For every cardinal grammar sin committed on the web, there’s a grouchy grammar bore out there waiting to pounce – and that’s exactly what we’re doing today with this list of top 10 grammar gripes. What would you add to the list?
1. Your versus you’re
One is very obviously short for “you are”, so why do so many people write “your”? For future reference, writing “your beautiful” in a text = instant turn-off.
2. The apostrophe debacle
Nobody seems to be able to use an apostrophe properly these days, so they just stick them in willy-nilly and hope for the best, resulting in grammar horror “until the cow’s [sic] come home”. People do it with dates too, e.g. “the 1970’s”. You wouldn’t write “seventy’s”, you’d write “seventies” – unless you wanted to be extremely moronic, of course.
3. It’s versus it is
This one we can sort of understand, because it’s quite confusing. See what we did there? That’s the only proper way to use an apostrophe in conjunction with the word “it”.
4. Then instead of than
Ok, so “then” and “than” do sound rather similar. But you just don’t say “we’ve got more cake then you”. Quite frankly, writing “then” when you mean “than” is a guaranteed route to gormlessness.
5. Could of instead of could have (and should and would)
Just because the shortened version sounds vaguely like “of” – i.e. “could’ve”, “should’ve”, “would’ve” – doesn’t mean you can get away with saying “of” when you actually mean “have”.
6. Amount versus number and less versus fewer
We like to explain this one with a simple cake illustration. “A greater amount of cake; a greater number of cakes”. Bonus – the same applies to “less” and “fewer”: “less cake, fewer cakes”.
7. To versus too
“Too” means “as well”. You wouldn’t ask “can I have one to”, because it would naturally be assumed that you are someone who has a problem with finishing sentences.
8. Myself and Rob
It’s “Rob and I” not “myself and Rob”. And not “me and Rob”, either. You wouldn’t say “me are eating cake”, so don’t say “me and Rob are eating cake”.
9. Invite versus invitation
Oh, you “received an invite” did you? I think you’ll find that was an invitation you received, actually.
10. There versus their versus they’re
To be honest, if you don’t know how this one works, there’s probably no hope for you.
So there are our top ten (stopping at ten took some restraint, we can tell you) – what are YOUR pet grammar hates?