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Saturday, February 02, 2013

A Quick Lesson in Grammar

One of my pet peeves is errors in basic grammar. Now, I know we all make mistakes from time to time, and a word may get spelt (spelled - you can actually use both) incorrectly, and we've all been victims of auto-correct, but there are some instances where incorrect grammar and usage make people look unintelligent.

Especially when some of those people are writers!

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not about to point any fingers, and I know I still use words incorrectly sometimes, but I think that if we're going to put our work out in the public arena for everyone to see, it has to be as perfect as possible.

I thought I'd point out a few common mistakes people make, and the ones that annoy me the most.

Your versus You're

Your is the second person possessive adjective, and is used to describe something that belongs to you.
Is that your hot pink car?

You're is a conjunction of you are, and is often followed by a verb ending in -ing (or the present participle).
Are you embarrassed? You're turning as pink as your car.

I love this episode of Friends - the one with the jellyfish

Would have, Could have, Should have

When we speak, it often sounds like we're saying 'would of'. The correct usage is would have. The 'of' comes from the use of the contraction would've. Using 'of' is bad grammar and simply really annoying. Have a look here for more info.

It's versus Its

It's is a contraction of it is or it has.
It's been a long time since we spoke.
Baby, it's cold outside.

Its is the possessive form of it.
My cat has a mind of its own.

If you can replace the word with it is or it has, then use it's. Otherwise it's just its.

Then versus Than

To put it simply: Then is mainly an adverb, and often used to situate an action in time.
I brushed my teeth, and then I went to bed.

Than is a conjunction used mainly to make a comparison.
She has lighter hair than you.

Then has many synonyms, whereas than has no one-word synonyms. For a full explanation have a look here.

Did I make any mistakes in this post? Do you have a grammar pet peeve? I'd love to hear about it.

K x

1 comment:

  1. You didn't make any errors that I could see, and I'm Queen Picky, so... :p


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