And how you can
Your and You’re
Your is a possessive pronoun.
You're is a contraction of you are.
Examples: You're going to miss the bus if you
don’t hurry. Your bus is going to leave without
Affect and Effect
Affect is usually a verb meaning to influence.
Effect is usually a noun meaning result.
Examples: The rain did not affect my mood.
Cigarette smoking has been found to have several
negative side effects.
Their, There and They’re
There is an adverb specifying place; it is also an
expletive. Adverb: She was lying there asleep.
Expletive: There are two beds in the room.
Their is a possessive pronoun. They're is a
contraction of they are. Bill and John cheered for
their team. They're happy they won.
Too, Two and To
To is a preposition; too is an adverb;
two is a number.
Example: Too many people are going
to see the movie, but at least tickets
are only two dollars per person.
Lie and Lay
Lie is an intransitive verb meaning to
recline or rest on a surface. Its principal
parts are lie, lay, lain.
Lay is a transitive verb meaning to put
or place. Its principal parts are lay, laid.
*Chickens lay eggs. I lie down when I am tired.*
Who, Which, That
Do not use which to refer to persons. Use who
That, though generally used to refer to things,
may be used to refer to a group or class of
people. I just saw a boy who was wearing a
yellow banana costume.*
I have to go to math next, which is my hardest
class. Where is the book that I was reading?*
These are just a few commonly misused
words. There are others and we’ll discuss
them later. We hope these slides have been
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*Source: A Writer's Reference, by Diana Hacker