Simple Stuff (Things you should have learned before high school)
- "Then" is talking about a time, just like "when." See how they’re spelled?
Let's eat first and then go for a run. [When should we go for a run?]
- It can also be used with "if":
If you ask nicely, then I might buy you some ice cream. [When will you buy me some ice cream?]
- "Than" is used to compare things:
She’s older than I am. [comparing her and me]
- If it’s a question, answer it with he or him.
Did you see who/whom picked up my notebook?
He picked it up. ➜ Did you see who picked up my notebook?
- If it’s not a question, ignore the first half and substitute he or him in the sentence.
I'm not sure who/whom I'm going to vote for.
I'm going to vote for him. ➜ I'm not sure whomI'm going to vote for.
- "It's" has two meanings: "It is..." and "It has..."
It's going to be a great day. [It is going...]
It's been fun, but I have to go. [It has been fun...]
- "Its" shows that something belongs to 'it' (e.g., your dog), just like his, hers, yours, etc. Do you see how they all end with the s sound but DON'T have an apostrophe?
He got a new truck, and he's really proud of how its engine sounds.
My dog can never find its toys after he buries them in the yard.
- Just like "it's," "who's" has two meanings: "Who is..." and "Who has..."
Who's going to the game tonight? [Who is going...]
Who's been using my laptop? [Who has been using...]
- "Whose" shows that something belongs to someone, just like his, hers, yours, & its. Do you see how they all end with the s sound but DON'T have an apostrophe?
I'm not sure whose bag this is.
Whose room are you going to be in for Seminar today?
- "Set" and "raise" are things you do to someone or something. There has to be an object. They're called 'transitive' verbs.
Set that book down.
Raise your hand. [You're doing something to your hand.]
- "Sit" and "rise" are things you do yourself. They're called 'intransitive' verbs.
I need to sit down.
Your grade won't rise on its own.
- "Lay" is what you do to something else:
"Lay your book down." [The book doesn’t lay itself down, right?]
- "Lie" is something you do yourself, (like "sit" and "rise"). Notice they all have an "i" in the middle.
You sit down, and you lie down.
- If you say "I’m going to go lay down," I'll ask you "Really, are you going to lay an egg or what?" You have to lay down a thing.
- If the word is singular, add 's.
sister's friend (one sister)
table's legs (one table -- it doesn't matter how many legs)
- If the word is plural AND ends with s, just add an apostrophe.
dogs' (more than one dog)
- If the word is plural but DOESN'T end with s, add 's.
women's (more than one woman)
- For names of famous teachers & philosophers (Jesus, Moses, Socrates, etc.), just add an apostrophe.