Wednesday, January 5, 2011

day 5: another “they’re”

Do you remember the “their and there” Wacky Words (WW) from the other day? “There” is another WW that goes with that pair—it is the word “they’re.”

First, a little "there/their" WW review is in order:

1. There
    a. Has the word here in it: there.
    b. Remember, here and there.
    c. Examples:
            i. There are seven cats on the barn.
            ii. There is one more piece of cake.
          iii. Put the books over there.

    a. Their has the word heir in it: their.
    b. Their is a pronoun that shows ownership.
    c. We call this a possessive pronoun.
    e. Examples:
            i. Their home is up on the left.
            ii. I hope their dogs are not loose.

Enter the WW “they’re.” It’s not really as tricky as it seems if you following TFT Publishers’ (Training for Triumph) cardinal rule for understanding when to use a contraction and when not to:

When you are about to write with a contraction, say the “contraction” in its “uncontracted” form—and you will immediately know if you want to use that word or a different word altogether.

1.     We are going to they’re party---SAY…We are going to “they are” party. WRONG! You need “their”---the party belongs to them.
2.     We should park over they’re---SAY….We should park over “they are.” WRONG! You need “there”---here and there—a place to park.

This works for any contraction, any time you are writing! If you follow this one “saying the uncontracted word aloud before you write the contraction” tip, you will never write a contraction when you shouldn’t.

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