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Don't look stupid

A non-coddling blog of wisdom

Don't look stupid • the right word
Homonyms are words that sound the same even though they are different words with different meanings. Sometimes folks will get them confused with each other and use the wrong one. It really isn't difficult to learn which is which and use them correctly. Here are a few of the more common ones.

know - to understand
no - negation, opposite of yes

their - possessive form of they, belonging to them
there - a location
they're - contraction of they are

to - a preposition, place, or connection
too - also, or excessively
two - the number between one and three

which - a question of one thing or the other
witch - a magic user

your - belonging to you
you're - contraction of you are

not exactly a homonym, but still one that messes up a lot of people
than - a comparison
then - a time

Study this list. Learn a few of them. Use the right word and look less stupid.

I - subjective pronoun form of first person singular
me - objective pronoun form of first person singular
We so often hear the advice "It's 'I', not 'me', for proper grammar." This is not true. There are times where 'I' is the right word and there are times where 'me' is right. The subjective form is used when the person referred to is performing the action, and the objective form is used when the person referred to is the object of the action. This sounds confusing at first but it is really quite simple. Consider these examples:

right: I went to the store.
wrong: Me went to the store.

right: Irene and I went bowling.
wrong: Irene and me went bowling.

right: Tom went to the movies with me.
wrong: Tom went to the movies with I.

right: Jeremy gave me a rose.
wrong: Jeremy gave I a rose.

right: Susan took a picture of Jack and me.
wrong: Susan took a picture of Jack and I.

The last example is probably the most common misuse of these words. A simple way to remember the correct way is to remove the other person and the 'and' from the sentence and see how it sounds. You wouldn't say 'a picture of I' but you would say 'a picture of me'. Putting in 'Jack and' doesn't change this.

Learn the rules. They're easy, and they make you look smart!

Stop letting others misuse your brain.
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