Following on from yesterday’s post on why good grammar matters when it comes to business blogging, here are ten grammar mistakes commonly made online, and the rules you should learn in order to avoid making them.
There is a simple rule to remember the difference between who’s and whose.
- Who’s = Who Is – Who is there? Who’s there?
- Whose = possessive - Whose umbrella is this? Who owns this umbrella?
The Latin abbreviations i.e. and e.g. are used extensively but not everyone is aware of the difference in their usage. I quite often see them used interchangeably. Follow this rule and you will never be guilty of making this mistake again
- i.e. = “that is” – I like all kinds of music (i.e., I like all music genres)
- e.g. = “for example” – I like all kinds of music (e.g., pop, rock, dance)
Further rules for using these abbreviations:
- always write them in lower case
- use them in parenthesis and don’t forget to include the full stop and commas as shown above
- to = I go to the office each day
- too = Mary goes to the office each day too
- there = refers to a place – the house is over there
- their = possessive – their house is over there
- they’re = they are – they’re nice houses over there
Probably one of the most common mistakes. Here is a simple rule for when to use it’s or its.
- it’s = it is – it’s a lovely tree
- its = possessive – its tree has beautiful green leaves
It is common to mistake your/you’re but the rule is the same as above for it’s/its.
- Your = possessive – your car is nice
- You’re = you are – you’re a nice person
The rule of thumb with this one is to switch who with s/he and whom with her/him. Here are some examples:
- Who likes the music? She likes the music
- With whom are you going to the concert? I am going with him.
This is just a small sample of the many grammatical errors that exist to trip us up. While I find the above examples easy to remember, I find it harder to distinguish when I should use “that” vs “which” in a sentence. If you wish to learn more, then I recommend you check out a good website, such as Daily Writing Tips.
What are some of the grammatical conundrums that you find most difficult? Where do you go to find the answer to your grammar questions?