People make simple grammar mistakes every day and sometimes they don’t even know it. To avoid that awkward conversation with a friend or coworker who points out your improper grammar, we’ve compiled a few common mistakes that are easily avoidable. While some rules need more explaining than others, everyone needs a little grammar refresher every now and then!

There, Their, and They’re

Let’s start with a common mistake we all have made at one point in time: confusing “there,” “their,” and “they’re.” The best way to remember the differences is to know what each word refers to. “There” indicates a place or location, “their” is a possessive adjective used when a group of people own something collectively, and “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.”

They’re taking their vacation time to explore Colorado and visit the tourist destinations there.


Effect vs Affect

Another tough rule to remember is when to use “effect” or “affect.” Many people think the two words are interchangeable or simply wait for spell check to make the decision for them. “Affect” is a verb meaning to impact or to change, and “effect” is a noun used to identify the result of a change.

In order to affect the sales numbers, the team needed to reevaluate their strategy.

Regular exercise and ample sleep can have a beneficial effect on your overall mood.


Its vs It’s

Like many rules and words in the English language, there are always exceptions. While an apostrophe is normally used to indicate possession, “it” does not follow this rule. “Its” is the correct way to indicate the possessive form of “it,” while “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.”

It’s easy to know when Josh’s car pulls up because of the screeching noise its breaks make.


Your vs You’re

On a similar note, many people confuse “your” an