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I wouldn’t really classify myself as a Grammar Nazi, because I don’t troll social media correcting spelling and grammar in people’s statuses and comments. (It pains me to ignore them sometimes, but it’s just social media.) However, people who write for a living should know better. Many, many times I have started reading a new blog that I found via Pinterest, only to click away before finishing the first paragraph because it was full of spelling errors or using words incorrectly. How you right is just as important as what you write. See what I did there? 😉 I’m certain I have errors here and there on my own blog, and no one is perfect, but learning and applying a few basic rules will improve your writing and present a more professional voice to your readers (and sponsors). Check out these seven grammar mistakes that may be costing you readers right now!
1. Affect vs. Effect
Affect: verb, used with objects
1. To act on, produce an effect or change in: Cold weather affected the crops.
2. To impress the mind or move the feelings of: The music affected him deeply.
1. Something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; efficacy; force; validity; influence: His protest had no effect.
Affect is a verb (an action) so you can’t say , “This had a big affect on me.” Please, just don’t! You could say, “It affected me.” It’s a little tricky, and you may even need to double check if you commonly get them mixed up, but paying attention to detail goes a long way in winning the confidence of your readers.
2. Loose vs. Lose
3. There, They’re, Their and You’re, Your
These are so common and I’m pretty sure everyone knows how to use them properly, but we often let our fingers run faster than our brains. 🙂 But just in case: They’re looking at their favorite photo over there. You’re going to be happy when you get your package in the mail.
4. Anxious vs. Eager
1. Full of mental distress or uneasiness
Anxious means to look forward to with dread. So it’s really not correct to say you’re anxiously awaiting a package in the mail, or a visit from family (unless you really don’t like them.) 🙂 You are anxious about an upcoming test and eager to spend time with friends.
5. Good vs. Well
This is one I catch myself using incorrectly all the time.
Good is an adjective while well is an adverb answering the question how. Sometimes well also functions as an adjective pertaining to health. You did a good job. Good describes job, which is a noun, so good is an adjective.
You did the job well.
Well is an adverb describing how the job was performed.
I feel well.
Well is an adjective describing I.
6. Then vs. Than
Than is used for comparison. “I like chocolate better than peanut butter.”
Then is for everything else. It’s usually used to denote time or order. “First, I will write this post. Then, I will publish it.”
7. Accept vs. Except
Accept: verb (used with object)
1. To take or receive something offered: I accept your lovely gift.