9 Common Grammatical Mistakes You Are Always Making

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All it takes is a single tweet or text for some people to reveal their poor grasp of the English language, infamously due to the common grammatical mistakes they make almost all the time, and the worst of it is that they hardly know it’s a mistake.

Homophones — words that sound alike but are spelled differently — can be particularly annoying.

Regardless, you should never choose incorrectly in these nine situations:

1. “Your” vs. “You’re”

“Your” is a possessive pronoun, while “you’re” is a contraction of “you are.”

Example 1: You’re pretty.

Example 2: Give me some of your whiskey.

2. “It’s” vs. “Its”

Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession, as in, “I took the dog’s bone.” But because apostrophes also replace omitted letters — as in “don’t” — the “it’s” vs. “its” decision gets complicated.

Use “its” as the possessive pronoun and “it’s” for the shortened version of “it is.”

Example 1: The dog chewed on its bone.

Example 2: It’s raining.

3. “Then” vs. “Than”

“Then” conveys time, while “than” is used for comparison.

Example 1: We left the party and then went home.

Example 2: We would rather go home than stay at the party.

4. “There” vs. “They’re” vs. “Their”

“There” is a location. “Their” is a possessive pronoun. And “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.”

Use them wisely.

5. “We’re” vs. “Were”

“We’re” is a contraction of “we are” and “were” is the past tense of “are.”

6. “Affect” vs. “Effect”

“Affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun.

There are, however, rare exceptions. For example, someone can “effect change” and “affect” can be a psychological symptom.

Example: How did that affect you?

Example: What effect did that have on you?

7. “Two” vs. “Too” vs. “To”

“Two” is a number.

“To” is a preposition. It’s used to express motion, although often not literally, toward a person, place, or thing.

And “too” is a synonym for “also.”

8. “Into” vs. “In To”

“Into” is a preposition that indicates movement or transformation, while “in to,” as two separate words, does not.

Example: We drove the car into the lake.

Example: I turned my test in to the teacher.

In the latter example, if you wrote “into,” you’re implying you literally changed your test into your teacher.

9. “Alot”

“Alot” isn’t a word. This phrase is always two separate words: a lot.

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