From Nora Kiernan, Associate Director, Editorial Services, Palio
It’s a no-brainer that clients expect us to provide them with nothing less than great work, and part of producing that great work means accurately communicating their messages. But what about your day-to-day communications/messages to clients? Are you as careful when you’re communicating with your clients via e-mail? While you hope that your clients’ primary focus is on the content of your e-mail, the truth is, some may become distracted by “silly” grammatical errors, which could, unfortunately, chip away at your credibility.
The next time you have to quickly fire off an e-mail to a client, check for some of the more egregious offenders before you click send. Here are some basic breakdowns of 4 common homonyms to watch for in your writing.
1. You’re vs Your
You’re is the contraction of you are.
- You’re an attractive person.
- You’re better at cards than I am.
Your is a possessive pronoun. This form is used for something belonging to “you.”
- Your daughter is smart for her age.
- Your performance was outstanding.
2. They’re vs Their vs There
They’re is the contraction of they are. You should be able to replace they’re with they are.
- They’re an attractive couple.
- They said they’re presenting at noon today.
Their is a possessive pronoun.
- Are you going to ride in their car?
- I want to be on their team.
There denotes a place and means in, at, or to that place.
- We could go over there for a better view of the show.
- Could you please place the paperwork over there?
- There is a good reason for her persistence.
3. Affect vs Effect
Affect (verb): to have influence on.
- Good writing may affect the quality of an advertisement.
Affect (noun): immediate expressions of emotion.
- The employee’s lack of affect was due to 3 days without sleep.
Effect (verb): to bring about or cause.
- High-quality work can effect praise from a client.
Effect (noun): result.
- The effect of using proper grammar is clear communication.
4. It’s vs Its
It’s is the contraction of it is or it has.
- It’s time for a grammar lesson.
- Wow! It’s been a long time since I saw you last.
Its is the possessive form of the word it (belonging to it).
- Palio is known for its award-winning work.
Palio is a full-spectrum global pharmaceutical and consumer advertising, marketing, and communications agency that excels in brand creation and specializes in brand strategy, product launches, global marketing, and digital and integrated media.