Calling All Language Lovers! Top 10 Common Grammar Mistakes
â€œHeroineâ€- with an â€œEâ€ at the end, is the word that describes the woman whoâ€™s going to save the day- a female hero. â€œHeroinâ€ without the â€œEâ€ is the word Vampire Edward uses as he speaks to love interest Bella during a scene in the 2008 movie Twilight.
These words sound the same, but mean completely different things. â€œGrammar Girlâ€ Mignon Fogarty alerts us to problem words like â€œheroinâ€ in her new book â€œ101 Misused words Youâ€™ll Never Confuse Again.â€ Next on â€œAll Sides,â€ weâ€™ll have a grammar and vocabulary lesson, with the Grammar Girl. Thatâ€™s this hour on All Sides with Ann Fisher, 89-seven, NPR News.
Top 10 Common Grammar Mistakes
1. They’re, their, there
Theyâ€™re is a contraction of they are. Their indicates possession. There is a preposition.
Theyâ€™re setting their lemonade stand over there.
2. Then and than
Than should be used with superlatives. For example: He was taller than her.
Then shows a sequence of time. For example: We went to the park then the movies.
3. To, too, two
To is a preposition. Too is synonymous with also. Two is the number. For example: Will you take my two pillows to the sleepover too?
4. Effect and affect
Both words can be used as nouns and verbs, but affect as a noun should be avoided.
Effect as a verb means to cause. For example: Kasich will effect many changes during his administration. As a noun, effect means result. For example: The drug has many side effects on the patient.
Affect as a verb means to influence. For example: The score of his test will affect his grade.
5. Anyone, any one
Anyone refers to a subject that is not specific or defined. For example: Is anyone going to go to the party tonight?
Any one singles out one subject from a group. For example: Any one of them might go to the party tonight.
6. You’re and your
Youâ€™re is a contraction which joins you and are. For example: Youâ€™re going to the show tonight. (Rather than: You are going to the show tonight.)
Your shows possession. For example: Is that your pen?
7. Different than and different from
In general, â€˜different thanâ€™ is incorrect grammatically. It is always good to use â€˜different from.â€™
For example: This office is different from what we left it, I think the cleaning lady moved the furniture around.
8. Counsel, council
Counsel is a verb meaning to advise. For example: Her best friend gave her counsel about her date.
Council is a noun referring to a deliberative body. For example: The council suspended him from the meeting.
9. Could of, would of and could have, would have
Donâ€™t confuse the wording â€˜could haveâ€™ or â€˜would haveâ€™ with its homonym counterpart.
NO: He could of gone to the park on Friday night, but he fell asleep.
YES: She would have sent Bruce a birthday card, but she did not know his address.
10. Site or sight
Sight is a personâ€™s vision. For example: Jesus gave the blind man sight.
A site is a place. For example: There is a historical marker at the site where JFK was shot. Can also be referred to as a website. For example: There are some awesome photos on the National Geographic site.
- Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl)
Note: This is a repeated segment of “All Sides” that originally aired on Sept. 2, 2011.