Tips that A+ students use to get ahead…
Posted by: Brian Armstrong in: English Homework Help
See if you are making some of these common mistakes in your writing, and try to remember these simple tricks to avoid them!
#1: Loose for lose
The ball came loose when the quarterback got sacked, but they didn’t lose the game.
#2: It’s for its (or god forbid, its’)
It’s just means “it is”. Its means “belonging to”. And there is absolutely, positively, no such word as its’.
A simple test: If you can replace it’s in your sentence with it is or it has, then your word is it’s; otherwise, your word is its.
#3: They’re for their for there
They’re means “they are”. Their shows possession or belonging, as in “are you going to their meeting?”. There means “over there”.
No: The managers are in there weekly planning meeting.
Yes: The managers are in their weekly planning meeting.
#4: i.e. for e.g.
The term i.e. means “that is”; e.g. means “for example”. And a comma follows both of them.
No: Use an anti-spyware program (i.e., Ad-Aware).
Yes: Use an anti-spyware program (e.g., Ad-Aware).
#5: Effect for affect
Affect is a verb meaning “have an influence on”. Effect is a noun meaning “a change that was made”.
When you affect a situation, you have an effect on it.
If you ever aren’t sure, the lazy way out is to just use the word “impact” in exchange for either one. Instead of saying “the tax didn’t have any effect” you can say “the tax didn’t have any impact”. Similarly, instead of saying “the tax shouldn’t affect anyone” you can say “the tax shouldn’t impact anyone”.
Finally, if you’re going to put something into effect or have it take effect, you have to use effect.
#6: You’re for your
You’re simply means “you are” (just like they’re means “they are”).
Your shows possession as in “eat your lunch, your stomach is growling”.
#7: The Dangling Participle
No: After rotting in the cellar for weeks, my brother brought up some oranges.
Uhh… keep your decomposing brother away from me!
The problem is that the participial phrase that begins the sentence is not intended to modify what follows next in the sentence. However, readers mentally expect it to work that way, so your opening phrase should always modify what immediately follows.
#8 Lay for lie
Lay means “to place something down.” It has to be done to another object as in “lay the book on the table”.
Lie means “to recline” or “be placed.” You can’t do it to another object. For example, when you “lie down on the couch” you are doing it to yourself.
#9: Then for than
Than is used to compare, as in “better than”. Then is used as a time marker as in “first I did this, then I did that”.
No: The accounting department had more problems then we did.
Yes: The accounting department had more problems than we did.
#10: Could of, would of for could have, would have
No: I could of installed that app by mistake.
Yes: I could have installed that app by mistake.
No: I would of sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town.
Yes: I would have sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town.
The correct spelling is d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y. It uses a lot of “i’s”.
Not definately. Not definatly. Not definantly. Not definetly. Not definently. And certainly not defiantly.
The correct spelling is definitely.
Sections of this article were reprinted from this article on ZDNet, this article on StormLoader.com, this article from WSU.edu, this article form CopyBlogger.com, this article on EnglishPlus.com, and http://www.d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com/.If you enjoyed this post and would like to get more great FREE homework help, subscribe to this blog by Email or RSS to get weekly updates. We'll work to raise your grades over time!