They're, there, and their receive an awful lot of abuse. So do many other words. You'd think most people would get them down in middle school, but apparently not. Without further ado, here are some commonly mixed-up, misused, or generally abused words.
There, They're, Their
I went to that store over there.
That is their dog.
They're going to the movies tonight.
No, these words are not interchangeable. They each have a separate meaning. If you can't see it from the examples, this is how you decide which to use:
If the something you are talking about belongs to someone, use their to indicate possession. If you could replace the word in question with they are and the sentence would still make sense, then use they're (because they're is actually they and are combined). For anything else, use there.
This is your coat.
You're tired today.
This one isn't too hard to remember, once you get it down. Your indicates something that belongs to you. You're indicates something you are. Use the same trick as with they're: If you could replace the word in question with you are, then use you're. For anything else, use your.
A lot vs. Alot
This one doesn't need much explanation. All you need to know is that Alot is not a word. So don't use it. If you aren't sure if you can remember this, then click here. Actually, even if you know this already, click it anyway. It's hilarious.
Except vs. Accept
Did the college accept you?
I like all chocolate except white chocolate.
Use accept when something or someone is being let in or confirmed into something, like being accepted into a group. Use except when there is an exception to something. As in, I like all of something except this.
Its vs. It's
It's hot outside today.
That bird just took its bath.
This one seems so backwards, but hey, I didn't make the rules. Use it's as a replacement for it is. Use its to refer to something that belongs to it.
If you learn one single thing from this post, though, learn that FUNNER IS NOT A WORD. DON'T USE IT. EVER.
I hope all of this makes sense. If you need clarification, don't hesitate to comment and ask! This post will be added onto as needed.
PS: I wish I could explain the differences between lied, lay, lie, etc., but I don't understand this one, either. If you know, feel free to share!