Saturday, 16 July 2011

Do We Need A Little Grammar Workshop?

Do you want to know what one of my pet peeves is? It is the incorrect use of certain English words; such as THEY’RE, THERE, THEIR. I see this all the time. Now, I am not an English professor, and I’m certainly not saying that I understand all the strange little nuances of the English language, but enough all ready! Is it that hard to use words properly? Sure, there is such a thing as “typos,” but it seems to me that the greater problem is that too many of us simply don’t know (or don’t care) which is to be used in which context.

I’m not sure why that is, but as it has often been suggested, I suspect it may have a lot to do with our lazy tendencies bought on by the advent of the texting craze. Have we become so used to abbreviations that we’ve forgotten how to spell? It’s actually really kind of sad. 

Let’s play a little game. Here is your test to see how well you understand the difference between these words. Which of the following six sentences is correct?

1. THERE tired after arriving THEIR with THEY’RE young children.

2. THEY’RE tired after arriving THERE with THEIR young children.

3. THEIR tired after arriving THERE with THEY’RE young children.

4. THEY’RE tired after arriving THEIR with THERE young children.

5. THERE tired after arriving THEY’RE with THEIR young children.

6. THEIR tired after arriving THEY’RE with THERE young children.

Are you having a little trouble? Let us look at how the dictionary defines these three words.

THERE: “in or at that place”
THEIR:  “of belonging to”
THEY’RE: “they are”

 Does that help? The correct sentence was number 2; “They’re tired after arriving there with their young children.” If you still don’t see the difference, then I’m afraid I cannot help you. I would, however, encourage you to find a good English tutor.

There are many other common grammatical faux pas' that also bother me, such as mixing up the words THEN and THAN. Likewise the words TWO, TO, and TOO. When is is correct to use the one? When is it correct to use the other? Your homework assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to sort that one out on your own. Class dismissed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment