April 17

Can Never Remember

Posted by lori . 17 Comments


Can Never Remember

There are certain words that confuse me. This is my list. What words are on your list?

Who or Whom

Any time you would say “him” or “her,” use the word whom. Any time you would use the word “he” or “she,” use the word who.


You sat by whom last night? I sat by her last night.

Who sat by you last night? She sat by me last night.

A trick to use to remember – Him and her end with a consonant as does whom. He and she end with a vowel as does who.

Farther or Further

Farther refers to a measurable distance. Further refers to abstract lengths that can’t always be measured.


It’s not much farther to the gas station.

This product needs further testing.

Lay or Lie

Lay means to set something down. Lie means to recline.


Lay the book on the table.

I want to lie down and take a nap.

Sadly, the past tense of lie is lay, which is probably why I’ll never settle this in my brain.

Fewer or Less

If you can count it one-by-one, use fewer. If you can’t count it individually, use less.


There were fewer days below freezing this year.

I drink less water than she does.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 at 7:51 pm and is filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

17 Responses to " Can Never Remember"

  • I’m confused just reading this, I’m sure I’ve committed uncountable grammatical errors in the blog. I know lots of dog bloggers use “who” to describe their dogs (and other animals?) I tend to use “that” as I was taught. How about continuous and continual? It’s raining at the moment and that makes me think of the word.

  • Sue says:

    Oh heck!:) I’m never going to remember this:)

  • Fern Reed says:

    I am with the two who have already commented I’m not going to remember all that!!! Darn!!! But thank you for trying to teach us dumb guys something!!!

  • Daisy says:

    We know that stuff…or at least SHE does, but it doesn’t seem to be used any more!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  • Great post. I am a former French teacher. In my early years of teaching it was so much easier to explain French grammar because students were being taught fairly good English grammar. But many years later, it was almost impossible to explain some of the basics of French when they didn’t even know the difference between a verb and an adjective. On the other hand, our language must be so confusing to foreigners with its many exceptions. For me the past tenses of lie and lay are always the hardest.

  • Patty says:

    I get confused on these. I took a course many years ago and I learned it then, but it was many years ago. That is why Joey writes the blog. A greyhound isn’t expected to know these things. LOL

  • Some of those are hard to remember. The who and whom is the worst I think.

  • What a great post! I’m known as a fully paid up member of the grammar police, but like everyone else, I have my blind spots. And I have to confess I sometimes have to stop and think about ‘lay’ and ‘lie’. One useful way to remember is the line from an old prayer ‘Now I lay me down to sleep …’ In this case you are still laying something down, but it’s you!

  • Madi and Mom says:

    Lay and Lie are two big ones for me.

    And two that I hear most often miss used are
    bring and take.

    I cannot tell you how often I hear “bring this to John”.

    You cannot physically bring it to John “but you can take it to John”.

    However you can ask someone to bring you a cup of coffee.

    Hugs C and great post!!!

  • trina says:

    Being in science..I had to figure it out and quickly. But I still have to stop and think before I use either.

  • I thought I knew English until I read this, LOL!
    Lynne x

  • Affect/effect

    Nola’s Mom

  • Penelope says:

    I always get so mixed up! I do fine if I don’t think about it though!

  • This is so good … or should I say that was so good? The thing that bugs me is where the ” ‘ ” goes, (e.g. this is Beryl’s, and when should it be Beryls’?) I tend to just slap it in and hope I’m using it properly:) You have got a few here that I haven’t been concerned about; until now:)

  • Wyatt says:

    Ha…we so agree. We have Hispanic friends and co-workers and do our best with some version of ‘Spanglish’. It is humorous at times…I guess we should master our own language before we decide to tackle another!

    Wyatt’s mom

  • Kat says:

    Great post! I should print it, laminate it, and take it with me at all times! 😏

  • Martha says:

    Love your linguistic thoughts. I, myself, am a linguist and a language teacher so this type of thinking is very familiar to me 🙂
    I always hesitate over “lend and borrow”, “practice and practise” plus the spelling of some English words of French origin like manoeouvre (???) etc

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