I’ve had my fair share of “grammar-nazi” moments. I think most of us have. I used to correct people when they said, or wrote, something the wrong way, but I realized that It was annoying. It hasn’t stopped bothering me. It will never stop bothering me, I just won’t correct people unless I’m supposed to be correcting them.
The ever present misuse of your and you’re, two too and to, and there their and they’re, are some of the most irritating to me. It’s not necessarily the mis-user’s fault either. It could be due to a misunderstanding, or just lack of education on the differences.
So, I’m going to explain it all as simple as possible.
The apostrophe (‘) means that two words are coming together. In this case ‘you’ and ‘are’ come together to make ‘you’re’ meaning ‘you are’. So, when you mean ‘you are’ say ‘you’re’ not ‘your’. Use ‘your’ when you are talking about something that someone owns. Example: You’re driving your car. You are driving the car that belongs to you.
The first one is easy. ‘Two’ with a ‘w’ means the number 2.
Now it get’s a little more complex. ‘Too’ means also, or in excess. Example 1: I would like a pie too. Here we are saying that I would like to have a pie also, or in addition to whatever else we are having. Example 2: That’s too much pie. Here we are saying that there is an excess of pie.
‘To’ is used, mostly only when saying ‘go to’ or ‘to do’. Example 1: I need to go shopping. Example 2: I need to post on my blog.
Basically, if you are not referring to a number, or something in addition or excess, use ‘to’. If you have trouble remembering ‘too’ and ‘to’, you can remember that ‘too’ has too many ‘o’s in it.
This one can be explained pretty easily. ‘There’ is a place. Example: He lives over there. You can remember that because it ends with ‘ere’, like ‘here’, which is also a place. Here and there.
‘They’re’ and ‘their’ are kind of like ‘you’re’ and ‘your’. Again, the apostrophe means that two words are coming together. ‘They’ and ‘are’ come together to make ‘they’re’, meaning ‘they are’. Their is for possessives, so when other people own something, it is theirs. Example: They’re driving their car. They are driving the car that belongs to them.
Once you get it, it’s pretty simple, but like everything, it takes some practice. Next time you are posting a facebook status, or writing a tweet, and you aren’t sure which one to use try to figure it out, instead of guessing. Once you work it out for yourself a couple of times, you won’t have to think about it anymore!
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