British undergraduates are nearly three times more likely to make errors in English than those from overseas, according to new research.
A study of written work produced by final-year students revealed that, on average, they had 52.2 punctuation, grammatical and spelling errors per paper compared with just 18.8 for the international students.
Spelling errors included "flourescence" for "fluorescence", "alot" for "a lot", "seperate" for "separate", "yeild" for "yield", "relevent" for "relevant", "introduications" for "introductions" and "pail vains" for "pale veins".
"There were hundreds of cases of disagreement in number between subjects and verbs (such as 'male sterility are useful', 'fertility in most breeds have low heritability')," added the research. Wrong plurals – such as varietys, two theorys and the two hypothesis – were common, it added.
Grammatical errors included "done by my partner and I" and "a women".
On punctuation, it added: "Semicolons were often used to introduce lists. Very few students used colons.
"Some never used possessive apostrophes, and there were many apostrophes used in non-possessive plurals – 'the cows rectum' and 'the harem's of seals'. Full story >>
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Listen to an interview with the author of the study from Radio 4's Today programme.