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Silly Annoying Grammatical Errors

Updated on July 11, 2013
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You're and Your

This is probably the most annoying of all grammatical errors. It is also, the most prevalent error seen in articles and forums. It is difficult to imagine that someone who fashions him/herself as a writer would not know the difference between these two words.

It is simple grammar 101. You're is a contraction. A contraction is the shortening of a word, syllable, or word group by omission of internal letters. Hence You're is actually a contraction of the two words You + Are. The "a" is simply dropped and an apostrophe is added. The space between the two words is also removed. Writers should always ask themselves if they are saying "You Are" before using the term You're.

On the other hand...

Your can never be substituted for You're(you are). It is defined below:

YOUR— (determiner)

1. of, belonging to, or associated with you.

examples: your nose ; your house ; your first taste of freedom

2. belonging to or associated with an unspecified person or people in general.

examples: the path is on your left heading north ; this lotion is for your head only


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To and Too

This is another common careless, or ignorant, mistake that writers commit. It seems that this mistake is one of just sheer ignorance in most cases. So to stop committing this sloppy error, it should be viewed as follows:

To is a part of speech called infinitive, or preposition. It is defined as follows:

TO–(preposition)

1. (used for expressing motion or direction toward a point, person, place, or thing approached and reached, as opposed to from )

example: They came to the house.

If To is used before certain verbs, it is a part of the infinitive, such as-To Do, To Be.

example: To know me is to love me.

........but

TO is not TOO, and can never be substituted in its place.

Too is an adverb that can be broken down as follows:

TOO (tuː) — (adv)

1. as well; in addition; also

example: can I come too?

2. in or to an excessive degree; more than a fitting or desirable amount

example: I have too many things to do

Notice in the last example sentence, both the adverb too and the infinitive to do is used.


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DEFINITELY!

Why is it that so many people find it difficult to spell the word definitely, correctly?

Definitely is one of the most misspelled words in the English language, yet it is a relatively simple term. I will give some pointers on how to correctly spell this easy word, because with just some very minor adjustments this mistake can be easily corrected.

First, the list of wrong ways to spell definitely consists of some of the following:

definately, definatly, definantly, definetly, definently, difinately

These words are close to the correct spelling, but lack the effort to close the deal. That is what is missing, the effort. It doesn't take much more effort to get it right.

A Simple Exercise

Let's begin with this premise. Before trying to spell the word "definitely", one should, first, learn to spell the word it derives from. That word is "definite."

The next step is just too simple. All one needs to do is add "ly" to the word "definite" to spell the word "definite-ly" correctly. It is that simple. However, the effort to remember this simple exercise is what is lacking in writers who continue to misspell this easy word.

DEFINITE-LY!

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    • getitrite profile image
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      getitrite 3 years ago

      SaintClair

      I like the way you laid it out. You painted quite the picture with the play on words.

    • profile image

      SaintClairK59 3 years ago

      What about "there/their/they're" and "loose/lose"? Like the "your vs. you're" and "to vs. too" issues, these two are very common. If I had a dollar for every time I saw "there kids", "where there at", "There with there friends," "loose my mind", or "There cat needs to loose weight", I would probably be able to afford to quit my job. It drives me up the wall. If a) YOUR native language is English, and b) unless you have some sort of learning disability, you should know this by the time YOU'RE old enough to use a computer: THERE is a big difference between homophones and THEIR meanings and spellings. THEY'RE not interchangeable. It makes me LOSE my mind when adults and teens are so LOOSE with THEIR spelling. :)

    • profile image

      Rad Man 4 years ago

      Thus my comment. There are nuts out there. I once had someone ask to meet for lunch to discuss our discussion. Sure.

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 4 years ago

      @Rad Man

      LOL. According at least one hubber, who debated me in the forums, I need all the help I can get, as he is extremely confident that I haven't the writing skills to publish a novel...and that I am a fake, because I won't give him my private information.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 4 years ago

      So you don't need my help????

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 4 years ago

      @RadMan

      I understand. I am a professional writer, so I have learned most of these mistakes after editing my manuscripts...numerous times...with the assistance of professional editors.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 4 years ago

      Grammer is a daily struggle for my dyslexic mind. I'm aware of the above mentioned errors, but that doesn't mean I won't screw them up anyway. Good thing writing is just a hobby for me, my actual job doesn't require that I can spell or punctuate except for emails...

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      It is totally implausible that people would get such elementary grammatical terms confused. The difference between your and you're and there and their was taught in elementary school. Where were these people? America is indeed regressing grammatically. How sad indeed.

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 4 years ago

      LongTimeMother

      and Deepes

      Thanks for your comments. Hope this hub helped to remind you of some of the basic skills of writing.

    • profile image

      Deepes Mind 4 years ago

      You hit this on the head perfectly!!

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      My way of explaining the difference between to and too is this ... "If you're going to the shops or you want to do something you spell it t-o. But if you want to go too and be the extra person or you've had too much dessert meaning you ate more than you should have, then you spell it t-o-o ... putting the extra o on, or making it look like it has one o more than it should."

      Here's how I explain the difference between there, they're and their. "You start here and you go there by adding a t."

      "If they are doing something, you drop the a and use an apostrophe. Every time you see an apostrophe in they're, make sure the sentence makes sense when you change it to they are."

      And, "If it belongs to them, then it is theirs."

      :)

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 4 years ago

      @Thomas

      It's perplexing how people just don't understand the simple differences between these words. Thanks, in advance, for the link.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Haha, good hub. I must say, the "your and you're" one is the most common, and the most annoying. I like it when I get into an argument with someone and they say "your an idiot". I laugh pretty hard before saying: your "what" is an idiot?

      I was going to write a similar hub to this. If I get round to it, I'll give this hub a link.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I am going to try to be aware of this! I bet I have made the you're mistake a time or too (just kidding, two). Nice hub!

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 5 years ago

      Mazzy,

      Yes that is true. The word "normalcy" was invented by President Warren G. Harding, and it became an actual word.

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      The one that irritates me is when people say "I was sat" instead of "I was sitting". If you were sat, it means somewhat sat you down, like a baby. Everyone seems to say it now, though, so maybe it's just a change in the language that I should get used to. At what point does a grammatical error become accepted usage?

    • gabgirl12 profile image

      gabgirl12 5 years ago

      I usually err with 'their' and 'there', 'then' and 'than' and the typical contractions that's confused with a verb 'we're and were'. Believe it or not the latter happens because I completely forget the 'apostrophe'.

      I enjoy correcting grammar and editing. I think when you are short and to the point, the read is more enjoyable. I notice I tend to think differently and phrase my words carefully when 'speaking' if I take the time work on what I write.

      Thanks for the reminder of how important is it to perfect our English.

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 5 years ago

      @tirelesstraveler

      Thank you for stopping by.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      My best friend sapped me in college for the your and you're error. Never again. Must admit from the title I was expecting something worse.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      I suppose that, if they don't know, then it's hard to blame them. :)

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 5 years ago

      @Trish

      But at least you proofread your work, and you understand the actual definitions.

      There are writers who don't even know the different definitions of similar words.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      I just found this ~ and yes, indeed, these errors are very annoying.

      However, I must just add something.

      When I am writing long-hand, I never have problems with 'there', 'their' and 'they're', but, when I am typing, I do sometimes put the incorrect word ~ and I have no idea why that should be.

      When I read my sentences back, I wonder where on earth that incorrect spelling came from. Actually, I make a number of typing errors, which I later correct, but this is different. This is my brain choosing the wrong word, even though I know, and intend to use, the correct one ~ and thought that I had used it.

      Weird!!

      And frustrating!

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 6 years ago

      @penny

      In the forums, I think your writing is very adequate. I have never seen any problems with it.

    • pennyofheaven profile image

      pennyofheaven 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Snapped again! I do those and more all the time! It is pure an utter laziness I am sure. mmmm ...and.. sometimes I am reading a word I have used forever and it just does not look right. Sometimes I have to sound it out write it another way and still does not look right. Even when I get the correct spelling it still doesn't look right? I have never ever thought that it might not be the right word to use till this very moment haha! Enjoy your hubs! Thank you!

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 6 years ago

      hillrider

      Yes, from time to time we all commit errors, but some people just need to learn the basic mechanics of writing.

    • hillrider profile image

      hillrider 6 years ago from Mid-west United States

      Saw the title and had to look inside, nosy devil that I am. As an administrator of another site where writing is supposed to be about sharing and becoming better writers, a work shop atmosphere, so to speak, this issue remains as prevalent. With the aid of computers we don't have to decipher handwriting though so I try to remember the blessings we are given. LOL

      It's difficult to not comment when I notice typos or easily corrected mistakes but during my first couple of days here some old fart got upset when I politely suggested an error existed on someone else's hub and said I was criticizing people. I decided to allow fools to be fools and have made no suggestions since. Yes we all make mistakes, we will but if it is noted, well why wouldn't someone change it ? And there is a measured difference between an occasional error and an error laden posting. I believe your hub refers to the latter.

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 6 years ago

      @W.K. Hayes

      Thanks for reading, and remember it can sometimes be the small things, but they certainly take away from the professionalism of an article.

      Thanks for commenting

    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Your advice is well received by those of us who should learn to pace ourselves better and think about what we have written. Thank you.

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 6 years ago

      dericox,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I think it is appropriate that we here on hubpages, strive to become as professional as possible.

    • dericox profile image

      dericox 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      This is an interesting article. While I will agree that people can be careless at times when writing and differentiating between "to" and "too," I think it might be worth looking at some of the limitations that we have with our language, that is, dealing with so many homophones, homographs, and homonyms, and how those limitations can contribute to these grammatical concerns you have presented. It truly can be confusing and complicated, even for the most ardent writer among us. For example, my degree is in linguistics, and I feel that I pay rigorous attention to my writing most of the times, but there have been times when I was typing so quickly that I wrote "your" instead of "you're." (Of course, I corrected it before it was published.) I think this can happen to us all.

      I am particularly sensitive to the difference between "your" and "you're," but I realized that people have a tendency to write phonetically, which is why so many interchange the two words. They're essentially pronounced the same.

      Thanks for sharing this article.

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 6 years ago

      Thanks tmbridgeland,

      I will be doing more in this series.

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      I think I'm gonna link put a link to this Hub in my 'Write it Right' Hub, that covers a similar topic. Thanks.

    • getitrite profile image
      Author

      getitrite 7 years ago

      @lightning john,

      And isn't it annoying when you read these kinds of grammatical errors, among others, from people who actually call themselves writers?

    • lightning john profile image

      lightning john 7 years ago from Florida

      Oh! Sorry, I meant, " that's a large, ancient reptile, right?" Right?

    • lightning john profile image

      lightning john 7 years ago from Florida

      Oh the many people that I would just love to send this to. But then, we're finding so many writers or persons that start pecking at a keyboard are typing in their slang type of wording, as they actually speak in real life. And when they do finally have to write on a serious note, they look like total fools.

      It's amazing the so called writers we have now that cannot even spell, or take the time to look things up, or even use a spell check. And thesaurus? Thats a large ancient reptile right!