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Have common grammar rules been confusing you? Here’s a low-down on the most common mistakes

It’s getting close to the pointy end of the TAFE NSW calendar. Assignments are due, exams are scheduled and you may start to feel the pressure mounting. We all want to see our hard work reflected in our results, so be sure you aren’t throwing away marks because of these common grammar mistakes:

Your / You’re

Your” is a possessive pronoun… Use it when you want to refer to someone owning something as in “How did your exam go”?
You’re” is a contraction of “you are”, as in “You’re not going to believe who was at TAFE today”!… If you could swap “you’re” for “You are not going to believe who was at TAFE today”! You’ re using it correctly.

Its / It’s

Its” is also a possessive pronoun… use it when you’re talking about an object’s ownership, as in “my car has its wipers on”.

It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”, as in “it’s been fun learning about grammar but it’s way more fun dancing around my bedroom to ‘Shake it Off’ (we <3 Tay Tay)?

There / Their /They’re

There” is a place, as in “it’s over there”.

Their” is another possessive pronoun… use “their” when you are talking about more than one person owning something, as in “Is that their house? They must have done really well in their TAFE course to afford it”

They’re” is a contraction of “they are”, as in “they are the cutest cats, like ever”!

Affect / Effect

Affect” is a verb – “to affect” – meaning to influence or have an impact on something, as in “your love of coffee may affect your concentration”.

Effect” is a noun – “a positive effect” – referring to the result of being affected by something, as in “the effect of coffee on a person’s mood is great”.

Than / Then

Than” As a rule “Than” is used when we are comparing things, as in “Android is way better “than” iPhone” (fact).

Then” can have a few different meanings, we use it when we are talking about a sequence of time as in ““then” we went to the beach” or when we are adding something, as in “then add two cups of sugar”… The general rule is when we aren’t comparing things we use “then”.

Loose / Lose

This is an easy one to mess up. Remember it like this: “If your belt is too “loose” you might “lose” your pants” (and no one needs to see that).

To / Too / Two

To” is an infinitive verb as in “I just want to talk to you”
Too” meaning also or as well as in “I love you too”.
Two” as in the number 2.

How do you remember tricky grammar rules? Tell us in the comments.

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