I’ve been noticing some frequent grammar mistakes lately. I figure people are trying to write well and be grammatically correct, so I thought I’d share my tricks for getting these few things right. Typos happen, even if you recheck your work multiple times. I know I have them sometimes. But no one wants to have regular grammar mistakes. Also, it makes me want to get out a red pen and correct the work. Since I can’t do that without ruining my computer, I’ll give a little grammar refresher.
We use these words all the time. Choosing the correct one can be confusing. Here’s how they should be used.
They’re: This is a contraction of the two words “they are”. The apostrophe takes the place of the “a”. You use this in place of “they are”.
Example: They’re going to work today.
You could also write: They are going to work today.
Their: This is the possessive form of the word. It indicates ownership.
Example: We went to their house last night.
There: This is usually an adverb or pronoun. I tend to think of it as indicating a location.
Examples: Let’s go there. What’s that over there.
It can also be used for emphasis.
Example: That man there.
This is similar to the they’re/their thing.
Your(s): This indicates possession (like their).
Examples: That is yours.
You can put your jacket in the closet.
You’re: This is another contraction like they’re. You use it in place of “you are”.
Example: You’re going to dinner tonight.
It would also be correct to write: You are going to dinner tonight.
Finally, I keep seeing the word midst misspelled. I keep seeing it the same way, and it won’t trigger the spell check since the word being used instead is correctly spelled. It seems people really like this word.
Midst: It generally means among/in the middle. That’s why it has a “d” in it. Get it middle/midst. It is not “mist”. That is like a fog, as in “Gorillas in the Mist”.
Here is the dictionary definition of “midst” from http://dictionary.reference.com