Whether you're dashing off an email or writing an important sales letter, common usage issues can undermine your message. And they plague even good writers. Here are three common writing mistakes that you can easily fix today.

  1. Who vs. that. If you're referring to a person or an animal with a name, use who. If it's an inanimate object or animal without a name, use that. For example:

Incorrect: The woman that just came into the office is my friend. Correct: The woman who just came into the office is my friend.

  1. There/their/they're. This one is quite noticeable, so you want to make sure you get it right:

"There" is a location, physical or otherwise. (The apple is right there.)

"Their" is possessive. (Their house.)

"They're" is the contraction of "they are." (They're very nice.)

  1. Toward vs. towards.

In American English, you use "toward."

In British English, it's "towards."

Thus, in the U.S., you'd say, "She moved toward the exit." In the U.K., it would be, "She moved towards the exit."

Published on: Jul 19, 2017