Common Grammar Mistakes You Must Avoid


Last week, I shared with you some silly sentences that I found on a website to help you see the necessity of correct grammar.

In today's post, we're going to talk about apostrophes, contractions, and how to use "I" and "me" correctly!

Let's get started!

APOSTROPHES AND CONTRACTIONS

What are contractions?

I just used one: "let's." Contractions take two words and make them into one using an apostrophe. In English, we have several contractions: you're, it's, I'd, he'll, won't, etc.

How do contractions work?

Let's take some examples and break them down.

Let's = let us

Replace the u in "us" with an apostrophe, and you get "let's." Whenever we say "let's," we really just mean "let us." (Sounds so proper, doesn't it?)

Here are some more (not an exhaustive list).

It's = it is

I'd = I would

He'll = he will

Don't = do not

Doesn't = does not

Won't = will not

"Won't" is an interesting contraction because it changes so much from the original words "will not." But make sure you add that apostrophe; otherwise, you'll get a different word: wont. (Yes, that word actually exists! That's why an apostrophe is super important.)

COMMON APOSTROPHE AND CONTRACTION MISTAKES

I'm going to give you a few apostrophe and contraction mistakes that I see a lot. You'll want to know about these rules for your own writing!

Its vs. It's

What's the difference? You saw the apostrophe, but how are these two words so different from each other?

I often see "it's" used as a possessive pronoun. After all, we say "dog's" and "Jessie's" so why can't we say "it's" with an apostrophe too? Well, "it's" in a possessive sense would be incorrect because "it's" is a contraction for "it is." So the correct possessive pronoun would be "its"—without the apostrophe.

Don't get overwhelmed! It's a little confusing at first, so feel free to comment with questions below! Just remember that "its" is used with possession. "The dog had its own doghouse."

Should've and Could've

Here's another contraction: should've. "Should've" is the contraction for "should have," not "should of." When we say it, it sounds like "should of," but just because it sounds correct doesn't mean it is.

"Could've" works the same way. "Could've" is the contraction for "could have," not "could of."

They're vs. There vs. Their

Read each of those words aloud. They all sound the same, don't they? What in the world is the difference?

Here's a quick rundown:

They're = they are (contraction)

There = like "look over there"

Their = used for possession (possessive pronoun)

Who's vs. Whose

What's the difference between these two words?

"Who's" is a contraction: who is. "Who's (who is) going to the party tonight?"

"Whose" is used with possession. "Whose bike is this?"

HOW TO USE "I" AND "ME" CORRECTLY

Before we end this post on some basic grammar mistakes to avoid, I thought I'd give you a brief rundown on how to use these pronouns correctly. I often see people using "I" and "me" incorrectly, whether in writing or speech, so I hope this will be helpful to you!

"Jenna and I are going to the store" vs. "Jenna and me are going to the store."

Which one is correct? If you said the first one, you're right! "Jenna and I" is correct.

But why?

Look at this. If you take out Jenna's name, you are left with "I am going to the store." You wouldn't say "Me is going to the store," so therefore you wouldn't say "Jenna and me are going to the store."

Take another example.

"Lydia, you should invite Dylan and I to the party tonight" vs. "Lydia, you should invite Dylan and me to the party tonight."

Which one is correct? The second one! And here's why: Take out Dylan, and you have the basic sentence, which would be: "Lydia, you should invite Dylan and me to the party tonight."



Well, that's enough to get you started! Feel free to refer back to this post whenever you need, and comment below with any questions!
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Have you made these common mistakes before? I certainly have! Which one is the hardest for you?


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8 comments:

  1. I have to say, the first part of this post bored me a little. Mostly because I already knew contractions and such. But when you did the "I" and "me" thing, heck, that's when I really got interested. I'd never heard that rule before, and it was extremely helpful. You explained it very well, and I can't wait for your next post!
    Thank you so much, Julia! Keep up the great work!

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    1. Yes, for some of us, contractions are easy. But I've seen many mistakes with them during my editing experience, so I wanted to include them.
      My IEW teacher explained the difference between "I" and "me" before, and I've found it super helpful!
      Glad you enjoyed this! :D

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  2. This was the most logical post I've read on these mistakes! Good job! I write mostly southern characters, and we butcher grammar on purpose XP but I can definitely still use these tips with my outsiders XD thank you!

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    1. Haha, yeah, certain characters are exceptions. ;) Glad you found this helpful, Ryana Lynn! :D

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  3. Ooh, this was great, with really clear explanations of everything. Thanks, Julia! :D

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