I'm the oldest of the Crawford kids, and I'm home for the weekend. :)
Mom and I are both writers and grammar fanatics. We were just discussing errors that we frequently see people make while writing. I see so many spelling and grammar errors on Facebook, and even in my peers' essays that I help to edit...in college! It's terrible! Everyone has that one grammar rule that he or she can't remember, or that list of words that he or she struggles with (for instance, I can't ever remember how to spell 'jeopardize'), but we live in America in 2009, and we're fortunate to have such resources as spell check, dictionary.com, and several trusted websites and real, tangible books that offer help with punctuation rules of the English language. So today, I'm here to give the blogging community a quick lesson on some common errors I see way too often. I might cover something that has always bested you, or at the very least, you can share the info with your kids!
1) it's vs. its:
For "it" + "is" to be a contraction, an apostrophe is necessary, so we have "it's." This means that the "its" showing possessive is robbed of its apostrophe.
2) then vs. than
"Then" shows time. For example, "We adopted one child, and then we adopted another," or "Life was quieter back then." "Than" makes a comparison. For example, "My parents are crazier than I am."
3) a lot
"A lot" is two words. End of story.
It's spelled "d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y." De + finite + ly. There is not an "a" in it at all, ever.
5) everyday vs. every day.
"Everyday" is an adjective. Example: "Messes are an everyday thing!" Or, "She wore her everyday sneakers as she cooked dinner for nine people." In "every day," "every" describes "day." Example: "Shawn has at least 10 tantrums every day."
6) affect vs. effect.
"Affect" is a verb. "Effect" is a noun. It's that easy!
7) ; vs. : (the semi-colon vs. the colon)
The semi-colon links together two sentences that are loosely related, and oftentimes replaces the use of "because" or "and." Example: "My parents have five children; they love chaos." The colon is used more often, and joins two sentences that are more directly related. Usually, the first sentence is seen as the 'cause' of the second, or prepares the reader for the second sentence. Example: "Example: blah, blah, blah." In that sentence, the word "example" lets the reader know what is coming.
8) loose vs. lose
"Loose" is an adjective. It is the opposite of "tight." "Lose" is a verb. It's the present form of "lost."
It's spelled "t-o-m-o-r-r-o-w." There is not an "a" in it anywhere, and it does have two "r"s!
10) two vs. to. vs. too
"Two" = 2. "To" is used to express motion, direction, or purpose. Example: "I went to my house and was greeted by the smell of diapers," or "I went home in order to escape the quiet at college." "Too" means "also," or indicates excessiveness. Example: "If I saw Jackson eat deoderant, I would puke, too," or "There are never too many people at the Crawford residence."
11) there vs. they're vs. their
"There" is a place, or it can come before the main verb in a sentence. Example: "Please don't stick your peanut butter toast there," or "There are children of many ages in my family." ("Are" is a version of the verb "to be," and it follows "there" in that sentence.) "They're" is a contraction: "they" + "are." "Their" is possessive. Example: "All of these children are theirs, not mine!"
12) your vs. you're
"Your" is possessive. "You're" is a contraction: "you" + "are."
Thanks for reading! I hope I helped somebody! And thanks for visiting Mom's blog!