Is it Rude to Correct People’s Grammar?

Some people just say the first thing that comes to mind, without a filter. Others of us are more focused on grammar and carefully plan our words before spitting them out. 

But, is it rude to correct other people’s grammar when they make mistakes? Read on below and learn the truth!

Is it Rude to Correct People’s Grammar?

Unless you are a school teacher, an editor, or someone’s language coach, you shouldn’t ever correct people’s grammar. 

When we correct other people’s grammar, we are likely to make them feel embarrassed or ashamed. The exception is if you are dealing with a family member or close friend. 

How Rude Is it?

rudemeter-rating-09

On a scale of 1 to 10, correcting people’s grammar rates 9 on the rude meter

It is extremely rude to correct people’s grammar when you are not asked to do so (or it is not your job to do so). 

One exception is if you are partners with someone on a project.

Why is it Rude?

It is rude to correct people’s grammar unless we are expected to do so, or it is literally our job. 

If it is not our job to correct someone’s speech or writing, there is no polite way or reason to correct grammar.

Correcting someone’s grammar, whether in writing or verbally, is like dealing a physical blow to someone. 

Most people, even if thankful for your help, also feel ashamed and embarrassed about having their poor grammar corrected.

Correcting someone’s grammar in front of others is even more humiliating and rude.

Other Options to Do Instead

There are a couple of very simple other options to do instead:

  • Offer your service as an English tutor to the person whose grammar you are compelled to correct
  • Prepare grammar notes (speech or written) and give them to the person in private
  • If it is in writing, fix the grammar secretly (and don’t mention it)
  • Try thinking of something else other than correcting people’s grammar 

Common Questions

Why do I correct people’s grammar?

There is no one reason people correct other people’s grammar. Part of it may be compulsory, while part of it may be out of wanting to help the use of proper grammar. However, when we correct people, it often hurts their feelings more than helps them.

What do you call people who correct grammar constantly?

People who constantly correct other people’s grammar are thought to have a disorder known as GPS, or grammar pedantry syndrome. In some places, people who correct grammar constantly are known as grammar nazis (we do not condone name-calling, racism, fascism, or any of the principles associated with the nazi party, and do not intend offensive to readers by using this term).

How do you politely correct grammar?

There is no real way to politely correct grammar because the very act of correcting someone’s grammar (especially if you are doing so in front of others) is rude in itself. Correcting people’s grammar is best left to their teachers, tutors, parents, family, and close friends.