Related (although the title is too broad, and it references a small item).

Should we try to keep correct grammar in the comments? I think, being an EL&U site, we should aim to have good grammar across all of the main sites.

If someone posts an ungrammatical comment, is it appropriate to reply to them correcting them, as one might do on Facebook?

  • 1
    This is unclear. Are you asking about comments or about Q/A (you mention both but harp on commments). Q/A can be edited so suggesting correct grammar is a waste, just go ahead and edit, just like for misspelling as always. Comments are throwaways and also can't be edited after time, so don't bother.
    – Mitch
    Aug 27, 2014 at 20:22
  • @Mitch Comments.
    – Tim
    Aug 27, 2014 at 20:25
  • Tim: to what end? What problem are you looking to solve?
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 27, 2014 at 22:23
  • I think you mean "ungrammatical" not "grammatically incorrect".
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Aug 28, 2014 at 0:26
  • 3
    Well, you could try it and see what happens. I'll bring the popcorn. Aug 28, 2014 at 1:46
  • @StoneyB They deleted and reposted - no excitement... Waste of popcorn ;-)
    – Tim
    Aug 28, 2014 at 7:51
  • Nobody has a sense of drama anymore. Aug 28, 2014 at 10:03
  • 2
    Like everyone (well, probably more than most! :) I make typos everywhere - questions, answers, and comments. Usually I'm happy to see someone correct an obvious mistake. But I've had a few occasions where someone thinks my usage is "incorrect" even though I'm quite happy with whatever I wrote, which can get pretty annoying if they don't quickly back off. My thinking is you shouldn't just go ahead and edit someone else's text unless you're reasonably sure just they made an inadvertent slip (or they're not a native speaker anyway, and they've made a really bad error out of sheer ignorance). Aug 28, 2014 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


In the general world, correcting other people's grammar and orthography is questionable. Mistakes are a thorn in your side, a nail sticking out that asks to be hammered down.

Newspaper editors and school teachers have paying jobs to correct these, the rest of us a just annoyed.

On the internet, I think the prevailing current feeling is that it is 'uncool' to tell someone of their error.

Here on SE, if an error is in a question or answer, the software is set up so that one can edit (do something about it rather than just whine).

But comments are not set up that way. The author can edit for a few minutes afterwards, but then it times out. One can get around this by the author deleting and resubmitting corrected text. But in a thread of comments it may be out of sync with the rest.

Now to question you desire to fix errors in comments anywhere but especially here on ELU. There are a lot of different kinds of people writing here with different levels of fluency, both native and non-native speakers. Also different levels of typing. So cut everybody some slack.

Comments here are not as important as questions and answers and the technology is consistent with that. If you feel compelled to point out errors in comments, you might just end up annoying people more than the original error.


Well sometimes this is appropriate. But some people may react badly. If they do, just drop it.

They were fine with me - I deleted the comments about it, they reposted and deleted the original, looked like nothing had changed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .