PSLE English | 5 Common Language Errors to Avoid in Situational Writing

Situational Writing (SW) is one component of English where students should aim to score full marks in! This piece of writing is marked based on content (6 marks) and language (9 marks). Even when students are able to hit full marks for content by writing in the required details stated in the question, some students struggle to attain the perfect score for the language portion.

In this post, I would like to share with you 5 simple language errors that students should avoid in SW!


PSLE English | 5 Common Language Errors to Avoid in Situational Writing

First, let’s take a look at this particular piece of SW. Can you spot the 5 language errors?

Can you spot the 5 language errors? SW

1. Note your capital letters!

1. Note your capital letters! SW

When it comes to addressing the person the letter is for, remember to capitalise the name.

This is the case for all, even if the name of the person is not stated.

E.g. Principal, Residents, Teacher

E.g. Principal, Residents, Teacher 

On top of that, capital letter is also important when it comes to signing off.

Always start signing off with a capital letter and any words that come after that should be in lower case since it does not start a sentence.

E.g. Yours sincerely; Yours faithfully; Love; Regards

2. Do not use contractions!

A contraction is a short form of a word or combination of words that is often used instead of the full form in spoken English.

For example, “won’t” is a contraction of “will not”.

2. Do not use contractions! SW

When it comes to writing formal email or letter in SW, contractions should not be used. In addition, even though it is acceptable for contractions to be used during informal writing, we also advised our students against the use of contractions to avoid any possible punctuation errors.

In this case, “I’m” should be changed to “I am”.

3. Use the correct preposition!

Prepositions are important especially when a time and place is needed as information in the letter. The general rule of thumb is:

Use “at/in” for places, “at” for time and “on” for date e.g. at ABC building on Friday

3. Use the correct preposition! . SW

In the above example, we have to switch the two prepositions around!

4. Do not use short forms of words.


4. Do not use short forms of words. SW

Take note that even if the stimulus states the date in short form (e.g. Jan), do remember to spell it out in your writing!

5. Use the right punctuation to end your sentence.

Generally, avoid using the exclamation mark in formal writing. Exclamation mark conveys the tone of excitement, and it is inappropriate for a formal letter even if there is a need to convey urgency.

5. Use the right punctuation to end your sentence. SW

Exclamation mark can be used when it comes to informal writing. For example, we can end the writing this way:


Now, let’s look at the edited copy!

Edited copy

That’s all I have for you! I hope that after reading this, you will start to avoid committing such language errors in your SW!!

Thank you for taking time to read through and happy writing!







Un-Pac the Situation

Features of the Course:

1. Video Lessons

2. Model Practices + 8 Targeted Practices covering various purposes and contexts

3. Annotated Model Answers for each practice

4. Notes to recapitulate video content

Ms. Sze Li

Ms Tan Sze Li is an English Teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. As a teacher, she strongly believes that learning is a journey for everyone – student and teacher alike. After every lesson, the students leave with new knowledge. Her hope is to inspire students to become inquisitive learners who will spark a change in the world with their thirst for knowledge.

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Other related posts

3 Quick but Effective Tips on Editing
Introducing: Mighty Monsterella!
Study Smart! | 3 Revision Tips for Primary School Students!
Announcing the Winner of our ‘Queen of Your Heart’ Mother’s Day Contest!
Situational Writing: Check for Accuracy in These 3 Things!
Comprehension | 6 Steps to Tackle “Support With Evidence” 2-Part Questions
Last Comprehension Question (3 Types) in your Primary School Examination Paper
3 Ways to Express Appreciation Using English (Father’s Day Special)
3 Good Study Habits for Primary School Students
Announcing the Winner of our ‘A Poem for Dad’ Father’s Day contest!
3 Writing Skills to Learn from Reading a Book!
“What if…?” 4 What-Ifs That Make Students Panic During a Stimulus-Based Conversation
3 Things to Look Out for When Faced with a Composition Topic!
Primary School Vocabulary: Confuse, Confused, Confusing? Which is Which?
3 Tips On How To Prepare For Primary School Oral | Stimulus-Based Conversation
3 Tips to Secure More Marks in Visual Text Comprehension (VTC)!
A Lil’ Passion Drives Learning!
A Lil’ Grit Goes A Long Way
Tackling 3 Important Question Types in Comprehension: True/False, Referencing and Sequencing
Visual Text Comprehension | 4 Types of Non-Linguistic Features You Need to Know
4 Examination Components That Test You on Irregular Verbs
Grammar | “I” vs “Me” (Subjective VS Objective Pronoun)
Vocabulary | 5 Common Homophone Mistakes
Composition Writing | 3 Ways to Write A Good Line of Dialogue
3 Ways to Build A Confident Child With Your Choice of Words!
Look Back in a Flash! 3 Ways to Craft Effective Flashbacks
Building Grammar Foundations: Start Young, Start Now
“E” is for Empathy | What Every Primary School Child Needs!
PSLE Oral SBC | 3 Things to Avoid When it Comes to Answering the 1st Question
4 Tips on Crafting Effective Dialogues in a Composition
PSLE Grammar | It’s Time! Stop Neglecting the Apostrophe – 2 Functions!
Primary School English | 3 Ways to Learn and Improve Your English at Home (or Just Anywhere!)
3 Netflix Animated Series to Watch
2 Ways to learning the English Language through Songs!
3 Board Games to Help You Brush Up Your English | Learning While You Are Having Fun!
Lil’ but Mighty School Workshops!
Usher in the new decade with Lil’ but Mighty!
Lower Primary | 2 Types of Comprehension Questions
PSLE Synthesis | STEP BY STEP ON HOW TO ACE THEM! (2019 Review)
Lil’ but Mighty Open House (2019)
Creative Writing & Compo | How to Punctuate Direct Speech
Composition Unpacking: See, Think, Wonder!
Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Vocabulary Infographic + Resources to discuss related topics!
Beauty World Centre Branch is moving to Bukit Timah Shopping Centre (right next door)!
PSLE Grammar | 3 Tricky Subjects that are Commonly Tested
Top 3 Inaccurate Sentence Structures that You Hear in a Classroom
“Our Lil’ Red Dot!” (54th National Day Contest)
PSLE Stimulus-Based Conversation | Stop Doing These Three Things In Your Ending (Conclusion)

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!