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Do You Know What I Mean?

Do You Know What I Mean?


Speaking well helps us communicate successfully. And that's important!


By FamilyTime

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Sure, most of us snoozed through grammar lessons in school, and yet most of us want to speak correctly. While it’s always a good idea to use good grammar, the main reason to do so is so that you won’t be misunderstood. Good communication skills are helpful regardless of your field or life circumstances.

We have identified five common grammatical errors that, when erased from your everyday speech and writing, should help you get your points across easily and succinctly.

  1. Poor Me: Wherever you turn these days, people use “I” when they mean “me.” So many of us are afraid of the word “me,” fearful we will use it wrong when in fact we mutilate the graceful “I.” “Me” is the object of a sentence, and of a prepositional phrase. “Between you and me” is correct. “Between you and I” is wrong. An easy way to keep track is to remove the other person from the sentence. If you are tempted to say “send the email to John and I,” drop John and listen to the sentence: “Send the email to I.” Clearly wrong! The correct usage is “Send the email to John and me."
  2. Less is More: Many of us confuse less and fewer, and more often than not opt to use “less” when we should say “fewer.” It’s easy to remember the correct usage: When you can count something, say “fewer;” when you can’t, say “less.” For instance, saying there is “less water in the jug” is correct, just as it’s right to say, “there are fewer apples in the barrel.” You can’t count the amount of water, but you can count the number of apples. The exception is for the number one: “Less than one,” is correct.
  3. Just A Little Further: Does it matter if you say “farther” when you should say “further?” Not so much, and most folks will never notice, but why not know the correct usage? When you are going a distance, say taking a walk or driving a car, say “farther.” When you are speaking of degree, say “further.” For instance: “Let’s walk a little farther down the path so we can discuss your idea further.”
  4. You’re Right! When you see the word “you’re,” you are looking at a contraction. Remember that word from fifth grade? It’s short for “you are.” The word “your,” refers to possession: “Your coat looks warm!” or “When it’s time for the party, bring your daughter along. You’re both always welcome.”
  5. Too Much: There are three versions of the word: to, too, and two. You know how to use “to,” but how about “too?” This is a little tricky, but just keep in mind it means “also.” And then there is the number “two,” which comes after one and before three.

Speaking well is important in business, in school, and for just about every social occasion you can think of. Sure, there are times when breaking the rules makes a point but as with most things, you shouldn’t break the rules unless you know them first.



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