Because it has been a decade for some of us (just go with it) and even longer for others since your last grammar lesson in high school, I just want to tell you how much I love it when people use correct grammar. Some of my favorites, when used correctly, are:
It's and its
- It's means it is or it has. If you can't substitute one of those for it's, you shouldn't have the apostrophe in there. Example: It's been rough tapering this week. It's going to be even worse next week.
- Its is the possessive form of the word. Yes, possessives normally have an apostrophe, but this is an exception. Get over it. Example: I put my Garmin on its charger but forgot to plug it in.
Your and you're
- Your is a possessive pronoun. Don't remember possessives or pronouns from middle school (or probably elementary school)? Basically it shows ownership. They are YOUR running shoes. It is YOUR marathon PR.
- You're is the contraction for you are. If you can't replace you're with "you are," get rid of the apostrophe and the e. Example: If you don't have some bad runs, you're doing it wrong. Or you're a freak of nature.
- There indicates direction. I would add that it is an adverb, but I don't want to confuse you. Direction can also mean location. There can also be used like a pronoun. This one is a little tougher so here are two examples: 1- You can pick up your race packet over there. 2 -There were too many port-a-potties at that race, said no one ever.
- Their is a possessive pronoun. It is like "your." Still confused? Remember that whole ownership thing. Example: Look at their bloody nipples!
- They're is a contraction for they are. Don't stick the apostrophe in in there and add an e at the end unless you can substitute they are for the word! Example: They're going to kick booty at the Ogden Marathon next weekend.
- To is a preposition. Don't remember what a preposition is? Lets just say it means in the direction of. If that is still throwing you, learn the uses of too and two, and then use TO when the others don't work. Here are some examples anyway: She went to buy bananas. To run or not to run; what a stupid question.
- Too means very, many, also or a degree of something. Examples: I am too sore from my marathon to walk down those stairs. She wants to qualify for Boston too. That is too much foam rolling for one day.
- Two is a number. You probably learned it in preschool. Maybe even before. As in when you weren't much older than TWO. If you use this one incorrectly, that's just sad.
There is no shame in printing this out and hanging it above your desk. Bookmark it on your iPad. Add it to your favorites. Or take a screenshot and save it on your phone. You can even make it your screensaver. Or just hire me to edit your Facebook, IG and blog posts. Up to you.