you should always write both the opening and the closing ones. Remember it!

After the question marks and closing exclamation (?,!) You can write any punctuation minus the period (.); When the closing sign represents the end of the sentence, the following sentence should be written with a capital letter like this: How does the girl continue? Yesterday you said he was improving. The exceptions are when after them a comma or a semicolon is written. Example: How does the girl continue? Yesterday you said that she was improving.

If several questions are written together, they should start with a capital letter. Unless they are separated with commas or semicolons.

Example 1: What’s wrong? Are you sure of what you are doing? Is not it better to return to your home?

Example 2: What’s wrong with you? Are you okay? Is not it better for you to go home?

If the question comes after a point or two points, start with a capital letter.

Finally, remember that it is not necessary to devote a large amount of time to learn perfectly grammar rules or style, it is always better to devote to the most important, which is the content of your thesis, and leave the aspects of form in the hands of an expert in style correction.