7 Fatal Grammar Mistakes to Avoid in Your Writing
1. Your or You’re?
First of all, possessive or contraction?
"You’re" is a contraction of "you" and "are" saying that "you are’" something. You’re happy.
You’re going shopping.
You’re a good basketball player.
"Your" is a possessive pronoun, for example "your house," "your dog" or "your car."
2. It’s or Its? Here we go with possessive vs. contraction again –
"It’s" is a contract of "it" and "is" (or "it" and "has"). For example, "it is cold outside" or "it’s cold outside."
"Its" is a possessive pronoun as in "the dog is eating its food."
3. There, Their or They’re? "There" is an adverb describing a location. For example, "Bob set his suitcase there."
"Their" is a possessive pronoun as in ”their dog ran away.”
"They’re"’ is a contraction of "they" and "are." For example, "they are going to the game"
or "they’re going to the game." When it boils down to it’ is it possessive or is it a contraction?
4. Affect vs. Effect I still find myself getting caught up with this one, and I always have to stop and think about it. Affect is generally a verb (using it as a noun is usually avoided), it means to influence.
" The Florida State loss will affect their standings in the polls." Effect as a verb means to cause " His look of disapproval effected my shirt change."
Effect as a verb means the result – The effect the hurricane had on the house was devastating.
5. Where to put that damn punctuation For some reason people always try to make punctuation tougher than it is and for some reason when using quotes really confuses people.
Here is your rule of thumb:
When using quotes ALWAYS put the ending punctuation INSIDE the QUOTES- ALWAYS!
" It’s sunny outside," said Mary.
" It’s sunny outside"’, said Mary.
6. Me or I? For what ever reason, this one took me a while too, but once I got it- it was so simple!
The easiest way to tell which to use (me or I) is to take the other person out of the sentence and see if it still makes sense.
"Mom and me went shopping last weekend."
"Mon and I went shopping last weekend."
Which sounds better?
"Me went shopping last weekend", "I went shopping last weekend". When you put it that way, it’s pretty obvious. Isn’t it? 7. Then or Than? Simple put: than is a comparison; then is a description of time.
"I want to go to the grocery story then go home."
"The male dog was more aggressive than the female dog."