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Glossary of correct usage: reason…because — their, there, they’re

reasonbecause

is not correct.  Say reason ….. that

Wrong: The reason I came late was because I overslept..

Right: The reason I came late was that I overslept.

Wrong: The reason that he makes poor grades is because of his poor study habits.

Right: The reason that (or why) he makes poor grades is his poor study habits.


says,  said

Said is the past tense.

Wrong: John ran into the room and says, «There is a stranger outside»

Right: John ran into the room and said, «There is a stranger outside».


seldom ever,  seldom or ever

are incorrect.  Use seldom if ever or hardly ever.

Wrong: He seldom ever plays tennis.

Right: He seldom if ever ( or hardly ever ) plays tennis.


sit,  set

Sit does not take an object; set takes an object.

The principal parts of the verb sit are: sit (present), sat (past), sat (past participle),  and sitting (present participle).

The principal parts of the verb set are: set (present), set (past), set (past participle),  and setting (present participle).

The old man is sitting under the tree. (present participle)

She set the chair beside the window. (past tense)

He sat down to rest. (past tense)

They set a date for the meeting. (past tense)

Sit here. (present tense)

The guests are sitting at the table. (present participle)


so that

So that refers to «purpose»  Do not omit «that»

Wrong: He came here so he could study English.

Right: He came here so that he could study English.


such

Do not use such to mean » very.»  In a result clause; such should be followed by that.

Wrong: New York is such a crowded city.

Right: New York is a very crowded city.

Right: New York is such a crowded city that I wouldn’t like to live there.


superior

is followed by the preposition to (not than).

Wrong: My toothpaste is superior than the other brands on the market.

Right: My toothpaste is superior to the other brands on the market


sure and try

are not followed by and.

Wrong: Be sure and study for the test.

Right: Be sure to study for the test.

Wrong: Try and get some rest.

Right: Try to get some rest.


that

Do not omit that in noun clause.

Wrong: My objective to smoking is it is dangerous to health.

Right: My objective to smoking is that it is dangerous to health.

Wrong: He assured me he understood my problem and he would try to help me.

Right: He assured me that he understood my problem and that he would try to help me.


their,  there,  they’re

They’re over there beside the cabinet.

I am not interested in their motives.

There was nothing left to do.

There are several reasons for his actions.

They’re coming later this afternoon.


their,  there,  they’re

They’re over there beside the cabinet.

I am not interested in their motives.

There was nothing left to do.

There are several reasons for his actions.

They’re coming later this afternoon.