Ah, yes. Spring break is here. Classes are out for a whole week. While the majority of the population is out on exotic vacations with their best friends Johnny Walker and Sailor Jerry, I'm at home reading novels and trying to catch up with an unlimited amount of research papers. While most girls are debating about what shade of pink earings go better with their new tunic top, I'm sitting here wondering how some people ended up in college. Normal? Probably not. But what can I say? I'm a dork at heart and even on vacation, literature and grammar sound appealing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect when it comes to grammar, especially when my mind is in that "zone" and I just want to throw information out there without worrying about every period and proper punctuation. It's more of a careless act. However, just before the break, I couldn't help but note on a fellow classmate's paper a certain grammatical error that I've seen a lot in my college years. You'd think after elementary school, people would know the difference between a contraction and their thumb.
I actually didn't start thinking about these grammatical clashes until I read this one blog. This blog was the muse to my newest post. I thought it would be entertaining to add on to the loose vs. lose mishaps. But my little annoyance is with certain contraction words.
They're VS. Their VS. There
They're: This is what we call a contraction. These are our friends. You know why? They shorten words and make life easier! They're is made up of the words "they" and "are. So here's a simple rule, any moment you want to say: "they are doing something", use the word they're, not their or there for crying out loud! Here are some examples:
- They're in some serious need of some schooling.
- They're not going to get a diploma if they can't spell (which apparently is a total lie).
Their: This form indicates possession of something, such as: their ticket, their boyfriend, their dog, or their horrible grammar. If it doesn't indicate possession, then please refrain from using this form of their.
There: This is the most common form of there I always see in place of their and they're. This talks about location, whether it's concrete, as in: "over there by the car", or more abstract, such as: "I don't know how they live over there".
You're VS. Your
You're: Again, this is another contraction. The two words that make up this contraction are: "you" and "are".
- You're lucky that you graduated.
- You're cute.
Your: This also indicates possession. Whenever you want to say something belongs to you, you use this form of your. Some examples are: your shoe, your diary, your ideas, or your ankle. The list is endless.
There are other mishaps that are common mistakes, but I'll just leave it to my two main peeves. By following these simple guidelines, writing will become second nature, and you won't even have to think about whether he is their or there. In the end, it's just remembering the basics and taking it from there.