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Archive for April 30th, 2009

At a friend’s urging, we have added a new category: GrammarGrave for those grammar issues that may no longer be worth pressing.

We will, hesitantly, add to this category as our language evolves (whether we like it or not).

Please stay tuned, and, submit your candidates for burial.

Currently with the morticians:

none” as singular (originated as a contraction for not one). See our earlier post (and comments) “Accepted through misuse

lay” vs. “lie” as to be in a horizontal or recumbent position, or to recline. See our earlier post: “Lie like a rug …

like” vs. “such as” or “as though.” See our earlier post: “Like, totally … NOT

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A reader writes:

“What is the difference between ‘There‘ and ‘Their‘ ?”

First, the grammatical specifics (we’ve also added “They’re“), then, the tips …

1. There

  • the adverb (as opposed to here): in or at that place; at that point in action or speech; into or to that place. “Let’s go there!”
  • the pronoun: that place; that point. There is no hatred among friends.”
  • the noun: that state or condition. “We’ll take you to the next stop. You’re on your own from there.”
  • the adjective: a demonstrative adjective used after a noun. “I read that book there.”
  • the interjection: used to express satisfaction. There! We’re done with this list.” (almost)
  • the combining form (obscure): We will not discuss today.

2. Their

  • the possessive (of they) personal pronoun:  used as an attributive adjective before a noun. “… their house.” “Announcing their arrival.”
  • the gender-neutral replacement: that person. used after an indefinite singular antecedent instead of a definite his or her. “Everyone sings their own tune.”

3. They’re

  • the contraction: short for “they are.” They’re coming our way.”

Tips:

1. “There” includes “here,” so use this when talking about a location or point of action.

2. “Their” includes an “i,” so, be possessive, and use this as a pronoun (as you would use “mine,” “his,” or “hers“).

3. “They’re” includes most of the word “are,” so use this when multiples are doing something.

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