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7 common grammar mix-ups you're probably making

When you’re writing anything, it’s super easy to make grammar mistakes. But when you’re writing a book, it’s important to try to avoid them. Here are some of the most common mistakes that you might not even realize you’re making.

 

Your and You’re

The easiest way to remember this is that “you’re” always means “you are.” “Your” is a possessive word, which means you own something.

 

Who and Whom

This is a tricky one. When reading your sentence, replace “who” with “he” or “she”. Doesn’t make sense? Then you’re probably supposed to be using “whom” instead.

 

Affect and Effect

Affect is usually a verb, and effect is usually a noun, so if you’re trying to use it as a verb, your best bet is to use “affect”.

 

They’re, Their and There

Chances are, you’ve mixed up these three words once or twice. “They’re” means “they are.” “Their” is possessive and means “belonging to them.” For example, “Their magazine is awesome.” Finally, “there” always refers to a location.

 

Its and It’s

“It’s” is short for “it is” or “it has.” “Its” is the possessive form of “It.” For example, “The dog chews its bone.”

 

Lose and Loose

“Loose” is the opposite of tight, and it’s an adjective. “Lose” refers to loss. Lose is the opposite of win.

 

Then and Than

Than is used to compare two different things. For example, “She is shorter than him.” “Then” has a variety of meanings, so when you know you’re not comparing things, it’s a good idea to use “then.”

 

What's your grammar weakness? Tell us in the comments--and share your best tips for remembering tricky rules!
published March 23, 2014
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