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Grammar Mistakes NO ONE Should Make Part I

Updated on September 30, 2010
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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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    • 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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