Grammar Gripes

I don’t know about you, but there are some grammatical errors I see in people’s writing that really make me tut!

 Now I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect, BUT these particular gripes aren’t too difficult to wrap your head around. So I thought I’d clarify them in the hope that if it helps to improve even one person’s writing, it’s time well spent.

 1)      YOUR v YOU’RE

 The number of times I see ‘your’ used instead of ‘you’re’ is unbelievable!

 YOUR – means belonging to, as in your house’, ‘your car’, ‘your dog’ – you get the idea.

 YOU’RE – is a contraction of ‘you’ and ‘are’, as in you’re (you are) going to bed’, you’re (you are) welcome’ andyou’re (you are) not very happy today’.

 

2)      THEN v THAN

 This is another one that tends to crop up on a surprisingly regular basis.

 THEN – has three uses in grammar:

Adverb – ‘I didn’t know it then, but I know now’

                        Conjunction – ‘The President spoke and spoke well, then sat down’

                        Adjective (less common) – ‘The advice on bending the rules came from the then Minister, Paul Johns’

THEN means ‘at that time’, ‘at the time in question’; ‘after that’, ‘next’, ‘afterwards’; ‘in that case’, ‘therefore’.

Used at the end of a sentence to emphasize an inference being drawn: ‘so you’re still here then?’

 Used to finish a sentence: ‘see you in an hour then

THAN –       introduces the second element in a comparison: ‘he was much smaller than his son’, ‘Jack doesn’t know any more than I do’

                    Used in expressions introducing an exception or contrast: [as preposition]: ‘he claims not to own anything other than his home’ [as conjunction]: ‘they observe rather than act’

                         [conjunction] used in expression indicating one thing happening immediately after another: ‘scarcely was the work completed than it was abandoned’

 

3)      THERE v THEIR v THEY’RE

 This is my other main gripe. It doesn’t tend to crop up as much as the two above, but is still misused regularly.

 THERE –    relates to ‘in’, ‘at’ ‘to a place or position’:

                   ‘we went to Paris and stayed there seven days’

                   ‘at the end of the day we are there to make money’

                   ‘I’m not going in there – it’s freezing!’

THEIR –      means ‘belonging to’:

                   ‘we went to their house’

                   ‘where are their clothes?’

                   ‘I had a collision with their car’

 THEY’RE – is a contraction of ‘they’ and ‘are’, as in:

                    they’re (they are) a good team’

                   ‘they’re (they are) busy with decorating’

                   ‘who do they think they’re (they are) fooling?’

I hope this makes things much clearer!

Do you have any Grammar Gripes? Please share – I’d love to read them!

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