Common mistake 'kind/type/sort of a/an'

Common Mistake: 'kind/type/sort of a/an'

If you frequently use the phrases 'kind of a/an', 'type of a/an', or 'sort of a/an', you might be unknowingly making a common grammatical mistake. While these phrases are commonly used, they are often used incorrectly and can hinder the clarity and precision of your writing.

Why it's a mistake

When you use the phrases 'kind of a/an', 'type of a/an', or 'sort of a/an' in your sentence, you are essentially using two classification terms to describe a single noun. This redundancy can make your sentence sound awkward and clumsy.

For example:

  • Incorrect: I saw a kind of a bird in the park.
  • Correct: I saw a kind of bird in the park.

In the incorrect example, the use of both 'kind of' and 'a' before 'bird' is redundant. By removing 'a', the sentence becomes more concise and grammatically correct.

It's important to note that the phrases 'kind of' and 'sort of' can also be used informally to mean 'to some extent'. When used in this way, they are usually not followed by 'a/an'.

For example:

  • Informal: I'm kind of tired. (= I'm somewhat tired.)

How to fix it

To avoid this common mistake, simply remove the 'a' or 'an' after the phrase 'kind of', 'type of', or 'sort of'.

For example:

  • Incorrect: He's a type of a genius.
  • Correct: He's a type of genius.

By using only one classification term, your sentence will become more concise and grammatically correct.

Overall, paying attention to the proper use of these phrases in your writing can greatly improve the clarity and effectiveness of your communication.

(Linguix grammar checker is an excellent tool that can help you identify and correct common grammar mistakes like these, making your writing even more polished and professional.)

'kind/type/sort of a/an' mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    What kind of a man is Bush?

    What kind of man is Bush?

  • Incorrect:
    Do you have any kind of an alibi?

    Do you have any kind of alibi?

  • Correct:
    What kind of man is Bush?
  • Correct:
    It became kind of a last minute decision.
  • Correct:
    I was sort of a mascot; I would get them coffee or tea ...
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