Good grammar is an essential part of communication in any language. It’s also a tool for conveying respect and understanding of our audience. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to achieving perfection when it comes to grammar, here are some tips that will help you through the basics:
Using “me vs I” correctly, Knowing when to use “between” or “among,” Using “lose” or “loose” properly, and we will address even more in this continued series addressing grammar mistakes.
Today, we are going to discuss the differences of: and me vs. and I, among vs. between, and loose vs. lose. These simple grammar basics can, for so many writers, go neglected for decades. Together, let’s address some of the most common grammar mistakes made by great writers.
And me vs. and I
You would be surprised at how many people believe that “and I” is always correct. Would you believe me if I told you that’s not the case?
Shocked, right? I was at first, too. When a statement ends with “and me,” it does not automatically write the statement off as invalid or false because of your belief of what proper grammar is.
How can you tell if it’s used correctly or not? Let me help you figure it out.
Always cross out the “and” part. For instance: Jess and I are going to the store. Take out “Jess and” and read what is left of the sentence.
I [am] going to the store. (Always check your verbs because it is going to be awkward!)
The sentence, “I am going to the store” makes sense, therefore, “Jess and I are going to the store” is correct.
Let’s try that again. Chat with Evie and I tomorrow! Again, let’s take out “Evie and.” Does “Chat with I tomorrow!” make sense?
Nope. It’s going to be me instead. Chat with Evie and me tomorrow!
Anytime you’re curious or it feels clunky on the tongue, try this tip and see if it helps. Sometimes, even if it sounds wrong, it’ll be right. I automatically omit the “and” and what comes before it every time I read it to see if it’s right.
Between vs. Among
Using these words can be confusing at times. There are times where they both sound right or one sounds better than the other. Maybe it helps the character or the flow is just better, but I’m here to tell you something. If you go with your gut, there is a high possibility that you’re wrong.
Between is used when mentioning two objects or people. For instance: This conversation is just between Sally and me.
Now, to add onto that, let’s say that there’s me, Sally, and Trey. It would make sense if the sentence was now, “This conversation is between us,” right?
Actually, no. Why? Well, as stated right before, there are now three people in the conversation. The correct word to use would then be among. So, the right way would then be: This conversation is among us.
Between is used in reference to two things. Among is then used for anything three or more.
Loose vs. Lose
Most of the time, people get these wrong because of typos. You meant lose, but you accidentally added an extra “o.” And, because nothing is perfect, your computer might have not caught it. Or maybe it did and made it loose instead of lose and you didn’t catch it. Yet, there are other times when people really do not understand the difference.
To help with this one, I’m going to spit out some definitions. (Note: since there are multiple definitions to these words, I am going with the first one offered.)
Loose (adjective): free or released from fastening or attachment.
Example: I must’ve lost weight! This shirt is loose!
Lose (verb): to come to be without (something in one’s possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery.
Example: Did you lose your wallet?
Grammar is a fundamental part of communication. We should strive to understand the language and how it works, so we can complete our ideas without any errors. The tips provided in this post are just a few that can help you improve your grammar skills and take your writing to new heights!