Greg’s Grammar Guide
i.e. versus e.g.
i.e. is an abbreviation of id est; translation: “that is” or "in other words."
Ex: I went on vacation last week, I brought my favorite swimsuit; i.e., the one with the red stripes.
e.g. is an abbreviation of exempli gratia, which means “for example.”
Ex: I write poetry and prose in my journals, but they also serve other purposes; e.g. calculating
ACCEPT vs EXCEPT
Accept : to take or receive something with approval, or agree to something
Ex: Do you think your property manager will accept your proposal?
Except: to exclude (not include) something or someone
Ex: She approved everything except the centerpieces.
PORED vs POURED
Pore: to study or read something with great care
Ex: He pored over the contract for two hours before signing.
Pour: something you do with a liquid
Ex: The bartender poured me another drink.
COMPLIMENTARY vs COMPLEMENTARY
Complimentary: something that is free or when you give someone a compliment (which is also free!)
Ex: Our preferred moving vendor offers complimentary boxes.
Complementary: something that completes something else as when two things go well together
Ex: The colors and layout used in the newsletter were very complementary.
A LOT vs ALLOT vs ALOT
A lot: many or to a great extent
Ex: Do you have a lot of RSVPs for your event?
Allot: to apportion by shares or to set aside for a special purpose
Ex: How many appetizers did the caterer allot for each person?
Alot: Alot is NOT a word. Don't ever use it.
CANNOT vs CAN NOT
Although cannot is most common, both spellings are acceptable.
Ex: I cannot wait for the next staff meeting.
Ex: I can not wait for the next staff meeting.
VERBIAGE vs VERBAGE
Verbiage (pronounced ver-bee-ij; 3 syllables): manner or style of expressing something in words
Ex: Can you help me with the appropriate verbiage to use in this email?
Verbage (2 syllables): This is NOT a word; don’t ever use it.
AFFECT vs EFFECT
Affect (verb): to impact or change
Ex: Will the weather affect our rooftop event?
Effect (noun): the result of a change
Ex: What effect will the weather have on our rooftop event?
FEWER vs LESS
The common mistake is to use LESS when FEWER is the correct usage.
Correct: I logged fewer requests this week than last.
Incorrect: I logged less requests this week than last.
Fewer: used with plural nouns
bottles of wine People now order fewer bottles of wine.
whispers The teacher asked for fewer whispers.
requests Skie asked for fewer “Not Started” requests.
Less: used with nouns that cannot be pluralized (aka singular mass nouns)
alcohol These days, people consume less alcohol.
whispering The teacher urged less whispering.
productivity “Not Started” requests contribute to less productivity.
YOUR vs YOU’RE
Your = belonging to you
Correct: Is that your Carbone reservation?
Incorrect: Your welcome.
You’re = contraction of “you are”
Correct: You’re welcome.
Incorrect: What time is you’re Carbone reservation?
THERE vs THEIR vs THEY’RE
There = in that place
Correct: Put the computer over there.
Incorrect: Are you going to there party?
Their = belonging to them
Correct: Are you going to their party?
Incorrect: Put the computer over their.
They’re = contraction of “they are”
Correct: They’re going to their party.
Incorrect: Are you going to they’re party?
YOU AND ME vs YOU AND I
First trick: The other person comes first in the sentence (think of it as good manners):
Correct: Amanda and me.
Incorrect: Me and Amanda.
Now, as for whether you use “me” or “I”?
Read the sentence without the other person in it, and see if it sounds right.
Ex: Rachel sent copies of her proposal to Erica and I.
Remove “Erica” and you’re left with “Rachel sent copies of her proposal to I.” NOPE!
Correct: Rachel sent copies of her proposal to Erica and me.
Ex: Sascha and me went to the event.
Remove “Sascha” and you’re left with “Me went to the event.” You wouldn’t say “Me went to the event.” (unless you’re Cookie Monster)
Correct: Sascha and I went to the event.