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Most home business entrepreneurs do all the writing for their business which includes their website, correspondence, e-mails, etc. Unfortunately, most of us make common mistakes when writing and unless someone calls us on the carpet for said mistakes, we usually just keep on making them and it reflects on our business.

However, grammar mistakes are often made in association with word usage which is frequently not something that can always be remedied with a spell checker. That’s what I thought it would be good way to start off 2013 with a listing of the most common word usage mistakes and rules to remember so as to avoid them.

Here is a list of ten common word usage mistakes with explanations and examples of proper use:

1. THERE vs. THEIR vs. THEY’RE

THERE is an indication of location. Example: I want to see that book over there.
THEIR is a possessive version of they. Example: They took their dog to the groomer.
THEY’RE is a contraction, short for they are. Example: They’re going to the theatre tonight.

2. A LOT vs. ALLOT vs. ALOT

A LOT is an indication of amount. Example: I have a lot of laundry to do.
ALLOT means to distribute. Example: I will allot you two cookies.
ALOT is not a word.

3. I.E. vs. E.G.

I.E. means “in other words.” Example: Writing more articles increases your website traffic. I.E., it will bring you more exposure.
E.G. means “for example.” Example: I have a lot of chores to do. E.G., laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, etc.

4. TO vs. TOO vs. TWO

TO is a function word to indicate relative position. Example: We took the dog to the vet.
TOO can indicate excessiveness or in addition to. Example: The chili was too spicy ; I would like to go too.
TWO is the number 2. Example: I want two cookies.

5. ITS vs. IT’S

ITS is the possessive version of it. Example: Its door came off the hinges.
IT’S is a contraction, short for “it is.” Example: It’s a beautiful day.

6. YOU’RE vs. YOUR

YOU’RE is a contraction, short for “you are.” Example: You’re the nicest person I’ve ever met.
YOUR describes the possessor as someone else. Example: Your shirt is very wrinkled.

7. LOOSE vs. LOSE

LOOSE is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained. Example: I have loose change in my pocket.
LOSE is a verb that means “to suffer the loss of.” Example: I hope I don’t lose my car keys.

8. CHOOSE vs. CHOSE

CHOOSE is a present tense verb meaning “to select.” Example: I choose to eat healthy foods.
CHOSE is a past tense verb meaning “to select.” Example: I chose to eat healthy foods.

9. EFFECT vs. AFFECT

EFFECT is usually a noun meaning “result.” Example: The effect of increased traffic to your website is directly related to the number of articles you produce for syndication.
AFFECT is usually a verb meaning “to influence.” Example: I hope this training series will affect you in a positive way.

10. KNOW vs. NO vs. NOW

KNOW is usually a verb meaning “to understand.” Example: I know you are not coming to the movie.
NO is a negative reply, refusal or disagreement. Example: There is no problem with the car.
NOW is usually an adverb meaning “at the present time or moment.” Example: Now I can easily write and market my articles.

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If you know of other grammatical errors that spell checkers frequently miss, please share them with us in the comments section.