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10 common grammar mistakes to avoid

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Most grammar mistakes can be avoided if you have the discipline to re-read your work before printing, submitting or pressing send, so put these reminders from experienced copywriter Hayley Mullen to use next time you sit down to put your thoughts in writing.

1.  Their, there and they’re. “Their” is used to show ownership of a noun. “There” is a place. “They’re” is the contraction of “they are.”

2.  Then and than. “Then” de­­scribes a sequence of events: I went to the store, then I went home. “Than” is a matter of comparison: I like sleeping more than I like exercising.

3.  It’s and its. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is.” “Its” is possessive.

4.  You’re and your. “You’re” is a contraction for “you are.” “Your” is possessive.

5.  Definitely. Remember, it’s not spelled with an “a.”

6.  Affect and effect. The verb “affect” describes something that produces a change in another thing: Being sick affects your mood. An “effect” is a change that has occurred in something: Nausea can be a side effect of antibiotics.

7.  A lot. It’s always two words.

8.  Loose and lose. “Loose” is the opposite of “tight.” When you “lose” something, it’s missing.

9.  That and who. “That” refers to a thing. “Who” refers to a person.

10.  Everyday and every day. “Everyday” describes something common or ordinary: Traffic jams are an everyday occurrence in this city. “Every day” means each day: I need coffee every day.

— Adapted from “Beyond You’re Vs. Your: A Grammar Cheat Sheet Even the Pros Can Use,” Hayley Mullen, Uberflip.

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