TRU-OL is now on Pinterest, and to those who have already followed us, thanks for joining! We’re always looking for followers and new people to follow, so if you pin, check us out at pinterest.com/TRUOpenLearning.
While pinning, I’ve noticed a common error on many typography-related images that I think is worth raising here. It seems many people still make the mistake of using “your” when they should be using “you’re.” If this never happens to you, please go on with your day. Otherwise, read the following:
“Your” is a possessive adjective, and modifies the noun or noun phrase in the sentence.
“The exam room is down the hall on your right.”
“Your mark suffered because of several grammatical mistakes.”
“You’re” is the contraction of you are. If you can replace “you’re” with “you are” in the sentence, you have the correct form.
“You’re not going to stay up all night studying, are you?”
“Try not to study when you’re in a hurry.”
Most of us already know this, but errors tend to creep in when writing on the fly or rushing to make edits before a deadline. Here are a few ways to try to catch errors:
- Read your work aloud. It’s amazing what gaffs you’ll catch when you hear your own sentences.
- Learn your weak spots. Many people have common errors that trip them up repeatedly. For example, I consistently misspell “definitely.” (Something about that second “i” gets me every time.) Learn your foibles, and scan for them specifically in your draft.
- Employ technology. Try using the “find” feature in your word processing software to catch common mistakes. For example, you might search for “your” or “you’re”, and the software will comb the document to find these words. When they’re highlighted, look at the sentence on it’s own and review it to make sure you’ve made the right choice.
Do you frequently have any particular grammar, usage or punctuation mistakes flagged in your work? Leave a comment about it and we’ll tackle them here.
Also, all Open Learning students can go to the Writing Centre to receive feedback on their writing. Help is available via videoconference for off-campus students.