GRAMMAR: MZB's Pet Peeves
(grammar I learned in fifth grade)
6 Apr 2009
This one gets first place because it's the mistake I see most often in my slush
"It's" is a contraction of "It is." "Its" is the possessive form of "it" and does not have an apostrophe any more than mine, yours, his, hers, etc.
"Lay" needs an object, i.e. "I lay the book on the table." "Lie" does not, so it's "I lie down", or "I lay myself down."
If you can count it; it's "fewer." So you can have "less salt" or "fewer grains of salt." Despite what they say in advertising, you cannot have "less calories" -- it's fewer calories, as all of us who count them know.
This is another one we can thank the ad agencies for. There used to be a slogan "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should." (This, of course, in addition to being grammatically incorrect, is an oxymoron -- any cigarette tastes terrible.) After enough people protested that it should be "as a cigarette should" the ad agency came up with its next slogan: "What do you want -- good grammar or good taste?" For me, definitely good grammar.
To is used as part of a verb or as a preposition (to go to the fair).
Too is used interchangeably with also or in expressions such as "too many."
Two is a whole number greater than one and less than three.
a) The 2nd Person Singular Familiar (thou, etc.) is generally not used in modern English. You may encounter it in songs, prayers, and poetry.
b) Possessive pronouns are given in two forms, which are used as follows:
1) It is my book.
2) The book is mine.
c) Reflexive pronouns are used ONLY to refer back to the subject. "I cut my hair myself" is correct. "If you have any questions, ask Jim or myself" is NOT correct.
| your, yours
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