Tricky Rules

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Who’s/Whose

Whose is the possessive form of who (or, occasionally, which). It means “belonging to whom or which.” Who’s is a contraction of who is or who has. Notice the apostrophe replacing the missing letters. Incorrect: Who’s department do you work for? Correct: Whose department do you work for? Correct: Who’s coming to visit tomorrow?

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Try And/Try To

The expression try and followed by a verb is nonstandard. Use try to instead. Incorrect: Try and do it again. Correct: Try to do it again.

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Will Have/Will Of

Could of does not exist. Neither do should of, will of, or would of as verbs. Write could have, should have, will have, or would have. If you want to emphasize the pronunciation, write it as a verb contraction: could’ve, should’ve, will’ve, or would’ve.

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Supposed to/Suppose to

The common expressions supposed to meaning “meant to” or “intended to” and used to meaning “formerly” are frequently misspelled or misunderstood. Both expression are normally in the Passive Voice. This means that the verb is the past participle so it ends with an -ed. Writers sometimes drop the final d because of the t sound

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Turbid/Turgid

Turbid means “muddy” or “hazy.” It is often applied to water or speech. Turgid means “swollen, overflowing” or “pompous.” It also is usually applied to water, speech, or writing.

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