Grammar Matters

It is unbelievable how many people don’t think grammar and the correct use of language is important. I know it is & I know how to use it correctly. After all, if you’re not a plumber, why do you need to know about plumbing? If you’re not an accountant, why do you need to know accounting? It stands to reason that if you’re not a writer, why do you have to know the rules of the written language?

At some time or another, in some form or another, writing – and therefore grammar – is going to represent you. Whether you are emailing colleagues at work, printing some sort of promotional flyers or posting an Instagram caption of monumental importance, as soon as you make those words public (with the accompanying grammar) you are making an impression.

As far as simplicity, written language is just like oral: communicating. You can say things in many different ways whether it is in person, over the phone, via text or email all to say the same thing. You may be great at doing the first two. But if your grammar was your nemesis in school, it’s definitely making a bad impression in real life. Poor grammar does often make you come off as uneducated, which people naturally apply to other aspects of your life (“if she can’t use proper grammar, how is she going to come off to customers?”). Don’t let bad punctuation and spelling hold you back.

Grammar is your friend.

The difference between YOU’RE and YOUR.

Basics:

Your is possessive, you’re is conjunctive, meaning two words put together (you + are).

Examples:

I love your eyes – possessive.

You’re very friendly – conjunctive.

COULD’VE, WOULD’VE, SHOULD’VE.

This rule is one of the easiest to remember. They are only conjunctions of could have, would have and should have. They are spoken the same way they are written but instead, have is sometime mistakes to be of. If you’re saying “I should’ve” or, “I could’ve” you are really saying, I should have known or I could have guessed. Next time you want to write a phrase out, either stick to the formal “could have”, or combine the two for the informal “could’ve”. 

THERE, THEIR…NO, NOT THEY’RE.

These words are all different, they may sound the same but they are not interchangeable.

Firstly, their is possessive, meaning belonging to. They’re is yet another conjunction of the words they & are. There has many meanings, it can refer to a place (or area – here or there) or act as a pronoun (“Are there any biscuits?”).

Examples:

We live in that house over there.

They’re throwing a party next-door.

Their new dog is very noisy.

If you are not sure about “there” then you can try the other two easier options first. Is it possessive, like the dog, meaning it would be their? Does it make sense for it to be they are, like the next-door neighbours, meaning it’s they’re? If not, then there is the only one left over.

APOSTROPHES – WHERE DO THEY BELONG?

Apostrophes where they don’t belong can completely change the context of a message. There’s one place that apostrophes don’t belong, PLURALS! You do not add an apostrophe just because a word has an S on the end, just like the word apostrophes. You DO add one, if it is possessive, for example “Bethany’s phone”, a conjunction “you’re” and “should’ve” we spoke about before, plus words such as “it’s” and “don’t”.  It only gets a little confusing if it’s a possessive version of a word ending in a S, therefore there is no S after the apostrophe – “Chris’ phone”.

Is grammar your nemesis?

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