Thursday, April 17, 2014

Language Arts Part Two---Are we THERE Yet?

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I'm pretty lucky. I've never had a problem with phonics. It just seems to come naturally to me, even before I read my first big word, 'Flashlight.' So many people aren't that fortunate. The English language can be such a bitch to grasp with its ridiculous vowel rules that sometimes don't make sense even if you were born into an English speaking household. (Don't get me started on 'i' before 'e', except after 'c'.)

For example--Their, they're and there. Again, I don't have issues with these words, but I can completely understand why others do. I think I have a solution.

First we have Their. This is a possessive word. The best way I can remember it, is it has the word 'heir' in it. We understand that the word 'heir' means someone who has inherited something. Someone left them something, they became an 'heir', so that something became theirs. Sounds a little silly, I know, but I think it works. If something belongs to somebody, it's theirs. Not yours.

Then we have They're, the contraction for they are. As in "They're going the wrong way." If you write this, and you're wondering if you used the right word, read it to yourself as the the full words. "They are going the wrong way." If it looks right that way, then you spelled it correctly.

There can be tricky if you have spelling issues, maybe. I like to think it's easy, because there has the word 'here' in it. As in, if you aren't here, you're there. 

*Sidenote: If you have trouble spelling the difference between here and hear, remember the one for sound and listening has the word 'ear' in it.

In conclusion, if you're confused as to which one to use, try these cues...

"It's there problem." It's here problem? It's they are problem? Or do they own it now? Which is correct?

"Their going to be here at midnight." They own going to the midnight? Here at here at midnight? Or they ARE going to be here at midnight?

"The phone is over they're." The phone is over they are? The phone is being possessed? Or is it not right here, but just a little further away?

Again, I hope this helps. I'll write one more about the difference between two, too, and to soon.


  1. Excellent suggestions, I think I do something similar when helping people with their homework.

    1. You help people with homework, Sis? When did this start?

  2. Thanks again for your hints. I've discovered since I've become more reliant on texts, email and other electronic methods of communication I have become less and less careful on how I spell, abbreviate and just pass along information in general. I think the internet is having a ruinious effect on the use of language in general. Thanks again for the Blog. The Ocklawaha Branch of the Donna Milward Fan Club thoroughly enjoyed your musings once again,

    1. Lol! Awesome! I know what you mean though. I used to check a dictionary for correct spelling, but it's just too easy to let spellchecker do it.