Avoid the biggest native speaker mistakes
Native speakers of English don't always write English correctly and there are some mistakes you'll see again and again. Here are some of the most common mistakes English speakers make when they write – and most of them are caused by mistakes in punctuation.
1. It's – its
"It's" is the abbreviated form of "it is" or "it has".
"Its" is the possessive adjective.
"It's time to go." (It is time to go.)
"The company has changed its hiring policy." (possessive – "its" refers to the policy of the company.)
2. You're – your
"You're is the abbreviated form of "you are".
"Your" is the possessive adjective.
"You're funny!" (You are funny.)
"Your jacket is too big." (The jacket that belongs to you.)
3. They're – their – there
"They're" is the abbreviated form of "they are".
"Their" is the possessive adjective.
"There" refers to place or as the subject in a sentence, as in "There are five people in my class."
"They're leaving now." (They are leaving now.)
"Their car is new." (The car that belongs to them.)
"She lives there."
4. Who's – whose
"Who's" is the abbreviated form of "who is" or "who has".
"Whose" is a pronoun.
"Who's coming to the party tonight?" (Who is coming to the party?)
"Whose book is this?" (Who does this book belong to?)
5. Should of
"Should of" is always incorrect. The correct form is "should have".
"You should have left sooner."
Decide which form is correct.
1. (You're / Your) trousers are too long.
2. (Its / It's) a funny film.
3. (Who's / Whose) been to Paris?
4. (They're / Their / There) protest against the government will go ahead on Thursday.
5. The ship was lying on (its / it's) side.
6. Is (they're / their / there) any hope of finding survivors?