Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I have always been bad at grammar. How can I improve?

You are wise to recognize that bad grammar can distract the reader from the information you are providing. Here are some homonyms – pairs of words with the same pronunciation but different meanings – that will help you avoid some common grammatical errors.
  • who’s (a contraction of who is), whose (the possessive form of who and which)
  • you’re (a contraction of you are), your (the possessive form of you)
  • there (in that place), their (the possessive form of they), they’re (a contraction of they are)
  • it’s (a contraction of it is), its (the possessive form of it is or it has)
  • affect (to have an influence on), effect (a result). Affect is generally used as a verb (to affect) while effect is generally used as a noun (the effect).

For more help with spelling, grammar and punctuation, consult these online sources:
http://www.m-w.com (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
http://thesaurus.reference.com (Roget’s Thesaurus)
http://onelook.com (dictionary service)
http://www.grammarly.com (grammar checker)

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