Top 5 Grammar Rules to Never Forget When Writing Professionally
So there you are, sitting in front of the computer at your desk, about to hit the “send” button that will distribute your beautifully crafted email reminding everyone in your office from the janitor to the CEO about the company pot-luck this Friday, when you notice it. A spelling error. You thought you double checked your work, but you were wrong. A light sweat breaks out on your forehead as you begin to wonder what other mistakes you might have made while furiously typing out your memo. Not to worry, in order to help you avoid making at least the most major of mistakes in similar situations, here are 5 grammar rules to always keep in mind when writing at work:
“Two” is a number. As such, the only time you should use this spelling is when counting, or doing other such forms of mathematics in your writing.
“Too” is synonymous with “also.” Always remember to add the extra “o” when using it in this way. In fact, if you’re having trouble with this one, you might just want to stick with “also” on a permanent basis as to avoid any further possible mistakes. It can also be used to mean “to an excessive extent,” as in “I am too sick to work.”
“To” is a preposition. Many Americans are still confused as to exactly what that means, but let me simplify your life by letting you know that if you’re not talking about the number that 1+1 equals, or using this word to mean “also,” then “to” is the orthography you’re looking for. Which brings me to number two…
2) You’re/Your (‘Ur’ is not a word.)
“You’re” is a contraction meaning “you are.” Most of the time, this formulation is followed by an adjective, whether it be a positive or a negative one.
“Your” is a possessive pronoun. Try following it up with an object that belongs to the person you are referencing and you can’t go wrong. Example: “Your skirt is too short.”
“Then” should be used when talking about a sequence of events in which one thing happens, and THEN something else follows.
“Than” is normally used comparatively. Here’s an example: Sarah is cuter than I am. (No, she’s not, I’m just being nice). Most people forget about this one, but I promise that if your boss is reading something you wrote and this word has an “e” in the middle instead of an “a”, they will think of less of you, and so will I.
“It’s” is another contraction, used in times when adding that extra “i” in “it is” just takes too long. It is also used as a contraction for “it has,” as in “It’s been fun writing this article.”
“Its” should be used as a possessive, much in the same way as “your.”
This is one of the most common mistakes people make, so here is an example to make sure you all understand. Think of the difference between “It’s raining men”, and “The alien is reading its book.” Good, I’m glad we’re clear on that now.
“Their” should be familiar at this point, it uses the same rules as “your” and “its”, except this time for the third person plural. If your relationship friends are over there talking about their relationship issues and they’re being really annoying, you understand how I feel about people using this word wrong.
“They’re” is another contraction, just like “you’re” and “it’s”. No further explanation necessary, I hope.
“There” is most commonly used as an adverb or a pronoun, but since going into definition for those situations would be too time consuming and probably bore you to death, you can refer to the example given for “their” and hopefully you can take it from there…
Hopefully this will help you write more respectably in professional situations. Lesson of the day: never forget to proofread!
Image from http://www.writingforward.com/grammar/good-grammar/10-reasons-writers-should-learn-good-grammar