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Counselor’s Corner

Avoid these common grammar goofs

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Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012 12:00 am

Communicating through written words is something that must be done by everyone. Whether it’s a book report for an English class or a job application, it’s important to memorize some basic rules.

Many people text their messages, which has instituted a new level of confusion when it comes to formal writing. Though grammatical shortcuts are fine on your phone, make sure not to use them in a professional setting. You are unlikely to find a college admissions counselor or possible employer thinking poor grammar is a “gr8” quality.

They’re, There, Their

“They’re” means they are. “There” refers to a place. “Their” is a possessive adjective.

They’re going on a bike ride. (They are going on a bike ride.)

I want to rest over there. (A place.)

I wish I had their bike. (Belongs to another.)

Improper use of apostrophes

You need an apostrophe for contractions (don’t = do not) and to show possession (grandma’s pie), but NOT just because a word is plural.

Your, You’re

“Your” is a possessive pronoun. (I like your shoes.)

“You’re” means you are. (You’re more likely to use it properly if you say “you are” out loud every time you read the word you’re.)

It’s, Its

“It’s” means it is. (It’s a beautiful day outside.)

“Its” is a possessive pronoun. (Look at that car and check out its wheels.)

Principal, Principle

The school principal can also be your “pal.”

Loose, Lose

Loose is an adjective that means the opposite of tight. (After dieting, my pants are loose.)

Lose is a verb that means to lack the possession of. (The football team does not want to lose the big game tonight.)

Contact Learning Link coordinator Cyndi Carter at cyndic@lodinews.com. For more information about local education issues, read our Education Café blog.

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Stephanie Hiatt

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