Commonly Confused Words

They’re, their, there:
They’re leaving their books over there.

  • Use they’re if you mean they are.  They’re leaving.
  • Use their when replacing a noun and showing possession.  The girls left their books.
  • Use there to refer to a location.  The books are over there.

Affect and effect:
The effects of the earthquake are affecting his daily routine.

  • Use effect when used as a noun.  The effects of the earthquake included closed roads and power outages.
  • Use affect when used as a verb.  The closed roads and power outages are affecting his daily routine.

Commas and Semi-colons

Serial commas
The dog sits, shakes, and rolls over.  -or-  The dog sits, shakes and rolls over.

There is debate over the serial comma.  Which is correct?  It actually depends on the style guide you use, so relax, choose one, and go with it!

A Few Style Guides

American Psychological Association
Associated Press
Chicago Manual of Style
Modern Language Association

*Note: There is no way I can fully explain the complexity of the English language on this one page. These rules are generalities and work in most cases. If you have doubts about which word to use, how to spell something, which punctuation mark is correct, etc., just ask!

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2 Responses to “Grammar Lover”

  1. Mendie Says:

    Can I just say that I love this? And miss you. XOXO


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