Wednesday, June 13, 2007

YOUR vs. YOU'RE and then some

Todays tip, well, series of tips, is pretty easy to master. I'm going to show you the subtle differences between some words that are confused way too often. It's not that I think you're stupid or anything -- people really do confuse these (and frequently).

Okay, this lesson is any easy one, but it is also easy to mess up. Even though he is dating a grammar nerd, my boyfriend can’t seem to get this one right. (I love you!) Funny? Slightly. Not really – everyone should be able to get this one right. If you don’t, your boss will laugh when he reads that memo you sent him (before you read this, of course).

YOUR = possessive adjective
YOU’RE = contraction of you + are

Is that YOUR coffee on the table?
YOU’RE the nicest, most intelligent person I’ve ever met!

This next simple mistake is similar, but it can throw your credibility down the tubes if you commit it.

THERE = indication of place
THEIR = possessive adjective (like YOUR)
THEY’RE = contraction of they + are (like YOU’RE)

Have you seen my pencil? Sure, it’s over THERE on the table.
Is this THEIR first date?
THEY’RE so cute together!

Following the same pattern:

ITS = possessive adjective (like YOUR)
IT'S = contraction of it + is (like YOU'RE)

Look at that dog! IT'S chasing ITS tail!

And finally:

WHOSE = possessive adjective (like YOUR)
WHO'S = contraction of who + is (like YOU'RE)

WHOSE cookie is that?
WHO'S coming with me to the pool?

I know this was a short one, but it really is important. I also realize that no one will congratulate you for correctly spelling THEIR, but at least no one will make fun of you for spelling it THERE.

No comments: