You can fool them with your mouth, but not with your hands.

Say what?!

Today I’d like to clear up 3 pairs of words that sound exactly the same, but are written differently. If you say them out loud, people will always assume that you’re using the right one (unless they think you are an idiot, but why would you even want to talk to people like that in the first place anyway?). However, when you write, you have to use the right one. No fooling when you type! And the fact that all of these words will slip through a spell check means that you have to be extra careful!

By the end of this mail you should know the difference.
If not, print this out and hang it up somewhere where you can refer to it quickly when you are writing your next email! Think of all the calories you’ll burn walking back and forth from your computer to your wall. Just want you to be healthy. That’s how much I love you, <<First Name>>.

TO/TOO: 

TO – used with a verb- ‘to go’, ‘to study’, ‘to sleep’. Also used as ‘towards’ – ‘I went to school and then I went to his house.’ You can also use it for instructions ‘Give that huge box of chocolate to me, and pass that tiny sliver of cheese to her.’

TOO – means ‘also’. ‘OMG I love gin and tonics too!’ And it means something to a high degree – ‘Don’t buy that car, it’s too expensive. Buy a bike instead!’ (An easy way to remember this is that TOO has an extra O – that’s TOO MANY O’s!)

Oh, and while we’re at it let’s just say that TWO is a number and you should really know that by now.

ITS vs IT’S:

If I had a shiny new nickel for every time I see these used wrongly, I’d be living on a private island off the coast of Tilburg by now. It’s so easy to clear up – so let’s get to it!

IT’S: An apostrophe always represents a missing letter in English. If you see IT’S, it’s short (oh, see what I just did there?) for IT IS.  We use it for things like ‘it’s raining outside’, or ‘it’s time to buy Buffi’s new book for Christmas’. It can also mean ‘it has’ –  ‘it’s been a long day without you my friend.’

ITS: This shows a connection between two things, or possession. ‘The dog wagged its tail’, or ‘The foundation decided to adapt its fundraising strategy’.

And last but not least…drumroll please!

YOUR and YOU’RE:

Well, let’s see. Remember that the apostrophe represents a missing letter? Yes? Good. Me too.

That means that YOU’RE is short for YOU ARE. It’s used for things like ‘You’re the best person who has ever read my newsletter, sweet <<First Name>>.” Or ‘You’re buying her my new book for Sinterklaas? Thank you so much!’

YOUR refers to possession – ‘It’s your problem, not mine’, or ‘She didn’t want to waste any of your time, so she left’.

Ok, my darling. Do you realise that you don’t have to make these mistakes ever again? That makes me so happy. Make complicated mistakes. Make mistakes that are really hard. Don’t make simple mistakes. Save your mistake-making powers for concepts that really deserve it.

Oh. and try to use all 6 (ok 7) of these in 1 sentence. Can you? Bet you can.

Show me! Mail me back and I’ll post the best ones on my Facebook page! 

Excited to hear from you, as always!

XXX Buffi.