Here are few common mistakes:
- They’re versus their versus there – One is a contraction for “they are” (they’re). One refers to something owned by a group (their). One refers to a place (there).
- Your versus you’re – One is possessive (your). One is a contraction (for you are). If you read “your,” replace it with “you are.” If it makes sense as “you are,” you need you’re. This mistake is commonly seen with you’re welcome.
- It’s versus its – One is a contract for it is (it’s). One is possessive (its). If you have written “it’s,” read it as “it is.” If it doesn’t make sense, you need “its.”
- Referring to an organization as “they” – An organization is singular, so it takes “it,” not “they” as a pronoun. Even if your utility goes by the plural form of “utilities” in its name, use the singular pronoun “it” when referring to the organization as a whole.
- To versus too – “To” is usually used before a noun or verb, and describes a destination, recipient, or action. “Too,” on the other hand, is a word that’s used as an alternative to “also” or “as well.”
- Peek versus peak versus pique – Peek is taking a quick look at something – like a sneak peek of a new film. Peak is a sharp point – like the peak of a mountain. Pique means to provoke or instigate – like your interest.
- Who versus that – When describing a person, use “who.” When describing an object, use “that.”
- Fewer versus less – Use “fewer” for things that you can count, such as “fewer doughnuts” or “fewer miles.” Use “less” for things that you can’t quantify, like “less sugar” and “less traveling.”
- Farther vs. Further – “Farther” is used to refer to physical distances, while “further” is used to refer to figurative and nonphysical distances.