7 Common Grammar Questions & Answers

  1. What’s the difference between “its” and “it’s”? “Its” is a possessive pronoun, similar to “his” or “her”. “It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”. For example: “The dog wagged its tail” vs. “It’s raining outside”.

  2. What’s the difference between “there”, “their”, and “they’re”? “There” refers to a place or position, “their” is a possessive pronoun, and “they’re” is a contraction of “they are”. For example: “I’m going over there”, “Their car is blue”, “They’re going to the store”.

  3. When do I use “who” and “whom”? “Who” is used as a subject in a sentence, and “whom” is used as an object. For example: “Who is going to the store?” vs. “To whom was the letter addressed?” In casual conversation, “whom” is often replaced by “who”.

  4. What is the Oxford comma, and when should I use it? The Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma, is used before the word “and” or “or” in a list of three or more items. For example: “I bought apples, oranges, and bananas.” Whether to use it depends on the style guide you’re following. Some recommend it for clarity, while others don’t require it.

  5. What’s the difference between “affect” and “effect”? “Affect” is usually a verb, meaning to influence or change something. “Effect” is usually a noun, meaning the result of a change. For example: “The weather can affect your mood” vs. “The effect of the medication was immediate”. However, both words can be used in different roles in more advanced or specific contexts.

  6. When should I use “less” and “fewer”? “Less” is used with singular or uncountable nouns, while “fewer” is used with plural or countable nouns. For example: “I have less money” vs. “I have fewer dollars”.

  7. What is the passive voice, and when should I use it? In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb. For example: “The ball was thrown by John” instead of the active voice “John threw the ball”. Passive voice is often used in scientific or formal writing, or when the actor is unknown or unimportant. However, it’s generally recommended to use the active voice for clarity and conciseness in most writing.

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