Grammatical Errors Lurk in Teen Texts

By Sarah Thibodeaux

With improving technology and the newest feature for smart phones called auto-correct, the last things students think about when texting or using the internet is grammar. Unless the teens are typing up an essay, it’s rare for them to stop and proof read their texts for grammar mistakes and spelling errors – maybe for embarrassing autocorrects that iPhones and Androids are famous for, but not for the proper usage of ‘their’, ‘there’, and ‘they’re’. Unfortunately for the teens who don’t know how to use certain words, some grammar-savvy students find common errors annoying in texts and drastic measures could be taken by the more melodramatic teens, such as a sudden break from texting the person lacking the usage of adequate grammar. Top grammar mistakes include –

1. The common mix-ups of ‘their’, ‘there’, and ‘they’re’: ‘Their’ is used for possession, such as, “that’s their grammatical error.” ‘There’ is used for describing a place, like, “they misspelled ‘definitely’ right there.” Last but not least, ‘they’re’ is the contraction of ‘they’ and ‘are’ and is used as, “they’re really working on proof reading their texts before they make the terrible mistake of misusing every form of there.

2. The constant debate between ‘you’re’ and ‘your’: ‘You’re’ is the ┬ácontraction of ‘you’ and ‘are’, and it’s used pretty simply, for example, “you’re my favorite person because you know how to properly use the contraction of ‘you’ and ‘are’.” ‘Your’ is used to state possession, like, “that is a text message sent from your phone.”

3. ‘An’ or ‘a’?: ‘An’ is only used when the following word begins with a vowel, like, “an excellent idea would be to proof read your texts for grammar errors before sending them.” Needless to say, ‘a’ is used when the following word begins with a consonant, for example, “discovering the proper grammar you were taught in elementary school and beyond is probably a good idea as well.”

4. A struggle to determine which to use – ‘are’, ‘is’, or ‘am’?: ‘Are’ is used when talking about the person you’re talking to, like, “you are so cool because know your grammar so well!” and also when you’re talking about multiples, “they are getting on my nerves due to their improper spelling of the word ‘definitely’.” ‘Am’ is used when you’re talking about yourself, like if you were to say, “I am so great and intelligent for saying ‘I am’ and not ‘I is’ or ‘I are’.” ‘Is’ is used for pretty much every other singular that exists, “that is so cool, he is so good with his words!”

5. ‘You and I’ versus ‘you and me’: Here’s a grammatical error that a lot of people make – it’s the debate between using the words ‘you and I’ or ‘you and me’ in conversation. ‘You and I’ is used when normally you’d say ‘I’ in the sentence if you were the only one fulfilling the verb. If the sentence is, “you and I should grab lunch later”, does the sentence sound right without the words coming before ‘I’? In this case, yes. Clearly, ‘you and me’ is reserved for situations other than that, for example, “he’ll thank you and me for helping him pass English with this grammar lesson”.

6. Was it ‘then’ or ‘than’?: ‘Then’ is reserved for describing a time, like, “back then, I had auto-correct on my phone and it didn’t correct any grammatical errors I made”. ‘Than’ is used for describing an amount, such as, “auto-correct is at least better than passing written notes and spelling everything wrong.”

7. ‘Too’, ‘two’, or ‘to’?: ‘Too’ is used in agreement with another statement and also to describe an amount, like, “I like people who know their grammar well, too, but I know way too little people who do.” ‘Two’ is a number, which is clearly used as, “I sent two text messages without using auto-correct on my phone.” Last, there’s ‘to’, which is used as a preposition that comes before an infinitive, but it can also start a prepositional phrase, for example, “I like to text with proper grammar, but to do so would mean it’d take me a bit longer to text back.”

With a little practice, the proper use of these words comes more naturally and requires little effort after they’ve been mastered. Just by learning these basic words, teens could better their skills by correcting grammar and acing English essays without Microsoft Word or auto-correct.

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