See my red pen?
I’m sick of getting it out to fix your grammar. I’m tired of biting my tongue when you misspeak and don’t correct yourself. I’m embarrassed when I see your business signs with childish errors.
So stop! I’m capping my pen and telling you how to fix your common grammar mistakes.
1. It’s vs. Its
It’s is a contraction for “it is.” Its refers to “it” owning something.
Example: It’s a pity that Jenny’s doll lost its shoe.
2. You’re vs. Your
You’re is a contraction for “you are.” Your refers to “you” owning something.
Example: You’re certain you want to bring your journal to Paris?
3. There vs. They’re vs. Their
There refers to a place. They’re is a contraction for “they are.” Their refers to a group’s ownership of something.
Example: They’re going to find out that their suitcase was over there this whole time.
See the pattern? Let’s move on.
4. Possessive Nouns
Don’t mix up where to put the apostrophe.
If the noun is singular and doesn’t end in s, insert the apostrophe before the s. Example: waiter’s tray
If the noun is singular and ends in s, insert the apostrophe after the s. Example: boss’ attitude
If the noun is plural, insert the apostrophe after the s. Example: cats’ toys
5. I vs. Me
I is the object of the sentence. Me is the direct or indirect object of the sentence.
Here’s how to remember: I is doing the action while me is receiving it.
Example: I packed your suitcase. Can you call your father and me when you get home?
6. Effect vs. Affect
Effect is a noun. Affect is a verb.
Example: That play affected me. That play had an effect on me.
7. A Lot vs. Alot vs. Allot
A lot means having a great amount of something. Allot means to set aside or distribute something. Alot isn’t a word.
Example: I allotted $2,000 to spend on food this vacation. That’s a lot!
Get it? Now I can cap my red pen.
What common grammar mistakes drive you crazy? Share them below.