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Katherine Velliquett
Professional Teacher
3 Common Mistakes in English

Everyone makes mistakes! I find 3 common mistakes made among English learners and native English speakers alike. These mistakes are as follows:

1 - Incorrect placement of apostrophes

2 - Misuse of "your" and "you're"

3 - Misuse of "it's" and "its"


Let's start with apostrophes. Apostrophes are used to show possession or to show a contracted word. 

When something belongs to one person, place the apostrophe before the 's'.

Ex:  The boy's bat.

When something belongs to more than one person, place the apostrophe after the 's'.

Ex:  The boys' hat.

When you are contracting a word, place the apostrophe where the missing letters are.

Ex:  do not/ don't

have not/ haven't

should have/should've


Next, be careful when using 'your' and 'you're'. 'Your' indicates that something belongs to you. 'You're' is the shortened form of 'you are'.

Ex: your money

Don't leave your money on the table.

(The money belongs to you.)

Ex:  You're in trouble.

You are in trouble.


Lastly, the words 'its' and 'it's' are commonly misspelled. We already discussed apostrophes, but these two words are an exception to the rule. When indicating possession, you do not use an apostrophe.

Ex:  The dog was scary. Its bark was deafening.

(The bark belongs to the dog)

When you are shortening the phrase "it is", you need to place an apostrophe before the 's'.

Ex:  It is a cold day in Chicago.

It's a cold day in Chicago.

When it is raining, you need to use an umbrella.

When it's raining, you need to use an umbrella.


For those of you learning how to write English, I hope this short lesson gives you some insight on how to improve your writing pieces! If you would like to learn more English grammar and need help developing fluency, feel free to check out my profile page and available classes at www.italki.com/teacher/katyv. I look forward to meeting you!

Sep 7, 2016 3:55 PM
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Katherine Velliquett
Language Skills
English, Sign Language, American Sign Language (ASL)
Learning Language
Sign Language