Are you or your staffers guilty of any of these sins against good grammar?
This is Finance — you’re numbers people. Chances are few of your staffers majored in English.
Doesn’t mean you want egg on Finance’s collective face by making any of these common grammar mistakes:
Mistake #1: “Your” vs. “you’re”
This might be the most common blunder out there. “Hope your going to be able to make the meeting” — wrong. If you can say the exact same sentence with you are, use the contraction you’re. Similar errors with the same fix: It’s vs. its and whose vs. who’s.
Mistake #2: “affect” vs. “effect”
This one is simple to remember: If you need a verb, go for affect (“The policy change will only affect nonexempt employees”); if you require a noun, use effect (“The effects from the new accounting system conversion will be felt for a few weeks”).
Mistake #3: “less” vs. “fewer”
Both mean the opposite of more, but you can’t use them interchangeably. If you can count the number of items, use fewer (“Sarah has fewer collection calls to make than Jay”); If you can’t count the items individually, use less (Sarah has less work than Jay”).
Mistake #4: “ei” vs. “ie”
Spellcheck should help you with this most times. But if you’re handwriting a note, a grade school rhyme will do the job: I comes before e, unless it comes after the letter c, or when it makes the sound of a, like neighbor or weigh.
Are there any other common grammatical mistakes you see? Share them in our comments section.