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Posted Jan. 25, 2013

Epic Grammar Fails That Will Leave You Red Faced

Now that you're on the path to becoming a postgraduate, there are no excuses for making silly grammar mistakes.

Don't want to end up red faced? Check out these epic grammar fails that people still manage to make every day.

Its / It’s ‘It’s’ is a contraction of it is or it has. Wherever you could use it is or it has instead of it’s is the correct placement. i.e.

“It’s a silly mistake to make.” ‘Its’ is a possessive pronoun. If you are unsure of when this should be used, say the sentence out load but replace the word ‘its’ with ‘it is’.

If the sentence sounds stupid, you know that you should be writing its. For Example; “ the university has its freshers week in October ”. Replacing ‘its’ for ‘it is’ in this sentence sounds wrong, so it is wrong!

Your / You’re ‘You’re’ is a contraction of you are. If the sentence makes sense with the words you are instead of you’re then it is the correct place to write it, if not you've made a mistake.

Your is a possessive pronoun, and does not work instead of you are. An example of both of these uses would be "Your essay is late again, you’re going to be in trouble this time!" They’re / There / Their Lets deal with they’re first. Like it’s and you’re, it is a contraction of they are. If the sentence makes sense with the words they are instead of they’re then it is correct. If it sounds stupid, you should be using there or their.

Their is used when referring to something that belongs to more than one person. “ Their postgraduate presentation was amazing .” There is used in all other cases, often to refer to places among other things. “ Over there Than / Then ‘Than’ is a word used to compare things.

“This is better than that.” Then has a variety of different meanings, so if you are not comparing two things, then is going to be the correct word. It is often used to reference a point in time, as well as an addition to a list.

“I am going to eat my dinner, and then I will complete my assignment.” Affect / Effect Affect is a verb, as in “This loud music will seriously affect my ability to work.” Effect is usually a noun, as in “The effect of last night's party is a seriously bad hangover.” Me / I and Myself The easiest way to distinguish between the use of me and I is to swap one for the other within the sentence. If it no longer makes sense, you know which one to use! You would never say “Me love you” as it sounds ridiculous, so by default “I love you” has to be the correct way.

Myself is used in the following two ways; “I myself don’t mind it, and I find myself asking why everyone else hates it so much.” Fewer / Less Fewer is used for anything which you can count.

“There are fewer people at the seminar today.” Less is used for anything that cannot be counted.

”There is less chance of rain today.” Apostrophes Apostrophes are used in order to show someone’s possession of something.

 “They were all very impressed with the goat’s horns.” If it is not possession of something, do not use an apostrophe.

“They were all very impressed with the goats.” If it is plural possession, the apostrophe goes after the s.

“They were all very impressed with the goats’ horns.” This now indicates that they were impressed by the horns of multiple goats and not just one.

Are you guilty of making any of these grammar mistakes?  Share with us in the comments below .


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