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Posts Tagged ‘their’

Got this spam/phishing email a few weeks ago about unusual bank activity and a possible suspension of a bank account … yeah, right.

Anyway, the email is in need of the Grammar Police and Comma Clout, so here goes …

“Dear Bank Customer_ ,

Because of unusual number of invalid login attempts on your account, we had to believe that, their might be some security problem on your account…”

Comma Clout needed:

  • 1.remove the space before the comma in the greeting: “Dear Bank Customer,”
  • 2.remove the comma before the incorrectly-used “their” in the first sentence: “… we had to believe that …”

Grammar Policing needed:

  • their” should be “there:” “… we had to believe that there might be …”

See the Grammar Police blog post: “There you have it … ” for more on There vs. Their (and They’re).

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A reader writes:

“My pet hates they’re instead of their, it’s instead of its, of instead of have and your instead of you’re.”

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

pet hates

We figured the pet must be a cat … especially after we saw the following tweet (on Twitter):

“i believe that, if cats could talk, they would have an English accent and be total grammar snobs.”

What are your “pet hates” or “pet peeves” or “GrammarGripes?”

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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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