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Our technology savvy world has come with great potential and has made many things a lot more efficient in our day to day activities. Email, the internet, being able to post, blog, write online and send information instantaneously has become something natural to most people. However along with this efficiency has started a lack of recognition for grammar and spelling in our day to day writing.Common grammar mistakes glare out of our written work, especially if they're found in important emails, postings or documents. So take back the power in your writing and keep a weathered eye out for common grammar errors such as these.


1. You're and Your

  • You're: Meaning you are. Used as a contraction in a sense of saying something about someone else in most cases.

    Example: You're being unreasonable, why not give friendship a chance?".

  • Your: Meaning a possession of someone's. Used when pertaining to something that is owned or controlled by someone for example. Example: You shouldn't have forgotten your rain boots, now the back of your jeans are all soaked!


2. Then and Than

  • Then: Meaning at that time, or a time within question. Also means the same as after that, next, afterward. After functions as words like therefore and in that case.
    Example: First I would like to propose a toast, and
    then, we shall celebrate!

  • Than: To introduce the second element in a sentence, or used to compare something. It can also be used to show an exception as a source of contrast. It is said that "than" is supposed to be subjective, which works its way well in its comparison mode.
    Example: If I had known that this year was going to have more rain
    than last year, I would have purchased those rain boots!


3. Plurals and Possessives ('s and s)

  • 's Used to denote that something belongs to someone else. It can also be used as a contraction of he is, she is, etc. This is incorrectly used in the picture at the top of this lesson. It is not Tattoo's shop. The correct way would be to use it as a plural form, which we will cover next.
    Example:
    Bart's back was terribly sore, especially after a night of hockey practice.
    Example: As soon as
    Karen's home, we'll make dinner together.

  • es or s Used to show a plural form. This works for nouns, verbs etc. It is most commonly used as an ending for things shown in the present tense.
    Examples: The dog
    seems to run to who ever he sees


4. Lay and Lie

  • Lay: Meaning broadly to put something down. As a verb it can be used in this broad sense to put something down carefully, to to set something into position. Lay also functions as the past tense of the word "lie". Many people use the words lay, laying or laid as if they meant to say lie, lying or lay.
    Example: Why don't you lay on the bed.
    Incorrect! lying.
    Example: We need to lay our differences aside and just be okay. Correct!

  • Lie: The verb lie means to be in a horizontal position to rest and is not as general or generic as the verb "lay". It can also function as "lies" which can refer to something that remains or something that is kept in a specific state. Also a "lie" as a noun means something that is not the truth, however that is not commonly mistaken for "lay".
    Example:: Why don't you go and
    lie on the bed?
    Example:: Our memories
    lie not within photographs alone, they lie within our hearts and minds.


5. Chose or Choose

  • Chose: The past tense of "choose". When you have "chosen" something it means that the decision has already been made and that you have picked out something, or made a consensus on something.
    Example: You
    chose what was right for both of us, I didn't need another green sweater anyway.

  • Choose: This is in the present or future tense of making a decision. Make sure you don't confuse these words as it is very simple to do by just forgetting or using the extra "o".
    Example: I can't decide whether to get a lollipop or a scoop of ice cream, would you just
    choose one for me?

    For more common grammar errors check out Part Two!


Image credit: 1287

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Ask The Experts



  1. wwwwwwwwwwwww saidWed, 19 Nov 2008 11:06:07 -0000 ( Link )

    Nice one… Informative… Thanks.

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  2. srao_ogirala saidThu, 27 Nov 2008 08:48:28 -0000 ( Link )

    useful ….Thanks

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  3. lucyinthesky saidThu, 27 Nov 2008 14:58:33 -0000 ( Link )

    It really bothers me when people use ’s instead of s (and vice versa)!

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  4. sravan_reddy001 saidFri, 28 Nov 2008 18:22:57 -0000 ( Link )

    Then and Than→ this causes a lot of trouble for me… i think i’ll be fine now.. good one.. a quick review..

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  5. santosh gupta saidMon, 01 Dec 2008 06:22:17 -0000 ( Link )

    very nice, i like it.

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  6. Nilesh Shitole saidWed, 10 Dec 2008 05:40:26 -0000 ( Link )

    it will surely improme grammer………..thanks…

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  7. panthou-luwang saidMon, 15 Dec 2008 09:08:46 -0000 ( Link )

    nice one

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  8. debaratiganguly saidSat, 20 Dec 2008 17:43:56 -0000 ( Link )

    Very basic information which is learnt in primary schools and is really useful… inspite of knowing we do tend to make mistakes. thank you for this.

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  9. kalpesh_sharma saidThu, 15 Jan 2009 08:46:14 -0000 ( Link )

    Thanks bro. Could you pls ellaborate lie & lay. Also pls check if the example given for plural is correct. As seems & sees are both singular verbs used with singular noun i.e. dog. Correct me if I am wrong.

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  10. riddi saidThu, 19 Feb 2009 02:28:18 -0000 ( Link )

    Example:: Our memories lie not within photographs alone, they lie within our hearts and minds.

    Lay is used instead of lie when a plural is required. For instance – “lay down your arms” is the correct usage. “Lie down your arms” is incorrect. won’t the same rule work for the former example? are the memories being treated as collective noun?

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  11. Heena_Jain saidMon, 02 Mar 2009 10:25:53 -0000 ( Link )

    Nice one! Liked it!

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  12. sarika-ajay saidSat, 21 Mar 2009 12:20:25 -0000 ( Link )

    Very useful lesson for me.

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  13. megha1000 saidFri, 19 Mar 2010 19:12:39 -0000 ( Link )

    very informative… thank you:)

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