Microsoft has done wonders in increasing production, making editing easier with the advent of spellcheck and grammar checking software. The problem is that we are all too lazy to use a dictionary anymore and many of us have forgotten the difference between similar sounding words that carry completely different spellings. On MySpace these mistakes run rampant because there is no quick spelling/grammar check to correct our typos and inadequacies in the English language (a language most of us grew up speaking and writing I might add). Having always been a stickler for languages and their use, I have decided to take the time out to re-educate you in the ways of some oft-confused words I have seen on MySpace.

YOUR v. YOU’RE – one of the worst offenders.

YOUR is a possessive word. It should be used in sentences like “I’m going to be at YOUR house by 10 p.m.” YOU’RE on the other hand is a contraction of the words YOU ARE, as in “YOU’RE the best” and “YOU’RE coming over tonight, right?”

THERE, THEIR and THEY’RE

THERE is used to show location and can be found in sentences like “It’s right THERE” or “THERE you are!” THEIR is a possessive word (aka it shows possession) as in “That’s THEIR house right THERE.” See the difference? Now don’t get confused with this next one. THEY’RE is a contraction combining the words THEY ARE, as in “THEY’RE running a bit late tonight.” I know there are three in this category but THEY’RE very important to remember.

Next up we have PEACE v. PIECE.

PEACE is a noun used in sentences like those of Miss America nominees, “If I had one wish, all I would ask for is PEACE on Earth.” PIECE is part of a whole. I alway remembered this one by the first three letters that spell “pie” as in “I’d like another PIECE of pie.”

Last in today’s grammar lesson is THAN v. THEN.

I know this one is difficult for a lot of people to grasp but we’re going to try today. THAN is a comparison word. It is used in sentences like “He is smarter THAN Jacob” and “She can throw a ball farther THAN Mario can.” THEN is a word usually used in an if/then statement, as in “If we go to the movies, THEN I won’t be able to afford dinner.” THEN is used to describe what’s coming next or can be used like this: “We’ll be there THEN.”

I hope this has helped answer a few of YOUR questions. If there are others you’d like me to address in future installments feel free to send me a message or comment below.

PS I received another donation to my Costa Rica fund today! This time it was a $30 donation from Wes, which brings me to $1087. Only $1413 left to go before I can be on my way to saving the sea turtles this summer. Thanks again to everyone who has donated and if you don’t know what I’m talking about you can check out the “about me” section on my front page. Thanks again!

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