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There, Their, or They’re? May 31, 2013

The English language is full of problems like the one presented by there, their and they’re. Most native English speakers pronounce these the same way; therefore, it is difficult for some to judge in which situation to use which spelling. Each spelling means a very different thing; if you’d like to learn the difference, read on!

 

Reposted from – http://www.wikihow.com/Use-There,-Their-and-They%27re

 

Use there when referring to a place, whether concrete (“over there by the building”) or more abstract (“it must be difficult to live there”).

  • There is an antique store on Camden Avenue.
  • The science textbooks are over there on the floor.
  • There are many documents that are used in investigations.

 

Also use there with the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were) to indicate the existence of something, or to mention something for the first time.

  • There is a picnic area over here, and a monster and a campground across the river.
  • “I see there are new flowers coming up in your garden.” “Yes, they are the ones my grandmother gave me last year.”

Use their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.

  • My friends have lost their tickets.
  • Their things were strewn about the office haphazardly.

Remember that they’re is a contraction of the words they and are. It can never be used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself).

  • Hurry up! They’re closing the mall at six tonight!
  • I’m glad that they’re so nice to new students here.

Test your usage. When you use any of these three words, get in the habit of asking yourself these questions, but remember that they will not work in all cases though:

  • If you wrote there, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with here? If so, you’re using it correctly.
  • If you chose their, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with our? If so, you’ve chosen the correct word.
  • If you used they’re, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with they are? If so, you’re on the right track!
  • Wrong: Their is no one here.
  • Wrong: Shelley wants to know if there busy.
  • Wrong: The dogs are happily chewing on they’re bones.
  • RIGHT: I can’t believe they’re leaving their children there, alone!

Recognize incorrect examples and learn from the mistakes. By looking over others’ work with a critical eye, you can become more sensitized to correct usage and practice it yourself.

  • Wrong: Their is no one here.
  • Wrong: Shelley wants to know if there busy.
  • Wrong: The dogs are happily chewing on they’re bones.
  • RIGHT: I can’t believe they’re leaving their children there, alone!

TIPS:

  • Spell out your contractions. Replace can’t with cannot, you’re with you are, and they’re with they are. This way, you will catch yourself if you make a mistake in writing.
    • The students misplaced they’re books → The students misplaced they are books.
      • Here, the second sentence makes no sense; hence, it is improper usage.
  • Turn off the auto-correct feature in your word processor. People tend to get lazy and forget special rules when the computer automatically corrects mistakes like the ones listed above.
  • If you’re unsure if you’re using “their” correctly, try replacing it with “my” —the sentence should work with the substitution. For example: Their house is purple. If you replace “their” with “my” the sentence still makes sense: My house is purple. So, you know you’re using “their” correctly.
  • If you’ve ruled out “they’re” or “their” as the correct form, then “there” is one you should go with!
  • If you have “there is” or “there are” then it’s always “there” — you’d never say “they’re is” or “they’re are” or “their is” or “their are”.
  • Remember there, their, and they’re by the following rules:
    • there: the word here is in there so refer to there as a word for location.
    • their: the word he is in their so refer to their as a word for people.
    • theyre: there is an in they’re so they’re is like they are. Instead of saying they’re, say they are to see if it makes sense.
  • Another hint: “there” has “here” buried inside it to remind you it refers to place, while “their” has “heir” buried in it to remind you that it has to do with possession
  • Try imagining this scene: you see your neighbours standing outside their house, picking up garbage that they accidentally spilled on the ground. You point at them and say to your friend: “Look over there [location], they’re [they are] picking up their garbage [possession]”

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Commonly Misspelled Words May 31, 2011

Here is a list of some of the most commonly misspelled words in English which I consider not interesting enough to write up as separate entries. These are the correct spellings. Reading over the list probably won’t improve your spelling much, but choosing a few which you find troublesome to write out correctly a few times may.

 

absence, abundance, accessible, accidentally, acclaim, accommodate, accomplish, accordion, accumulate, achievement, acquaintance, across, address, advertisement, aggravate, alleged, annual, apparent, appearance, argument, atheist, athletics, attendance, auxiliary, badminton, balloon, barbecue, barbiturate, bargain, basically, beggar, beginning, believe, biscuit, bouillon, boundary, Britain, Buddha, business, calendar, camouflage, cantaloupe, category, cemetery, chagrined, challenge, characteristic, changing, chief, cigarette, climbed, collectible, colonel, colossal, column, coming, committee, commitment, comparative, competent, completely, concede, conceive, condemn, condescend, conscientious, consciousness, consistent, continuous, controlled, convenient, coolly, corollary, correlate, correspondence, counselor, courteous, courtesy, criticize, deceive, defendant, deferred, dependent, descend, description, desirable, despair, desperate, develop, development, difference, dilemma, dining, disappearance, disappoint, disastrous, discipline, disease, dispensable, dissatisfied, doesn’t, dominant, drunkenness, easily, ecstasy, efficiency, eighth, either, eligible, emperor, enemy, entirely, equipped, equivalent, especially, exaggerate, exceed, excellence, excellent, exhaust, existence, expense, experience, experiment, explanation, extremely, exuberance, fallacious, fallacy, familiar, fascinate, feasible, fictitious, finally, financially, fluorescent, forcibly, foreign, forfeit, formerly, foresee, forty, fourth, fulfill, fundamentally, gauge, generally, genius, government, governor, grievous, guarantee, guerrilla, guidance, guttural, handkerchief, happily, harass, height, heinous, hemorrhage, heroes, hesitancy, hindrance, hoarse, hoping, humorous, hypocrisy, hypocrite, ideally, idiosyncrasy, ignorance, imaginary, immediately, implement, incidentally, incredible, independence, independent, indicted, indispensable, inevitable, influential, information, inoculate, insurance, intelligence, intercede, interference, interrupt, introduce, irrelevant, irresistible, island, jealousy, judicial, knowledge, laboratory, legitimate, leisure, length, lenient, liaison, lieutenant, likelihood, likely, longitude, loneliness, losing, lovely, luxury, magazine, maintain, maintenance, manageable, maneuver, marriage, mathematics, medicine, millennium, millionaire, miniature, minuscule, minutes, mischievous, missile, mortgage, mosquito, mosquitoes, murmur, muscle, mysterious, narrative, naturally, necessary, necessity, neighbor, neutron, nickel, ninety, ninth, noticeable, nowadays, nuisance, obedience, obstacle, obstinate, occasion, occasionally, occurred, occurrence, official, omission, omit, omitted, opinion, opponent, opportunity, oppression, optimism, ordinarily, origin, original, outrageous, overrun, panicky, parallel, parliament, particularly, pavilion, peaceable, peculiar, penetrate, perceive, performance, permanent, permissible, permitted, perseverance, persistence, physical, physician, picnicking, piece, pilgrimage, pitiful, planning, pleasant, portray, possess, possessive, potato, potatoes, practically, prairie, preference, preferred, prejudice, preparation, prescription, prevalent, primitive, privilege, probably, procedure, proceed, professor, prominent, pronounce, pronunciation, propaganda, psychology, publicly, pursue, quandary, quarantine, questionnaire, quizzes, realistically, realize, really, recede, receipt, receive, recognize, recommend, reference, referred, relevant, relieving, religious, remembrance, reminiscence, renege, repetition, representative, resemblance, reservoir, resistance, restaurant, rheumatism, rhythm, rhythmical, roommate, sacrilegious, sacrifice, safety, salary, satellite, scary, scenery, schedule, secede, secretary, seize, sentence, separate, sergeant, several, shepherd, shining, similar, simile, simply, sincerely, skiing, solely, soliloquy, sophomore, souvenir, specifically, specimen, sponsor, spontaneous, statistics, stopped, strategy, strength, strenuous, stubbornness, subordinate, subtle, succeed, success, succession, Sudoku, sufficient, supersede, suppress, surprise, surround, susceptible, suspicious, syllable, symmetrical, synonymous, tangible, technical, technique, temperature, tendency, themselves, theories, therefore, thorough, though, through, till, tomorrow, tournament, tourniquet, transferred, truly, twelfth, tyranny, unanimous, undoubtedly, unnecessary, until, usage, usually, vacuum, valuable, vengeance, vigilant, village, villain, violence, visible, warrant, Wednesday, weird, wherever, wholly, yacht, yield, zoology

 

This list is re-posted from – http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/misspelled.html

 

Just so you know how silly misspelled words can make you look, here are some photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So take these lessons and write and send someone a letter today, send them an iwiLetter!

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Common Errors with the English Language April 30, 2011

So, you know when you are writing letters to your Congressman (or Congresswoman) to tell them you think some of your state laws are all wrong, and you can’t decide whether or not to use “backward”, or “backwards”? You feel the people representing you need to have more “sympathy” for the voters in the district. Or maybe it’s “empathy”? Or, perhaps you are writing them to ask when they will be writing their “biography”, or is it “autobiography”?

Well, here’s a site that addresses all of these confusing issues and shows you the correct way to use these words, and many more:
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

And just so you know, as an adverb, either word will do: “put the shirt on backward” or “put the shirt on backwards.” However, as an adjective, only “backward” will do: “a backward glance.” When in doubt, use “backward.”

Oh, and it’s properly pronounced as “new-clee-er”, NOT “nook-you-ler”!?

So take these lessons and write and send someone a letter today, send them an iwiLetter!



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Your or You’re? March 27, 2011

Filed under: Letter writing,Sample Letters,Spelling & Punctuation — iwiLetter.com @ 1:08 am
Tags: , , ,

A frighteningly large percentage of individuals fail to understand how to use the words “you’re” and “your.” Here is a quick and dirty crash course on this common usage problem.

 

  1. Understand the proper usage of the word you need. The best way to do that is to sound it out. There is a replacement test that will tell you for certain which word will fit. Read the sentence with “you are” in place of where the “your/you’re” is intended. If it makes sense, then “you’re” would be right. If not, then “your” would fit. You could also replace “your” with “my” in the sentence. If it fits, then use “your.”
  2. Write You’re as a contraction or a combination, of the words you and are. Other examples of contractions include doesn’t” for “does not,” they’re” for “they are,” and can’t” for “cannot.”

    • “You’re a good friend” means “You are a good friend.”
    • “I don’t know what you’re talking about” means “I do not know what you are talking about.”
  3. Write your as the possessive form of you, referring to something that a person has, something that belongs to the person in question, or the person you are talking to.
    • “Is your stomach growling?”
    • Your book is on the table.”
  4. Take a look at some examples. Each of the following examples shows an incorrect use of your/you’re, and why it is incorrect.
    • “I can’t read you’re handwriting.”
      • Incorrect, because the contraction for “you are” is being used in place of the possessive form of you. I can’t read you are handwriting doesn’t make sense. It should be replaced with “your”.
    • “If your hungry, then you should probably eat something.”
      • Incorrect because there is no possession in question. this passes the replacement test. Rewriting it with “you are” fits. This should be replaced with you’re, or you are.
    • “I think your very smart.”
      • Again, incorrect. The “very smart” does not belong to the person that you are talking to — this doesn’t make any sense. Replace your with you’re, or you are.

 

Tips

  • English can be complicated, because there’s an exception to every rule. Ex.: Keep in mind that the word your will never be followed by the words the, a, or an.
  • The word your will usually not be followed by an adjective, a word that describes, when that adjective is describing the person that you are talking to. In other words, saying “Your very kind” will almost never be correct. “Your very kind” would be correct if they were describing a noun, as in “Your nice son brought me my coat.” Here, your nice is correct because nice is describing the person’s son.
  • Remember that you’re is actually a combination of two words and thus fulfills two very important roles in a sentence or clause. Because it includes both a pronoun and a verb, you’re will always be the subject and at least part of the verb of any clause in which it appears.
  • Try replacing “your” or “you’re” with “you are” if you are unsure which to use. If the sentence makes sense, use “you’re.” Remember that only “you’re” is a contraction. The apostrophe in “you’re” signifies the omission of the letter “a.” If the sentence does not make sense, you will know to use “your.”
  • For example:
    • “You’re a good writer!” and “You are” a good writer!” “You are” makes sense in this sentence, so you can use “you’re.”
    • “I cannot read you’re handwriting.” and “I cannot read you are handwriting.” “You are” does not make sense in this sentence, so you should use “your.”
  • Try not to think that proper writing is strictly “academic”. It makes you appear more intelligent. More importantly, it eliminates the risk of bad habits “slipping out” in situations in which it is critical to convey propriety, such as writing a college essay or a job résumé.
  • Just remember “You’re not spelling your words correctly,” and it all falls into place.

Warnings

  • There is another word, yore, that sounds just the same as you’re and your. Yore refers to times long past and isn’t used often in casual speech.
  • Simple grammatical errors, such as incorrect use of your and you’re, can harm how others perceive your credibility when they read your compositions. It is in your best interest to learn how to use these words properly.

 

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Re-posted from http://www.wikihow.com/Use-You%27re-and-Your

 

There, Their, or They’re? February 27, 2011

The English language is full of problems like the one presented by there, their and they’re. Most native English speakers pronounce these the same way; therefore, it is difficult for some to judge in which situation to use which spelling. Each spelling means a very different thing; if you’d like to learn the difference, read on!

 

Reposted from – http://www.wikihow.com/Use-There,-Their-and-They%27re

 

Use there when referring to a place, whether concrete (“over there by the building”) or more abstract (“it must be difficult to live there”).

  • There is an antique store on Camden Avenue.
  • The science textbooks are over there on the floor.
  • There are many documents that are used in investigations.

 

Also use there with the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were) to indicate the existence of something, or to mention something for the first time.

  • There is a picnic area over here, and a monster and a campground across the river.
  • “I see there are new flowers coming up in your garden.” “Yes, they are the ones my grandmother gave me last year.”

Use their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.

  • My friends have lost their tickets.
  • Their things were strewn about the office haphazardly.

Remember that they’re is a contraction of the words they and are. It can never be used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself).

  • Hurry up! They’re closing the mall at six tonight!
  • I’m glad that they’re so nice to new students here.

Test your usage. When you use any of these three words, get in the habit of asking yourself these questions, but remember that they will not work in all cases though:

  • If you wrote there, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with here? If so, you’re using it correctly.
  • If you chose their, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with our? If so, you’ve chosen the correct word.
  • If you used they’re, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with they are? If so, you’re on the right track!
  • Wrong: Their is no one here.
  • Wrong: Shelley wants to know if there busy.
  • Wrong: The dogs are happily chewing on they’re bones.
  • RIGHT: I can’t believe they’re leaving their children there, alone!

Recognize incorrect examples and learn from the mistakes. By looking over others’ work with a critical eye, you can become more sensitized to correct usage and practice it yourself.

  • Wrong: Their is no one here.
  • Wrong: Shelley wants to know if there busy.
  • Wrong: The dogs are happily chewing on they’re bones.
  • RIGHT: I can’t believe they’re leaving their children there, alone!

TIPS:

  • Spell out your contractions. Replace can’t with cannot, you’re with you are, and they’re with they are. This way, you will catch yourself if you make a mistake in writing.
    • The students misplaced they’re books → The students misplaced they are books.
      • Here, the second sentence makes no sense; hence, it is improper usage.
  • Turn off the auto-correct feature in your word processor. People tend to get lazy and forget special rules when the computer automatically corrects mistakes like the ones listed above.
  • If you’re unsure if you’re using “their” correctly, try replacing it with “my” —the sentence should work with the substitution. For example: Their house is purple. If you replace “their” with “my” the sentence still makes sense: My house is purple. So, you know you’re using “their” correctly.
  • If you’ve ruled out “they’re” or “their” as the correct form, then “there” is one you should go with!
  • If you have “there is” or “there are” then it’s always “there” — you’d never say “they’re is” or “they’re are” or “their is” or “their are”.
  • Remember there, their, and they’re by the following rules:
    • there: the word here is in there so refer to there as a word for location.
    • their: the word he is in their so refer to their as a word for people.
    • theyre: there is an in they’re so they’re is like they are. Instead of saying they’re, say they are to see if it makes sense.
  • Another hint: “there” has “here” buried inside it to remind you it refers to place, while “their” has “heir” buried in it to remind you that it has to do with possession
  • Try imagining this scene: you see your neighbours standing outside their house, picking up garbage that they accidentally spilled on the ground. You point at them and say to your friend: “Look over there [location], they’re [they are] picking up their garbage [possession]”

Send someone a letter today, send them an iwiLetter!


 

 


 

 

 

Tell a friend about iwiLetter.com