With the evolution of American English, words are constantly being accepted as correct, and colloquial terms are awarded respect. As search engines get smarter, grammar is going to be increasingly more important for site rankings, so it is important to incorporate proper grammar in your overall search marketing campaign. If you want your copy to stand out merely by choosing the appropriate word, read through some of these commonly confused terms.

Grammatically Correct:

Invite vs. Invitation: Many use them interchangeably, but they are still different words. E-vites have been around for almost a decade, and thanks to Facebook, online “invites” are now commonplace. The English language will surely accept “invite” as a noun and a verb eventually. As for now, it remains a verb.

Invite is the root word of both terms, and it is a verb; you can invite someone to an event. Did you invite your sister’s old roommate to the wedding?

Invitation is a noun; you can extend an invitation to someone to attend an event. Did you send out your wedding invitations this week?

Which vs. That: As a general rule of thumb, use which when the following clause can be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence, and use that when the following clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence.  Which is generally preceded, or surrounded by commas, while that does not require comma use at all.

Fewer vs. Less: While both of these words simply mean the opposite of more, the way they are used is different. When nouns are countable, such as specific items, you should use fewer. There are fewer apples in this basket; 10 items or fewer. Less is used when items are not very easily counted without an additional form of measurement. There is less applesauce in this jar; this recipe calls for less flour. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and this one is no different; we typically use less to describe time, money and distance 

Begun vs. Began: This one is much easier than you might think. Begun is the past participle form of begin; this simply means that you can only use it with the past tense of “to have.” We had begun to see results. We began to see results.

Who vs. Whom: This is an ago old query that many grammarians still have trouble with. Who is used in reference to the subject; whom is used in reference to the object. In the statement, “Who washed the dishes?” you are asking who is the person that washed the dishes. “Dishes” is the object because action is happening to them, so who is the subject. If you were to say, “Whom did you hit?” since hit is the action, and it is happening to whom, that makes whom the subject, and the appropriate word to use. If you’re still unsure, use Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tip: Think about he and him. If the answer is him, remember the m, and use whom. If the answer is he, leave the m off, and use who.

 

QUICK TIPS: 

Every guide has mentioned the infamous three: you’re/your; they’re/there/their; and to/too/two, but I will quickly highlight these again, with a little help from Shakespeare.

 

  • You’re: This is a contraction of you are. Refers to how or what you are. Love the one you’re with. When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep, and you’re never really awake.
  • Your: This is the possessive form. This is your house; in the middle of your street. A plague on both your houses.

 

  • They’re: This is a contraction of they are. They’re playing my song. Where words are scarce, they’re seldom spent in vain.
  • Their: This is the possessive form. It is in their best interest. Cowards die many times before their deaths.
  • There: This generally refers to a place or condition. Use the process of elimination; if you do not mean to say “they are” and it is not possessive, use there. What is there to do? There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

 

  • To: This is a preposition; it determines direction and action. She’s buying a stairway to heaven. To be or not to be.
  • Too: This is used to add emphasis; also, in addition to, as well as. I want to go, too! The lady doth protest too much.
  • Two: This is a number. It should only be used when referring to an amount. It takes two to tango.  Two houses both alike in dignity.

 

 

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