Calling all teacher grammar nazis and office managers who care! Spelling errors can wreak havoc for private school reputations, especially when they are put on the pedestal of the school’s social media account or website. Many parents and students alike care a lot about spelling. For some, hard-line grammar principals drive enrollment decisions. Making a childish spelling mistake could mean the difference between enrolling a new student in your school and competing against them in the next local spelling bee, so get wise and learn about some of the most common spelling error pet peeves!
Contrary to popular belief, “your” and “you’re” are two different words! They are called “homophones,” words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. Even long-time writers who know the difference between homophones sometimes make simple mistakes using them, so watch out!
The word “your” is a possessive (indicating ownership) and means “belonging to you,” for example, “You should eat your watermelon.”
The word “you’re” is not only one word, but it’s also two! “You’re” is a combination of the words “you” and “are” separated by an apostrophe. Words like “you’re” are called “contractions.” Use “you’re” in a sentence like, “You’re eating watermelon”
The words “their,” “there,” and “they’re” are also homophones, and mixed-up just as often as “your”/”you’re!”
Just like “your,” “their” is a possessive. It means “belonging to them,” for example, “They should eat their watermelon.”
The word “they’re” is just like “you’re,” a contraction. It’s a combination of the words “they” and “are.” Use “they’re in a sentence like, “They’re eating watermelon.”
“There” on the other hand indicates a place, such as “They should eat watermelon over there.”
Ah, apostrophes. They can really trip us up! If you don’t know the difference between “its” and “it’s,” it’s time to learn!
Without an apostrophe, “its” is a possessive like “your” and “their.” “Its” means “belonging to it.” For example, you could say, “The robot should eat its watermelon.”
With an apostrophe, “it’s” is another contraction. “It’s” combines the words “it” and “is.” For example, you could say, “The robot, it’s eating watermelon.”
The words “to” and “too” are small and easy to miss, but no less important to get correct!
Think of “to” as your default option–it can be used in most contexts. “To” indicates direction, such as in the sentence, “We should go to the store to get some watermelon.” Before you use “to,” however, check to see if the word “too” is applicable.
The word “too” can be directly substituted with the word “also”–they mean the same thing. For example, “I, too, would like some watermelon.” This word can also be used to indicate intensity, such as, “One can never have too much watermelon.”
There is nothing worse than using the wrong form of “than/then.”
If you want to compare things, use “than.” For example, “I’d rather have watermelon than cantaloupe.”
If you want to indicate an order of events, use “then” For example, “We are going to the store then we will eat watermelon.”
As an institution of learning, private schools are expected to maintain a certain level of accuracy in subjects of writing, grammar, and spelling. Spelling errors could communicate to parents and students that your school does not take its job of professional education seriously! Flawless spelling is especially important for digital marketing, where school messages are broadcasted to potential students. If you would like someone with a keen eye for spelling errors to manage your social media or blog marketing, reach out! Here at Beacon, we can not only monitor your online reputation, but increase enrollments!