Do you use the correct grammar?

Most of us are prone to using grammar incorrectly, because for many of us school was a long time ago with lessons learned then often a dim recollection now!

Use of correct grammar is important, not just for your blog readers but also for Google. Did you know that the Search algorithms ‘consider’ accuracy of spelling and grammar? Scary, but apparently true; big brother is watching.

I’m going to try to explain correct use of several words in plain English, rather than the more usual grammar-primer vocabulary. It’s a bit of fun I hope you’ll enjoy. So, how many of the following 6 tips to help with grammar when you’re writing do you use correctly?

1. Your and You’re

This is one of my pet hates, seeing ‘your’ when it should be ‘you’re. The mistake I see very often is the use of your when you’re should be used instead, as a shortened version of you are. To put both into context within a sentence – I love your car but I’m sure you’re not going to let me drive it home.

2. Its and it’s

I struggle with this one sometimes too, the trick is to read the sentence you’ve written out loud. It’s is a shortened version of it is. So, an example  of a sentence using both could be – It’s Monday and the shop will be opening its doors at 9 a.m.  It wouldn’t (would not) sound right to write, its a nice day today and the shop is opening it’s (it is) doors at 9 a.m.

3. There, their and they’re

When to use there and their can be confusing enough, so let’s deal with them first, using an example. Their house is over there. Their is used when you’re referring to to more than one (so, their car as opposed to his/her car), whether ‘belonging’ to people/beings or animals. There is about location; for example, over there, rather than over their. They’re is the shortened version of ‘they are’. So, to put all 3 in a sentence – they’re on their way to the park which is over there!

4. Affect and effect

Use the word affect in a sentence talking about the consequence of an event. For example, if too much snow falls it may well affect the departure of the train. Use  the word effect in a sentence talking about the outcome of an event. For example, the coloured lights on the ceiling created a beautiful effect.

5. Loose and Lose

Another use of spelling that confuses many people. Correct use could be – if my trousers are too loose I may well lose them!

6. Complement and compliment

OK, here goes… Mary felt that adding pink carnations to the flower arrangement would complement the white roses, which might result in a compliment from her husband. (slim chance, perhaps!)

Overcoming your grammar goofs

I came across the infographic featured below, which covers correct use of grammar for words I’ve featured in this post, along with some others which you may find useful to study. I know all too well that it’s (it is) all too easy to fall into the trap of making grammar goofs sometimes. Just remember practice makes perfect and wins prizes with Google! 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly infographic courtesy of Copyblogger.

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