Today's lesson will be about homonyms. Homonyms are words which sound alike but are spelled differently and mean different things. For instance, bear and bare; Rome and roam; bough and bow. The biggest problem with homonyms is that spellcheckers will not catch them, unless the spellchecker has a grammar check function -- which most of them do not.
There are some homonyms which are consistently mixed up with each other, so this lesson will simply be an overview of the worst offenders.
This one bugs me. A lot. And it's one of the two most misused sets of homonyms. Here's the breakdown:
their -- Possessive. Meaning something which belongs to a group of individuals. "Their dog was barking all night."
they're -- Contraction of the words "they are." "They're going to the zoo."
there -- A location. "Put it on the ground over there."
The other big one:
Most people use "two" correctly, but mix up the others.
to -- Preposition. "Give the money to me."
too -- Meaning 'additionally.' "I want some money too!"
two -- Number, more than one but less than three. "I have two dollars."
By learning the difference between these sound-alike words and using them correctly, your writing will be taken that much more seriously by readers. Until next time!