TGIF, FFers! Welcome to another edition of loathsome language lapses collected by the Grammar Cop herself. 😃
- “Aliens and ghosts are both seen as fantasy beings, but there are some instances that have lead people to believe that these beings exist.”
- “Kate Middleton arrives at Wimbledon before her and Meghan Markle watch the Ladies Final.”
- “There are almost 20 per cent less properties on the market right now than there was at the same time last year.”
- This writer obviously missed the Grammar Cop’s past umpteen posts regarding the correct spelling of “lead.” The past tense of the verb “to lead” is LED. No ifs, ands or buts, and especially – no LEADS! Many people are confused and seem to think the past tense of “lead” should be spelled the same as that of “read.” Well, NO. You may indeed say I read a book yesterday, but you have to say I led the class with my score of 100%! It’s a totally different word. Case closed.
- Ugh! Doesn’t this sentence make you sick? It should! We would never write “Her and Meghan Markle watch the game.” The correct pronoun is she, not her, as: She and Meghan Markle watch the game. Never mind the first sentence part (Kate Middleton arrives at Wimbledon). Treat the second part – the clause starting with “before” – as a sentence unto itself. When you do this, you can clearly see that “her” is wrong. You need a subject form of the pronoun here: she (along with Meghan) is the subject of the verb watch. There is a second mistake in the sentence, did you notice? “Ladies Final” should be Ladies’ Final – you need the apostrophe to make it possessive.
- How many of you recognized that “less” is wrong? It should be fewer. Anytime you can count the items, we use fewer. Uncountable things (e.g. love, bad weather) use less. So: There are almost 20 per cent fewer properties on the market… A second error comes later in the sentence: “was” should be were. The verb has to be in the plural form to agree with the subject, which is the plural noun, properties. So: …than there were at the same time last year.
The Grammar Cop hopes she hasn’t led you astray. Next Friday will be an FF-free day, a mid-summer break capping a week of fun and frolic. (I wish; actually will be undergoing minor surgery.) I plan to resume this feature August 2nd. See you then!