Misplaced apostrophes: Your/you’re
The difference between these two is:
“Your” means something belonging to you
“You’re” means “you are”
The missing or misplaced comma can change the meaning of the sentence.
Let’s eat, Grandpa – asks Grandpa to join the speaker in having a meal
Let’s eat Grandpa – suggests that it’s time to eat Grandpa
A woman, without her man, is nothing. – this sentence suggests that a woman is nothing without her man.
A woman: without her, man is nothing. – while this sentence claims the exact opposite, that a man is nothing without his woman.
Double negatives are seldom used in English, in contrast to some other languages. A sentence doesn’t exactly make a positive statement if two negatives are used in it, but it is considered incorrect.
I don’t want nothing from you. (in old English this could emphasise the negative, while in current English it can be taken to indicate a positive meaning. Any which way, it is an incorrect statement).
I don’t want anything from you.
Exchanging similar sounding words
Affect / Effect
The lightning affected the tree.
The effect of the lightning was that the tree burned down.
Accept / Except
Accept – to receive, to include
Except – to exclude
We accept everybody, except you.
Whether / Weather
Whether – if
Weather – referring to atmospheric conditions
Whether you like it or not, the weather will be like this.
Then – next, later, after
Than – for comparing
Between / Among
The word ‘between’ normally refers to two items or people, while the word ‘among’ refers to multiple items or people, as, for example: ‘At the party, I sat down between two good friends’ or ‘At the party, I enjoyed being among many interesting people
Photos: Shutterstock / Graphic Design for the purpose of this article: Martina Advaney