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Grammar Fight: Then/Than, Affect/Effect

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There are so many mistakes made in grammar writing today, it's hard to keep up with them all. From using shortened versions of words, such as esp instead of especially, to outright grammatical poo poo's such as there when it should be their. It is time for 21st Century America to go back to school and learn how to use grammar properly.

Just like the last article, here are a couple of big grammar errors common today:

Than vs. Then: I see this everywhere, even in professional publications. People using the term then, instead of the proper word, than. Here is an easy way to tell the two apart:

THAN is a comparison between two words or objects. Example: She is smarter THAN her sister.

THEN refers to an event that happens after another event, such as "THEN he jumped off the cliff."

Yet I see people use THEN all the time, when they should be using THAN. I rarely see this mistake the other way around. For some reason, people like the word THEN.

Effect vs. Affect: These two are difficult to distinguish, even for professionals. Remember, AFFECT s a verb, EFFECT is often used as a noun. Examples:

"Facebook affects people’s attention spans." A verb is an action word... It has an action on the subject... in this case, it AFFECTS people's attention.

"Facebook's effects can also be positive." In this case, "effects" is the subject, the noun of the sentence.

Not always easy to remember, but important to know!

Questions, let me know. I am happy to help you.... Remember, good grammar can make you appear more intelligent (even if you're not).

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