Key takeaways in this post:

  • Using commas correctly can drastically change the meaning of a sentence, preventing misunderstandings.
  • Words like “they’re,” “their,” and “there” have different meanings and uses.
  • “Your” indicates possession, while “you’re” is a contraction of “you are.”
  • Apostrophes should be used correctly to show possession or in contractions. They should not be used to form plurals.

While most people are screaming at haunted houses this Halloween, at WG Content, something else makes us shriek. More than clowns in sewers, ghosts in attics or monsters under the bed, what scares us the most is improper grammar. Let’s talk about the top five grammatical errors that make us scream “AHHHHH” this Halloween and all year round.

A comma can make all the difference between writing an innocent statement or looking like a murderous cannibal. For example:

Let’s eat Grandma! (What? No!)


Let’s eat, Grandma! (Oh – OK!)


I like cooking my family and my pets. (What? Ew!)


I like cooking, my family and my pets. (Oh – Me too!)

(Note: The lack of the Oxford comma before the “and” is a conversation for another day!)

They’re, their and there are three different words. Let’s learn the difference, Halloween style:

The vampires are over there. 

Their stomachs are empty.

They’re going to suck our blood. 

Got it? Now run!

Your and you’re mean two different things — especially if a friendly witch sends you a dinner invitation:

You’re dinner is here! (Um – what?)


Your dinner is here! (Oh – Yum!)

Apostrophes can be confusing, but should only be used in these instances:

  • When writing a contraction. (Example: I can’t go to the Halloween party.)
  • When showing possession. (Example: The mummy’s bandage got stuck in the slime.)

Also, note that apostrophes should never be used with plurals (unless to show possession, of course!)

  • Incorrect: The witch’s lost their hats.
  • Correct: The witches lost their hats.
  • Incorrect: The witches hats were lost.
  • Correct: The witches’ hats were lost.

An easy way to remember the difference between affect and effect is that:

  • A = action (affect, which is also a verb)
  • E = end result (effect, which is also a noun)

For example:

  • The ghosts affected our visit to the cemetery.
  • The sunlight has a bad effect on the vampire.

Now that we’ve discussed the top five grammatical errors, let’s see what you’ve learned. Can you spot the errors in the Halloween invitation below?

Your invited!

Where: The Witch’s House

When: October 31st

What: Lets party! You’re dinner!

The Witch’s have a fun-filled evening planned for people of all ages. We’ll have several activities available, such as:

  • Learning to cut and paste kids
  • Carving pumpkins
  • Monster mashing

Theirs something for everyone at this party! Missing out will effect your life — or what’s left of it! Moohahahahahaha.

And finally, let’s end with a Halloween joke because, after all this screaming, it’s nice to have a laugh:

What’s the difference between a black cat and a comma? 

The black cat has its claws at the end of its paws. 

The comma is a pause at the end of a clause. 

Happy Halloween!

Ready to spook away grammatical errors from your organization? Contact WG Content to learn how we can help!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2018. It was updated on October 5, 2022.

Explain grammar rules using clear examples, interactive activities and practice exercises. Encouraging regular reading and writing, providing constructive feedback and using educational resources like workbooks or online courses can also help reinforce learning.

Exposure and a good editor. Not everyone is adept at writing, but the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, have no fear when an editor is on your side! They give sound feedback and recognize your strengths and weaknesses to help guide you.

Yes, several tools like Grammarly, Hemingway Editor and ProWritingAid can help identify and correct grammatical errors, enhance readability and provide suggestions for improving your writing.

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