Can you identify the problems in these sentences? • I’m excited wear going to the beach! • My sister where’s the strangest sweaters! • Their going to win the race! • You’re dog is very cute. • Your going to go the movies tonight?
Corrections: • I’m excited we’re going to the beach! • My sister wears the strangest sweaters! • They’re going to win the race! • Your dog is very cute. • You’re going to go the movies tonight?
Words may sound similar, but have different meanings. Common mistakes are made when we don’t pay attention to how the term is used in the sentence.Make sure to use the following terms correctly in your writing.
Your & You’re • YOUR: is a possessive adjective. e.g.) Your assignment was late. (The assignment belongs to you) • YOU’RE: is a contraction, made from YOU ARE. e.g.) You’re a good cook! (This is a compliment, you are a good cook!)
Its & It’s • ITS: is a possessive adjective. e.g.) Pick up the container and its lid. • IT’S: is a contraction of IT IS. e.g.) It’s cold tonight! (It Is cold tonight)
We’re, Wear & Where • WE’RE: is a contraction of WE ARE. e.g.) We’re going to win this game! (We are going to win this game!) • WEAR: is a verb. e.g.) What jacket will you wear tonight? (To wear in this sentence is to put on a piece of clothing). • WHERE: in this case, “where” is a pronoun. e.g.) Where would you like to meet up tonight? (Where indicates the location of the meeting.)
There, Their & They’re • THERE: is an adverb, pronoun, noun, adjective, or interjection: e.g.) I put the book on the table, right there. (adverb) e.g.) There are clouds in the sky. (pronoun) • THEIR: is a possessive adjective. e.g.) They forgot their lunch at home. • THEY’RE: is a contraction of THEY ARE. e.g.) They’re going to win the grand prize. (They are going to win the grand prize).
More common mistakes: LAY/ LIE Wrong: I was exhausted and had to lay down. Correct: I was exhausted and had to lie down. THEN/THAN Correct: I finished washing the car, then a bird pooped on it. Correct: No one had a harder assignment than we did. DIFFERENT THAN/DIFFERENT FROM Wrong: This take home exam is different than last year. Correct: This take home exam is different from last year. LOOSE/LOSE: Correct: My cat escaped and is on the loose. Correct: I always lose my assignments!
Visit the Writing Centre: LIB 272 B Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7192 Website: http://www.ryerson.ca/writing-centre Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org