In the business world, it is crucial to present yourself professionally so that potential customers take you seriously. Failing to catch glaring grammatical mistakes is the equivalent of walking into an interview with a mustard stain on your pants or spinach in your teeth. No matter how qualified you are for the job, anyone who might want to work with you will be so distracted by the offending error that they will have a hard time imagining you performing well in the position.
This is especially true if your business performs any service that requires attention to detail. How can customers trust you to complete their job to perfection if you don't even take the time to proofread your emails, websites, and promotional materials carefully? Many companies hire professional proofreaders who help with I can't write my essayqueries all over the web to avoid this kind of embarrassment or use freelance copywriters to create their content. This ensures that any written content is being crafted by someone who knows grammar inside out and writes for a living.
Here are three of the most irritating common grammatical mistakes that your business might be guilty of:
1. Confusing Your and You're
This mistake is widespread because the words sound the same when they are spoken. However, they look very different when written, so there is no excuse for this error on printed documents.
"Your" is possessive, and using this word describes something that belongs to you. For example, "Your email correspondence sounds like a teenager wrote it."
"You're" is a contraction of the words "You are." For example, "You're going to have to pay more attention to grammar in the future."
If you cannot replace the word with "you are," then you should probably be using "your" rather than "you're."
2. Confusing Their, There and They're
This is another example of words that sound the same when spoken but have entirely different meanings on paper.
"Their" is a possessive adjective which refers to something that belongs to "them." If you are talking about something that belongs to more than one person, "their" is probably what you mean.
For example, "Tom and Sandy needed a proofreader to correct their mistakes."
"They're" is a contraction of "They are." If you can replace the word in your sentence with "they are," then this is what you probably mean. For example, "When people make simple grammatical mistakes, it can cause others to assume that they're uneducated."
The word "there" covers all other uses, such as "here and there" and "there is something strange happening." In short, if the word means "belonging to more than one person," then use "there." If it says, "they are" use "they're." In all other situations, you should probably use "there."
3. Confusing Then and Than
The word "Then" is used to describe something that happens next. For example, "First Sam looked closely at the email he was about to send, then he spotted his embarrassing mistake."
The word "Than" is used to compare two things. For example, "Sally is better at spotting copywriting typos than Sam."
Has your company committed any of these grammatical sins? If you struggle to find the right words, it's a good idea to hire a professional proofreader or a freelance copywriter for your next writing project.