Wednesday, May 14, 2014

9 Grammatical Mistakes That Instantly Reveal People's Ignorance

All it takes is a single tweet or text for some people to reveal their poor grasp of the English language.
Homophones — words that sound alike but are spelled differently — can be particularly pesky.
Regardless, you should never choose incorrectly in these nine situations:

1. "Your" vs. "You're"
"Your" is a possessive pronoun, while "you're" is a contraction of "you are."
Example 1: You're pretty. 
Example 2: Give me some of your whiskey.

2. "It's" vs. "Its"
Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession, as in, "I took the dog's bone." But because apostrophes also replace omitted letters — as in "don't" — the "it's" vs. "its" decision gets complicated. 
Use "its" as the possessive pronoun and "it's" for the shortened version of "it is."
Example 1: The dog chewed on its bone.
Example 2: It's raining.

3. "Then" vs. "Than"
"Then" conveys time, while "than" is used for comparison. 
Example 1: We left the party and then went home.
Example 2: We would rather go home than stay at the party.

4. "There" vs. "They're" vs. "Their"
"There" is a location. "Their" is a possessive pronoun. And "they're" is a contraction of "they are."
Use them wisely. 

5. "We're" vs. "Were"
"We're" is a contraction of "we are" and "were" is the past tense of "are."

6. "Affect" vs. "Effect"
"Affect" is a verb and "effect" is a noun.
There are, however, rare exceptions. For example, someone can "effect change" and "affect" can be a psychological symptom. 
Example: How did that affect you? 
Example: What effect did that have on you?

7. "Two" vs. "Too" vs. "To"
"Two" is a number. 
"To" is a preposition. It's used to express motion, although often not literally, toward a person, place, or thing.

And "too" is a synonym for "also."

8. "Into" vs. "In To"