Five Common Grammar Mistakes

Charlie Brown

Even grammar Nazis make the occasional error. Here are a few of the most common grammar mistakes so you can avoid making them.

Its or It’s?

This is one of those exceptions that grammar Nazis are always discussing. In most cases, s makes a word possessive. However, with “it” the s makes it a contraction for “it is.” The possessive form is just its.

Its or It's.

There, Their or They’re?

Many people know the difference in these three words but they find themselves accidentally messing them up anyway. Be sure to double-check your usage when you proofread because, like many homonyms, this can be a tricky one for the untrained eye to catch.

There, Their, They're

Personal Pronouns for Entities

Personal pronouns such as “who/whom” or “they” are reserved for humans. Everything else is “it” or “that.”

Personal Pronouns for Entities

In the first sentence, the narrator is looking for a person, referred to as a “whom.” In the second sentence, the pronoun is referring to a company so “it” is the correct term.

Then or Than?

Then is used to reference time. Than is always (and only) used in comparisons.

Then or Than

“Of” Instead of “Have”

This is an error that many people don’t even know they’re making. It pertains to sentences that contain the words should, could or would. You may not think twice before saying something like “I should of gone to bed earlier last night.” However, the correct phrase is “I should have gone to bed earlier last night.”

Of Instead of Have

Think always have, never of.

These are only a few of the most common errors people make in everyday communication.
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