Grappling with Grammar

COMMON MISTAKES

We all want to present a professional image to the world, whether in our posts on Internet forums or on our web sites. When we speak it is easy to hide grammar errors because things sound right. But when we WRITE, it is best to be sure.

YOUR and YOU'RE

When you are showing possession is is YOUR. *Remember that "OUR house" shows possession. Y-OUR is the same thing.

When you are saying "YOU ARE" as in YOU ARE SMART TO CHOOSE THAT SHIRT",  it is written YOU'RE. The apostrophe takes the place of the "a" in are. You're means YOU ARE.

So...when you write a note that says "Your so right when you say that placement on garments is important," you should be saying "You're so right..."

FAQ

An FAQ page on a website is where you go to read "Frequently Asked Questions." Because it MEANS "frequently asked questions" you do NOT have to put an "s" after it. If you did put an "s" you would NOT put an apostrophe. The "s" alone means plural (more than one). The apostrophe S denotes possession and is not correct in this case.

NUMBERS

When you say, "I remember the 1950s very well", it should NOT have an apostrophe as it is denoting more than one year and NOT possession.

IT'S and ITS

This is a tricky one. IT'S means IT IS. The apostrophe takes the place of the "I" in is. It is NOT possessive. It is a CONTRACTION, which is the name given to a word that elimininates a letter(s) and puts an apostrophe in its place.

But ITS (as you see in the last sentence "its place") is the POSSESSIVE. (Opposite to the FAQ rule above). The tree heralded the approaching cold weather; its leaves were brown. Normally you would think it would be it's leaves (as in Joan's dress, shirt's color) but it is treated as other pronouns (her dress, his shirt, its leaves) and has no apostrophe. This one can fool you. It's easy to forget its importance, so be careful!