PSLESituationalWriting 5CommonLanguageErrorstoAvoid 1

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

In this post, I would like to share with you 5 common language errors that students should 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.

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

5 Common Language Errors

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

5 Common Language Errors

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”.

5 Common Language Errors

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

5 Common Language Errors

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 these 5 common language errors in your Situational Writing!!

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

Group 48 7 1
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.

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