I do not claim to be a grammarian. I frequently refer to Grammar Girl, The Bedford Handbook, The Little Brown Handbook, and any other grammar guide in order to make sure I get it right. But what I can’t stand are “professional” people (or anyone for that matter) that don’t know the basic rules of usage.
1. Believe it or not there is a difference between you’re and your.
- You’re is a contraction of You Are
- Your is the possessive form of You.
2. Their, They’re, and There. So, what’s the difference other than spelling? A lot.
- They’re is a contraction of They Are
- Their is used to show possession.
- There represents a place. Kind of like the word here. There is used to represent a specified place or maybe even an unspecified place
- They’re at their house, which is over there. (Sorry I couldn’t resist)
3. It’s and Its.
- It’s a contraction of It is
- Its is possessive pronoun of It
Irregardless is not a word. It’s Regardless.
5. It’s A lot not
alot. Alot is not a word.
6. It’s Could Have not
- We are relatively lazy speakers. In other words we don’t ennunciate very well, so I can see how could have can turn into could of, but when you’re writing make sure to use could have.
- I could have graduated from college early.
7. Affect v. Effect
- Affect is a noun and a verb, however it used almost exclusively a verb. It means to influence change. (How will the weather affect the team?)
- Effect is a noun and a verb, but it is used primarily as a noun. It means outcome or result. (The effect of the medication is not yet known.)
8. The improper use of the word ‘be‘
- I cringe when I hear someone say, “what is you doing?” or “Is you going?” I want to scream out it’s “what are you doing?” or “are you going?”
9. VIN Number, PIN Number, SAT Test, ACT Test
- When you say VIN Number or PIN Number you are saying Vehicle Identification Number Number or Personal Identification Number Number and with SAT Test you are saying Standard Aptitude Test Test
Great piece! those things drive me nuts too! product of my grandmother and my aunt who would consistently correct our grammar when we talked! lol
Thanks Elaine, I’m not sure what’s happening with grammar nowadays, but the basics are tried and true. There are just some grammar/usage rules that can’t be broken.
I am subconscious of my grammar, so I always try to check and re-check, but sometimes these things sneak up on me. LOL. I absolutely hate the wrong use of their, they’re, and there as well. As well as you’re and your. But, you also forgot then and than. That also wears me out!!
Oh that might be another one. It’s hard when you’re writing or typing really fast or the infernal spell check or if you’re on your phone and that stupid auto correct.
Lol. My poor sister (who is very well educated and well spoken) always uses “then” when she should be using “than.” She must think it’s cute or something. lol.
Yeah. When I misuse the basics, I never tell people I was an English major and taught 9th grade English.