Thursday, January 18, 2007

My "Three on Thursday" grammar review

Someone suggested last week that I consider doing this as a regular type of thing. Thanks, Kelly! I'm flattered. So, since it was a Thursday, I figured “Three on Thursday” had a ring to it.

Also, let me say this ahead of time…while I have taught middle school language arts, I am by no means an expert. And, I do NOT always use the proper format in my writing here. Ellipses and dashes incorrectly overused? Guilty as charged!


However, I just wanted to focus on some of the basics so make all of us look a little more professional in the mommy blogosphere! LOL We want people to pay attention to what we’re saying not be distracted by mistakes that are simple to correct! :)

So, remember to think like a seventh grader and here are my “Three on Thursday” for this week:

THEIR, THERE, and THEY’RE
THEY’RE is a contraction of “they” and “are” and it is only to be used in that circumstance.

THERE is a reference to a place – as in “take it over there.” A way to remember this is that the word “here” which also refers to a place is the majority part of the word! LOL

THEIR is a possessive that means it refers to something belonging to a group of people as in “Their house is on Silvery Lane.”

BREATH/BREATHE
The first rhymes with “death” and it is a noun (a person, place or thing). “It’s so cold you can see your breath.”

The second rhymes with “seethe” and it is a verb (an “action” word) that refers to the process of air going in and out of our bodies.

“Catch your breath and just breathe in and out.”

WHO/WHOM
OK, here’s the deal. This actually is WAY easier than you think. You know how you can use both “he” and “him” to refer to a male in a sentence? One is used for the subject of the sentence (the one doing the verb) and the other is generally the object or the receiver of the action. For example, “he is throwing the ball to him.”

Well, “who” and “whom” is the same. One is meant to be the subject of the sentence and the other to be the object.

Examples: “Who sent this package to me?” or “The flowers were received by whom?”

OK! So, hopefully without sounding too stuffy or obnoxious, those are my “Three on Thursday”! Class dismissed! LOL

7 comments:

lady of value said...

Thanks, I alway get confused with who and whom. I have a 7th grade girl. She loves school.

sara said...

OK smartypants, how are you with apostrophes (Did I even spell that right?)

If the possessor is singular the apostrophe goes before the 's.' If the possessor is plural, it goes after. So I usually get confused when there is a plural possessor without an 's' at the end (eg. children, people). Is it the children's ball? Or is it the childrens' ball?

Have you ever read Eats Shoots and Leaves? I've forgotten the name of the author but it was a really good skim if you like this kind of thing - which I do. The section about the oxford comma is fascinating! ;-)

I love to study language. I love the English language with all of its diversity and nuance and foreign words. (What's the word for that? you know, like garage, and bechamel and all those other German and French words lurking in our sentences. I'm pretty sure there's a word or phrase for it.) I love that it is not a dead, static thing but living and changing and that vocabulary and usage and grammar and punctuation evolve over time. It is just so cool.

Denise said...

Thanks for the lesson my friend.

Beth said...

LOL Sara - I've got a really cool lesson for plurals, possessives, and the apostrophe. But, it's a chart and I have to figure out how to display it in Blogger. Working on it, though. I promise! ;)

DaHubby said...

Hurry up with the chart! Tell your husband to help you this weekend - i think he has a couple of ideas on how to get it done. Actually I saw this chart over pizza on a date before I was married it really helped me so I can't wait to see a posted version of it. I'm looking forward to the one on "Fragmented Sentences."

DaHubby

Beth said...

LOL Well, my most-est awesome-est hubby already told me how to do it but I forgot. So maybe after he's done working 50 hrs this week, he and I can do it. Ya think the Vikings' grandparents would watch 'em for a bit while it gets done? *wink, wink*

Debbie said...

Funny, after our *lessons* I actually feel a little better. I feel certain I use these words in the correct form.
I also remember the "i before e, except after c" rule. I think this was something you commented on last week.
It's sooooo sweet of Dahubby to "meet" you over here. By all means, let those precious children spend some time with the grandparents!