Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grammar Rules

I read a few blogs (probably more than I should), and generally I enjoy them.  Lately, however, I've been concerned about something...GRAMMAR!  I know I'm not always perfect, and I probably overuse commas and parentheses, but there are a few rules I want to go over here.

Me vs. I
This is the one I see most often.  People tend to overuse "I".  I think this comes from being told so many times that they were using "me" too often.  So, I thought I'd help out here.

If you're debating whether or not to use "I", use this general rule: Take out the other person.

Example: Hans and I are going to the store.
              The trip to the store was fun for Hans and me. 

All I have to do is remove Hans' name.  Would I say, "Me is going to the store?"  NO!  I'd say, "I am going to the store."  Would I say, "The trip was fun for I?"  No!  I'd say, "The trip was fun for me."  Actually, I'd probably say, "I had fun on that trip" but that's a completely different issue.

There, Their, They're
This one is a little easier.  The rule is: "Their" is possessive, "they're" is they are, and "there" generally falls into all the other circumstances (usually location).

Example: Their cat is white.
               They're going to get a white cat.
               There is a white cat in that house.

I certainly wouldn't want to say, "They are cat is white," so why would I use 'they're'?  Most people don't have many problems with this.

To, Too, Two
'Two' is obviously a number.  I find it easiest to remember "to" as headed to a location.  'Too' can mean also, or it can be used in circumstances where you're signifying amount (too many, too much, etc.)

Example: We're going to the show.
               There are two shows.
               That show was too long.  OR We enjoyed that second show, too. 

I don't really know how else to explain this.  Any ideas?

Your vs. You're

'Your' tends to signify possession, whereas 'you're' is a contraction for you are.

Example: You're a very nice person.
               Your sister is a very nice person.

Again, you wouldn't say, "You are sister is a very nice person," and you wouldn't say, "You a very nice person."  The 'are' makes all the difference.

Who, Whose, Whom
This is a very tricky one for a lot of people, and I'm not nearly as great with it as I used to be.  However, there is a very simple rule.  Simply answer the question you're asking (I always answer in the masculine to make the rule easier).   If the answer is 'he', then the correct word is 'who'.  If the answer is 'his' the word is 'whose'.  If the answer is 'him' the word is 'whom'.

Example: Who is going to the concert?  Answer: He is going to the concert.
               Whose concert tickets are these?  Answer: Those concert tickets are his.
               Whom are you taking to the concert?  Answer: I'm taking him.

Now then, there is one more form of who, and that's who's.  This is a contraction of who is, and generally follows the same rule as who.

Example: Who's going to the concert?  Answer: He's going to the concert.

Alright, I hope I haven't confused anyone too much, and I really hope I haven't offended anyone too much. It's just this is something that bothers me.  Too many people are abusing the English language, and we need to start learning how to speak properly.  That said, if you catch me abusing the language, feel free to call me out on it.  I'm always looking to improve my speech as well as my writing.  Thanks for listening!

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