The little things
The English language has many tricky words, phrases, and rules that we encounter on a daily basis. I can often look passed people’s grammatical errors, but there are a few that make me cringe.
For one, I can’t stand when people confuse your and you’re. “Your being very rude.” This sentence doesn’t make sense grammatically. “You’re jacket looks great.” You’re is a contraction of you and are. So the sentence essentially reads, “You are jacket looks great” and this doesn’t make sense.
The same thing goes for confusing its with it’s. You would say, “It’s a lovely day outside” because it’s is a contraction of it and is. The correct way to use its would be, “The dog chased its tail.”
Other words that bother me are then vs. than and there, their, and they’re.
“Rather than wasting time, let’s go to the store and then grab something to eat.” This is a mistake that I see often, but it helps to remember that than is a comparison and then refers to time.
“Their car is parked over there and then they’re meeting us at the restaurant.” Their refers to multiple people, there refers to a place, and they’re is a contraction of they and are.
Other things that bother me about the English language are words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently depending on placement in a sentence. “She read the book after I read it first.” “Wind up the string before the wind carries it away.” “Can you lead me in the right direction to get more lead for my pencil?” All of these words are spelled the same but they are pronounced differently. Imagining someone trying to learn English and come across these words is a bit of a headache.
The English language can be very weird and often times seem contradictory, but it’s important to learn the rules of grammar and how to form sentences the correct way.