Common Mistakes

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Commas with Geographical Names

When a geographical name or location has two or more parts to it, use a comma after each different type of part. A second comma follows the last item, unless it comes at the end of the sentence. Incorrect: I meant Pittsburg Kansas instead of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Commas needed to separate city and state) Incorrect:

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There’s/Theirs/Their’s

Theirs is a possessive pronoun. There’s is a contraction for there is or, rarely, there has. Note the apostrophe replacing the missing letter or letters. Their’s does not exist. Examples: That painting is theirs. (possessive pronoun) There’s more to this than meets the eye. (contraction of there is)

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Who/Which/That

That, which, and who when used as relative pronouns each has a distinct function. In modern speech, which refers only to things. Who (or its forms whom and whose) refers only to people. That normally refers to things but it may refer to a class or type of person. Examples: That is a book which

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Commas with Dates

When a date is made up of two or more parts, use a comma to separate the parts when the parts both are words or both are numbers. A second comma follows the last item unless it is at the end of a list or sentence. Incorrect: We will meet Friday July 15. (Word Friday

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To/Too/Two

To is a preposition which begins a prepositional phrase or an infinitive. Too is an adverb meaning “excessively” or “also.” Two is a number. Many other words in English which reflect the number two are spelled with tw: twin, twice, between, tweezers, etc. Examples: We went to a baseball game. (preposition) We like to watch

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