Three Grammar Lessons

Hey guys, I’m not claiming to be a grammar guru, but here’s some free advice:

Grammar lesson #1
Don’t ever say “He and I’s…” or “He and me’s…” or “He and mine’s…”
(example: “He and me’s plans for the day fell through”).
It just doesn’t work.
Instead, say “He and my…”
(ex. “He and my plans for the day fell through”).
If you don’t believe me, get rid of the “He and” from the sentence and see how silly it sounds.
(incorrect: “Me’s plans for the day fell through” …well, if you’re on your way to the Blarney Stone, I suppose this would be acceptable. If you did not go back and reread that incorrect example in a pseudo-leprechaun voice, I’m impressed. If you didn’t just reread it aloud now, I’m even more impressed).
(correct: “My plans for the day fell through”).
To avoid this trouble all together, you can simply say “Our.”
(ex. “Our plans for the day fell through”).

Grammar lesson #2
Take last lesson’s example:
“He and my plans for the day fell through.”
Let’s implement the same strategy, but this time, remove “and my” from the sentence. Here is what we are left with:
“He plans for the day fell through.”
Sounds quite silly, doesn’t it?
I know what you might be thinking: “Well wait, could I not also remove ‘fell through’ so the remaining sentence would be ‘He plans for the day’? That sounds right to me.”
Yes, that sounds right to me as well, but by removing those final words, you have effected the entire meaning of the sentence. The words “fell through” help to make sense of the word “plans.” The word “plans” could be a noun or a verb, but in this case, it is a noun (If it was a verb, “He plans” would be accurate). However, as a noun, “His” denotes possession of said plans, which for the day inevitably fell through. And “for the day” is a prepositional phrase, which explains a bit more about the plans, but really has no functional purpose beyond that. It’s filler. It’s detail. I think it’s beautiful, but some find such excess annoying and needless. If you talk with such people, drop out all prepositional phrases. Give them bullet points instead of paragraphs. Life will be happier for you. Boring, mundane, but for the simple, give them simple.
But I digress…
“His and my plans for the day fell through” would be the accurate way to structure this sentence.
Sneak peak: in the next lesson, we’ll talk about the difference between “affect” & “effect.” Also, extra credit to the first person who explains to the class the difference between “all together” & “altogether.”

Grammar lesson #3
Affect vs. Effect
Probably the most confusing of the lessons so far, but I know we’ll rise to the occasion.
Right off the bat, definitions:
“Affect” means “to influence.”
“Effect” means “the caused result.”
Affect is primarily used as a verb.
Effect is primarily used as a noun.
But I’m going to be upfront with you, this series of grammar lessons holds a deeper meaning to them. Look at the first lesson (my vs. I’s/me’s/mine’s), there was an obvious mistake that was intentionally left in.
Because sometimes we need to focus on one thing to correct before we do a massive overhaul. We learn better this way. Deal with a single issue at a time, rather than digging into everything at once. As christians, can we just take a moment and praise God for the mere fact He doesn’t reveal every single one of our sins to us at once? I mean, really, thank Him for it right now.
It would be so incredibly overwhelming.
And then, can we also thank Him that in His mercy He does eventually reveal each one of our sins to us and gets to work on them inside our hearts? It didn’t end with grammar lesson one, but it was followed by lesson two, where we dealt with the correction that needed to be made (He vs. His). Sometimes we flake out and only work on one thing then leave the rest alone… that’s not love. Our tendency is to give up, but God doesn’t. He’s faithful to complete the work He has begun.
Finally, in lesson three, we tackled a more challenging topic… and as we grow and mature, we are being equipped to take on deeper and more difficult issues. But all the while, we still need to be mindful of the previous lessons we’ve gone through, and help those around us along the way with the things we’ve learned.


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