Sure, we all make mistakes, but I guess we should avoid making goofy mistakes. Check out some common examples below that I found on an infographic from BlueGlass. My favorite is “your-you’re” confusion in people’s mind. What do you think?
Your vs. You’re
Your is a possesive pronoun, as in “your car” or “your blog”. You’re, on the other hand, is a contraction of “you are” as in: “You’re screwing up your writing by using ‘your’ when you mean ‘you are ‘”
It’s vs. Its
“It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”. However, “Its” is a possessive pronoun, as in: “The infographic below has got its groove on.” Say your sentence out loud using “it is” instead. If that sounds goofy, “its” is likely correct.
There vs. Their vs. They’re
Always do the “That’s ours!” test: Are you talking about more than one person and something they possess? If so, “their” will get you there. But “They’re” is a contraction of “they are,” so talk it out to be sure.
Affect vs. Effect
“Affect” is a verb, as in: “Your ability to communicate clearly will affect your income.” However, “Effect” is most often a noun, as in: “ The effect of poor grammar on a person’s income is well documented.”
Then vs. Than
The word “then” can have a variety of meanings, including “ at a point in time” or “in addition to.” As a rule, use the word “than” when comparing and “then” in all other instances. Because the word “than” is only used to compare two different things: “This is bigger than that.”
And there are much more…
Bottomline about Grammar Mistakes
The English language can be tricky with dangling participles and the misuse of “literally.” Pay attention to grammar and avoid the common grammar mistakes that may leave you literally, jobless.