Seven Grammar Pet Peeves

Seven Grammar Pet Peeves

Many people send me emails requesting that I write lessons addressing their personal pet peeves. They dream of a world in which others stop doing the thing that drives them crazy.

Here are seven of the most common grammar pet peeves. Are these on your list?

1. Alot or A lot?

This one is easy to explain. A lot is two words. Alot isn't a word, so don't use it. :)

I like grammar a lot

2. Would of

Would of, could of, and should of are mistakes. This one is tricky because of and have sound similar when we say them out loud. This is especially true when we use contractions (would've, could've, should've).

But, saying that you could of done something doesn't make sense. Saying that you could have done something make sense. 

Oh no! I should have taken the cake out of the oven earlier!

You could also write this as a contraction.

Oh no! I should've taken the cake out of the oven earlier!

3. There/Their/They're

There, their, and they're are commonly confused words. Let's clear up any doubts you have about them!

Check out this little image and see if you find it helpful.

  • There is an adverb indicating place, time, or position. In our image above, we add an arrow to the letter r to help us remember that this there shows us place. 

Let's go to the park. We can walk there.

  • Their shows possession. In our image above, we turn the letter I into a little person to help us remember that this their has to do with someone owning something. 

Have you met the new neighbors? Their house is beautiful!

  • They're is a contraction for the words they are. In the image above, we turn the apostrophe into the letter a to help us remember that this they're means they are.

The neighbors are coming at seven. They're bringing a cake.

4. Your & You're

Your is a possessive pronoun. It shows possession (ownership).

I love your new car!

You're is a contraction for the words you are.

This cake is delicious. You're the best baker I know!

5. To Keith and I or To Keith and Me?

To Keith and I is wrong. Here's why:

To is a preposition. Prepositions are always followed by a noun or pronoun called the object of the preposition. This noun or pronoun needs to be in the objective form.

The pronouns I, he, and she are used for subjects, so they aren't the right choice here.

The pronouns me, him, and her are object pronouns, so they are the right choice here.

My grandma gave flowers to him and me.

6. A Whole Nother?

Nother isn't a word, so be sure that you say other instead of nother.

That is a whole other issue.

You could also use another.

That is another issue.

7. Its & It's

Its is a possessive pronoun.

The word its all by itself shows possession, so it doesn't need an apostrophe. His is another possessive pronoun. We don't put an apostrophe in his, right?

The cat played with its toy.

It's is a contraction for it is.

It's time to learn grammar!

If you'd like to teach or learn grammar the easy way—with sentence diagrams—check out our Get Smart Grammar Program.

It starts from the very beginning and teaches you grammar and sentence diagramming in easy, bite-size lessons. 

The Get Smart Grammar Program
Elizabeth O'Brien

Hello! I'm Elizabeth O'Brien, and my goal is to get you jazzed about grammar. 

I just want to say how wonderful we think this grammar curriculum is. My son and I have been working through it. It's so easy to follow, and we love your teaching style. We would love to see you put out a high school writing curriculum or other lang arts curriculum. (-:

- Laura, Homeschooler

This is original content from

The Beginner's Guide to Grammar Ebook

Our Free Guide Gives You A Fun Way

To Teach And Learn The Basics v

Elizabeth O'Brien

Elizabeth O'Brien is the creator of Grammar Revolution.

Her lessons are guaranteed to give you more confidence in your communication skills and make you smile. :)