Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Having trouble remembering your usage rules? There, their, they're, it's okay...

Hope y'all caught my funny words of comfort in this blog title.  The correct reassurance is actually, "There, there there," but I'm hoping that you already figured that out for yourself!  Today, we went over the proper and distinct uses of "their," "there," and "they're."  I wanted to share the distinction with all of you, students and parents both, so that you can utilize it in all future writing, and also rock out all future weekly usage quizzes.

Here are my tricks...

THERE - This word has to do with location, as in, "I put my toothbrush over there."  One way to remember it is to think about the fact that if you knock off the "t" in front, you get "here," which is also a location.  You can also use this to remember to use "where" instead of "were" when you're saying something like, "Where is the movie theatre?"  So, THERE you are--a nice, simply way to remember the meaning of "there."

THEY'RE - This is a contraction for the words "they are."  The apostrophe tells us that two words have been sort of fused together to make this new word.  You should also know that a contraction is a pair of words connected and made shorter by adding an apostrophe.  If the opposite of contracting is expanding, it makes sense that when a word/phrase "contracts," it gets shorter.

THEIR - This word has to do with possession.  In fact, it's a possessive pronoun.  That means it can take the place of a noun AND it has to do with ownership.  So instead of saying, "Emily and Bill spent months preparing for Emily and Bill's wedding," I could say, "Emily and Bill spent months preparing for THEIR wedding."  We know that "their" is a pronoun substitution for "Emily and Bill's," and we know the wedding belongs to them, so we use "their."

For my video people, here's a cool video that details - in under two minutes--which word to use when.  It includes those little green army men too--bonus!

Also, if you want to review past quizzes to prepare yourself for future ones, here are links to each of them:

Usage Quiz One:
Usage Quiz Two:

Have a beautiful Wednesday!
Miss Whitman

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