When the waiter at a Chinatown restaurant starts fixing your grammar, you should probably learn the difference between your and you’re.
Your vs. You’re
Messing this up is something that too many people do and it frustrates me to no end. It’s simple:
Your = belonging to you; you know like saying “his” or “hers”, so don’t write “Your welcome”.
‘You’re’ = contraction of ‘you are’ ; e.g. “You’re welcome”.
Now please don’t ever mess that up again.
Its and It’s
This is along the same lines of your vs you’re, so I’m going to keep this brief.
Its = belonging to it; e.g. “At its core…”
It’s = “it is”; e.g. “It’s a beautiful day”
Okay, the following mistakes don’t make you look that dumb, but it wouldn’t impress people either:
Affect vs. Effect
The difference between affect and effect isn’t so much the difference in definition; but where you use it.
Affect = verb
Effect = noun
Therefore, you could say, “Your bad grammar affects my perception of the intelligence of mankind,” or you could say “Your bad grammar has effects on my perception of the intelligence of mankind.
Note that in the first sentence, ‘affects’ is the proper term because it’s used as a verb. In the second sentence, ‘effects’ is correct because it’s used as a noun.
Can vs. May
I remember in grade school whenever some kid asked, “Can I go to the bathroom” there was this teacher that would respond, “I dunno, can you?” and then go back to the chalkboard. So what’s the difference between can and may? Well, ‘can’ implies a physical possibility. So it’s like saying “Am I able to go to the bathroom?” On the other hand, ‘may’ is used when you’re asking for permission. In other words, you’re saying, “Am I permitted to go to the bathroom?”—which is what you want.
Plurals + Apostrophe S – Where does the apostrophe go?
Say you want to say you want to go to the house that belongs to your parents or friends. Would you say “parent’s house” or “parents’ house”. It’s the latter. “Parent’s” refers to belonging to one of your parents. If you’re referring to both parents, then you have to add the apostrophe after the s.
A concept that Alanis Morissette doesn’t understand. Ed Byrne explains it best:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT1TVSTkAXg. Check it out.
I hope there aren’t any grammatical mistakes in this article, because that would be ironic.