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Common Mistakes in Transcription

1. Whose versus Who’s

Who’s represents the combination of Who and is . If the word can be broken into “who is”, then use “who’s.”

“Who’s that handsome man over here?”

Whose is a possessive. It is used like her, his, their etc.

“Whose boat is that out on the lake?”

2. It’s versus Its

A common mistake among many writers is the “it’s” versus “its” usage. This is a very easy grammar distinction. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has”. If you are confused on whether you should use “it’s” or “its”, just replace “it is” or “it has” in your sentence. If your sentence makes sense, then you need to use the contraction form, “it’s”. If it does not make sense then you use the non-contraction form, “its”.

Example of “Its”

The dog wagged its tail.

(The dog wagged it is tail doesn’t make sense.)

The child ate its food.

(The child ate it is food doesn’t make sense.)

Examples of “It’s”

It’s time to go to school.

(It is time to go to school.)

It’s been a long time since we have seen each other.

(It has been a long time since we have seen each other.
3.Your versus You’re

This is another common mistake of apostrophe use. “You’re” is a contraction for “you are”. It is easy enough to decipher, again just insert “you are”

into your sentence instead of “you’re” or “your” and you will know the correct usage.

Examples of “Your”

t is time for your medicine.

(It is time for you are medicine doesn’t make sense.)

We will go to your play after we eat.

(We will go to you are play does not make sense.)

Examples of “You’re”

You’re going to be the first in line.

(You are going to be the first in line.)

You’re my best friend.

(You are my best friend.)

4. Wanna & Gonna

Is it right that “wanna” means “want to” ?

And about “gonna”, does it mean “going to” ?

Yup. “gonna” is an accepted “eye dialect” spelling for the most common American pronunciation of the “(be) going (to)”

future construction, as in “I’m gonna kick some butt”.

In standard written English, this would be written “I’m going to kick some butt”, but if it were pronounced like that, as

/aym gowIng tuw kIk s@m b@t/,

it would most likely be interpreted as a joke.

Eye dialect is largely used to represent speech in narratives, and often carries the (author’s) presumption that the speaker is illiterate or of a lower class. It’s not at all standard in normal written English

Don’t* use these words in any formal writing.
5. quote unquote

What is the proper usage of “quote unquote ,” as in “Bob told me he’s

quote unquote semi-retired?” I would imagine it’s “…quote semi-retired unquote,” although I almost never hear it used that way. The first usage seems a lot more popular.
Now what about the unquote? If you have a lengthy quotation, you need to know where both ends are. So we say unquote at the end (incidentally making spoken English more like printing — where the beginning and ending quotation marks are different — than like ASCII, where they’re identical).

Lisp doesn’t need to mark the end of the quote; this is where all those parentheses come in handy. Also cool.

However, if you are doing scare quotes in speech, and thereby taking your chances with the listener’s short-term memory, chances are you’re targeting only one word or phrase — one phonological unit in any case — and you don’t really need to mark the end; it’s obvious. All you really need is a marker at the beginning to warn your parter to listen ironically.

So “quote-unquote” becomes a compound prefixal particle, and you don’t have to worry about the other shoe falling. Much the same fate overtook the as far as … is concerned/goes constructions, and the so [Adjective] that …

construction. The last parts of these are simply dropped in many cases. And I’ve heard people say just “quote” (without the “-unquote”) in this usage, as well as the doublet.
6. On & In

a.Use “on” for dates and days.

When do you go to the club’s meetings? On Mondays.

When do Americans celebrate Independence Day? On July 4.

b.Use “in” for months.

My sister’s birthday is in June.
c. Use “in” for years.

We will elect a new president in 2007.

d. Use “in” for time in general

He works best in the morning.

When do you go to photography school? I go in the evenings.
e. Use ‘in” for seasons.

The Jones will visit in the summer.
7. Their, There, They’re

a. Their = possessive pronoun: They got their books.

b. There = that place: My house is over there. (This is a place word, and so it contains the word here.)

c. They’re = contraction for they are: They’re making dinner. (Pronouns have apostrophes only when two words are being shortened into one.)

8. We’re, Where, Were

a.. We’re = contraction for we are: We’re glad to help. (Pronouns have apostrophes only when two words are being shortened into one.)

b.. Where = location: Where are you going? (This is a place word, and so it contains the word here.)

c.. Were = a past tense form of the verb be: They were walking side by side.

9. This & These

This is the singular form, and these is the plural form.

10. Hour, Our, Or, Are

Our —of or relating to us or ourselves or ourself

Hour—the time of day

OR– used as a function word to indicate an alternative <coffee or tea> <sink or swim>, the equivalent or substitutive character of two words or phrases <lessen or abate>, or approximation or uncertainty <in five or six days>

ARE—present second singular or present plural of BE

Loose versus Lose

Loose versus Lose.

The verb to lose – one o – means “to mislay” (you can lose your keys or lose your mind); it’s also the opposite of to win. Loose – two o’s – is usually an adjective, but it can also be a verb, and it’s easy to confuse it with lose. The verb to loose means “to release” or “to let free”; it can also mean “to undo” or “to make loose.” The pronunciations are also

different: to lose ends in a z sound; to loose ends in a clear s sound.

11. Choice/Chose/Choose/Chosen

Choice (sounds like Joyce), a noun: “They made the right choice when they picked that car.”

Chose (sounds like goes), past tense of the verb choose: “He chose not to follow his father into the service.”

Choose (sounds like chews), to select, make a decision: “They need to choose a date for the wedding.” “You will have to choose between one or the other.”

Chosen (sounds like frozen), past participle of choose: “The crew has chosen to stay behind and defend the ship.” It can used to be described someone selected for a special purpose, as in the Chosen People.