Confused About Affect or Effect? 19 Grammar Goofs That Will Make You Laugh

Grammar goofs that will make you laugh – These common grammar goof-ups sound very funny but can cause serious problems for you.

While most of us can speak English, there are many who mix up words and change the whole meaning of what they wish to convey.

You must have read boards alongside houses saying ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ‘No Littering, violators will be fine’. Well, some punctuation and silly grammatical mistakes have been a part of our childhood but when we hear or see poor grammar usage by adults, it really hurts our stomach to laugh. English can truly be a very funny and tricky language if the grammar is not apt.

It can also appear to have multiple fractures with grammar goof-ups. And Yes! Some letters are SILENT, so do not be stumped by the tricks of the language and follow these tips. 

While using words correctly can leave a lasting impression on others, grammatical slip-ups can make you look silly and may even cause you to ‘lose’ your job, ‘literally’.

Here are some grammar sore points that we generally come across (get to know how good you are at speaking the language):

Your and You’re

Well, to clear the confusion, they are not the same word. Period. Your is a possessive pronoun which is used to show something belonging to you. ‘Your house’, ‘your car’ or ‘your blog’ is how you should put it while ‘you’re’ is used as an abbreviation for ‘you are’. The latter is used in a separate sense such as: ‘You’re a good writer’.

Loose and Lose

These words are commonly used in place of each other, which changes the meaning of a sentence completely. While loose is the opposite of tight, lose refers to loss.

The dress can be loose but you lose a match!

It’s and Its

Apostrophes cannot make nouns plural. Apostrophes are either used to indicate possession or used as a contraction. It’s is a contraction of ‘It is’ or ‘it has’ while ‘Its’ is again used to refer to an object that belongs to something. You may say it’s just an article but its importance is much known.

I, Me and Myself

When asked for an introduction in college or during a job interview, many of us say Myself so and so. It is incorrect. There are instances when you can simply use I or me rather than using ‘myself’. Saying that ‘she and myself are best friends’ can make you look silly and induce much humour for others. However, saying that ‘I keep her secrets to myself’ is apt.

When you refer yourself along with a third person, the use of I is apt just like saying Neha and I are going for the tournament today but when using the phrase at the end of a sentence, it is never ‘I’ but ‘me’ as in ‘the tournament was witnessed by Neha and me.’

Affect, Effect and Impact

Affect is a verb which means something that will be positive or negative for you, while effect is the end result and is often a noun. However, you cannot use impacted in place of affected.

Global recession affected employees all over the world but the effect of recession on people worldwide is well documented.

Their, They’re and There

Many people use these words interchangeably. Little do they know that all these words have different meanings and should be used in separate context. ‘There’ is used to denote the position of an object while ‘their’ refers to something belonging to a group of people. ‘They’re’, on the other hand is an abbreviated form of ‘they are’. For instance,

Their company is located there. They’re pretty rich people.

To, Too and Two

While ‘to’ is used to refer to an object moving in a particular direction and is a preposition used to join sentences, ‘too’ means also and ‘two’ is a number. Isn’t it simple?

She will go to his house to visit him early morning. He too likes her company. The two are great friends.

Then and Than

While then shows sequence of events and also refers to ‘in addition to’, than is used as a method to compare nouns. When you want to speak about an event that happened at a point of time, you address that time as then.

90’s was the golden era for Bollywood music. Then there were songs that we still feel nostalgic about and often sing today. For many, that time was better than today for Indian cinema.

Complement and Compliment

Complement refers to something that adds to or is a supplement to something else and can also be used as a verb to describe the act of supplementing something while complimenting is praising certain attributes or saying something nice and pleasing to someone.

They complement each other. People often compliment them as ‘meant to be together’.

Historic and Historical

Historic is to denote an important event while historical refers to an incident that has already occurred in the past.

The battle of Plassey was a historicevent. The historical battle has emerged to be a legendary incident in the history of India.

Could of, Would of, Should of

As writing has become more colloquial now-a days, words get slurred all the time. Could’ve, would’ve or should’ve are the right contractions but when spoken it sounds much similar to could of, would of and should of, thus creating much confusion. This is a very common mistake but one that is easily correctable.

Fewer and Less

Countable items are said to be fewer while the sorts that are not quantifiable are said to be less.

He has made few movies but all his movies have gained much less acclaim than expected.

Principle and Principal

When used as a noun, Principal is the one highest in rank, as in the School Principal. As an adjective, it is the chief or the most important part in a set or group. Principle is always used as a noun which denotes a fundamental or basic truth, law, standard or class.

Literally and Figuratively

Your expenses have not reached sky high levels literally. Literally refers to things that have actually happened and are not said to denote a metaphor or analogy. Things that can be addressed as metaphors are said in the figurative sense, not LITERALLY.

We didn’t bought the book!

You cannot use didn’t with a past tense verb. It is always the present tense verb used in conjunction with didn’t. But it is generally assumed that since didn’t is in the past tense, the verb to be used after that should also be in past tense. It is always we didn’t buy the book and I didn’t use the data.

The prompt usage of Present Continuous tense

People like to put every piece of information in the present continuous tense by using statements such as I am liking this book or I am having a lot of ideas. In such cases, it is the present tense that is to be used and the sentences should be I like this book or I have a lot of ideas. When the action continues to happen even as you speak, present continuous tense is to be used.

 Affinity to ‘only’

We also love to add ‘only’ at the end of our sentences much often. We like to say I got this car now only instead of saying I got this car recently. While the word ‘only’ should be used to describe ‘one of a kind’ or something ‘unique’ such as this is the only possible way out.

Using wrong prepositions

When we have to make choices or wish to compare something, ‘to’ or ‘over’ is the correct preposition to use instead of ‘from’. However, a common mistake is to say I prefer movies from books when it should be I prefer movies to books or movies over books.

Brought and Bought

Clearly, these two are words with different meanings. Brought signifies bringing something while bought refers to buying. When you refer to buying a new dress, you say bought but when you mean to say that your friend has got a gift for you, you would rather say s/he brought a gift for me.

Some other common mistakes are using lay instead of lie or lend instead of borrow as well as omitting important punctuations such as comma, colon and semi-colon, but though these are small changes, they change the meaning of the sentences and give a hilarious tone to them.


How many of these mistakes are you known to make? You might not know when these little goofs can render you jobless or make you a butt of ridicule for your friends.









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