Grammar Mistakes NO ONE Should Make Part I

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1. THEIR v. THERE v. THEY’RE

Use THEIR when you’re trying to show possession

  • The kids are wearing their bathing suits.

Use THERE when you’re trying to show location

  • The bathing suits were left there.

Use THEY’RE when you are saying “they are”

  • They're going back to the beach because they left their bathing suits there.

2. YOUR v. YOU’RE

Use YOUR when you’re trying to show possession

  • Gee, your hair smells terrific

Use YOU’RE when you are saying “you are”

  • You're going to be sorrily disappointed with that shampoo.

3. ITS v. IT’S

Use ITS when you’re trying to show possession

  • The dog is chasing its tail.

Use IT’S when you’re saying “it is”

  • It's a nice day for a white wedding.

4. AFFECT v. EFFECT

Use AFFECT as a verb (unless you’re talking about someone’s mood)

  • Her opinion was affected by the advertisement.

Use EFFECT as a noun

  • The advertisement clearly had an effect on her opinion.

5. LACK OF SUBJECT-PRONOUN AGREEMENT

Okay so now you know how to properly use “their,” but you might still be misusing it. NEVER use THEIR to show possession of a singular person/thing. For example:

It is incorrect to say: The person speaking should raise their voice.

The word “person” denotes that one person is speaking. You could correct this error using the following methods:

  • The person speaking should raise his/her voice.
  • The person speaking should speak louder. (I prefer this solution, as it avoids the issue altogether).
Continue to Part II

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Comments 2 comments

leni sands profile image

leni sands 6 years ago from UK

Very useful hub. I get rather frustrated when I'm reading articles and the wrong their, there, or they're are used as well as the your and you're. Thanks for the hub.


htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

Thanks for the Great post!

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