Good grammar is something that everyone should know whether it is used or not. It is that "awful" stuff you learned in school. Many people do not speak using good grammar, because we are a casual society, but it is important to use it when you write letters or emails to someone important, newspaper articles, books, etc. The reason is that not just your friends will be viewing your written text, but others who might judge you for your "poor grammar." It could be the difference between a good job with a good company and a not so great one.
The tips given below are some common errors that I have seen and heard on TV, read in newspapers, and even published books. Of course, whether you use these tips will be up to you. I am just placing them out there.
Bring & Take...
Many people misuse the verbs bring and take. Their meanings are basically the same, but their use involves proximity. Where you are in relation to the object mentioned is how you determine which to use, i.e., is it requested by someone else or is it with you to be moved to another place?
Bring is used when a person does not have what they want near them. Example: Your friend asks you to bring a dessert to her party. She does not have it. You ask someone to bring you a cup coffee in a restaurant. You do not have it.
Take is used when the object is in your possession. Example: You take a dessert to your friend’s party or you take your umbrella when it rains.
I am bringing my umbrella or I am bringing the dessert to the party is WRONG grammatically.
Just to let you know:
The definition of get or got is to become, acquire, change to, come
to be, contract, develop, move, step, climb, or walk.
What is the meaning of this phrase according to the definitions
of get or got as given above?
“I got into an accident.”
Did you become the accident, acquire the accident, change to the
accident, contract the accident, develop the accident? Did you move to the accident, step into an accident, climb into an accident, or walk into an accident? None of these definitions indicate what really happened.
That is because you are involved in an accident or you have an
accident. Using the word get in this manner is very wrong.
You can get into a car, get an award, get the measles, get tangled up, get up the stairs quickly, or get to your destination. You cannot get into an accident unless you moved into an accident that was already there.
I once taught this concept in elementary school. I guess no one is doing it anymore, since I hear the expression, “got into an accident,” all the time – even on the news.
The word like is used for comparison (called a simile) such as
“she eats like a bird.” The word like can also be used as a verb such as “I like to eat French fries with my hamburger.” I have noticed, however, that
the people I have had occasion to hear in a conversation use the word like as follows:
She was like so happy. I was like I do not understand.
This use of like is not necessary (and of course, not grammatically correct. She was so happy and I do not understand are perfectly correct. I do not totally understand the need for this except when I listen to these people talk. It is as though they want us to be there and know what was said or going on and they do not have sufficient vocabulary to express what happened or what was said. Anyway, it is not correct grammar and I hope no one would actually write it down that way. Remember, bad grammar that is spoken is on the wind, but bad grammar that is written is there forever for all to see.
Me and .....
I hear "me and Johnny are going," "me and her are going," etc. all the time. There are two things wrong with this. First, one should never put his name in front of someone else. Common courtesy dictates that we place others first. So if you follow this adage, it should be "Johnny and me are going," "her and me are going," etc. That brings us to the other thing that is wrong. One would never say "me is going" or "her is going;" instead one would say "I am going" or "She is going." So the correct way is "Johnny and I are going," or She and I are going."
Cakes are done, tasks are done, etc. "I am so done with you," is wrong. This should be "I am so finished with you" or "I am so over you." The only way a person could be done is if a cannibal was roasting the individual to eat and the flesh of that person was "done." Hence the expression for a steak as "well done."
Well versus Good
I just heard a spokesperson in a commerical use "well" incorrectly. He said something about a "well" condition and the correct word should be "good." We can do things "well", i.e., play the piano, sing, dance, speak, etc. "Well" is used to report how you are doing in an action. One can play the piano well, sing a song well, dance well, and speak well.
"Good" describes a circumstance or object, i.e., good concert, good performance, good speech, good report, good condition, etc.
I just heard a commentator say he "feels badly" for all the people involved in the Sandy hurricane disaster. This is so WRONG grammatically. I know these people who murder their adjectives and adverbs are trying to do it right, but it is so wrong. In order to use "feel badly" you must be talking about how you feel with your hands, arms, legs, or feet. I have muscle damage in my legs and arms so I "feel badly, " meaning that my ability to feel with my legs and arms is not good. You should "feel bad" about the vicitms of Hurricane Sandy. Using "badly" does not make it more intense - just wrong.
On another note, if you "think highly" of someone, it means you are high up in the air when you think of them. You can "think well" of someone or you can "highly respect someone", but unless you are standing on a tall ladder you can not "think highly" of them. "Highly" is used to describe an adjective not a verb like "highly intelligent."
To be grammatically correct, "feel and think" are not action verbs like "go and drive." Therefore, you should not use a word (adverb) ending in "ly" to describe them, unless you are describing the actual thinking or feeling processes - thinking horribly (you have a brain freeze).