Grammatically Correct: What’s the Difference? - Dorrance Publishing Company

Grammatically Correct: What’s the Difference?

As a writer, you strive to write in a clear and concise way and with perfect grammar, of course. However, there are grammar rules that exist that often leave people puzzled.

Today we’re going to investigate four of those head scratching grammar mistakes that make writers take a second glance.

Affect and effect – When to appropriately use affect and when to use effect is a common source of confusion for writers. Let’s dive right into it: Affect means “to influence,” while effect is defined as “a result.” In most cases, affect is a verb while effect is a noun.

“The rain affected my hair.”

“The rain had no effect on my hair.”

Lay and lie – To begin, it’s important to know that lay and lie are both present-tense verbs. Lie means “to rest” or “to assume or be situated in a horizontal position.” While lay on the other hand means “to put or place” and the sentence requires an object.  A common mistake is using lay in a sentence when it should be lie. 

“Do you know someone who can lay tiles?”

“I’m going to lie down for a few minutes.”

Borrow and lend – Sometimes being generous can get confusing. To borrow something means to take something from someone with their consent and the intention of giving that object back to him or her. Lendmeans just the opposite. To lend something is to give something to someone without expecting that the object be returned.

“Can I borrow your car for an hour?”

“I’ll lend you a pen.”

Fewer and less – Now, the difference between these two words may seem small; however, it’s actually rather large! To begin, fewer is used when discussing objects that can physically be counted, and less is used when describing objects that aren’t tangible.  In most cases, less is used when referencing time.

“James ate fewer donuts than John.”

“We have less than 15 minutes to get to the bus stop!”

Though at times using perfect grammar can be rather tedious, it’s extremely important, especially when it comes to writing your book. So take note of these four common grammar mistakes and check back in the coming weeks for more!

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