In part 1 of online dating first message grammar for dummies, I explained the importance of making sure your online dating first messages are well-written. Attractive women simply won’t look twice at your messages if they are riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes.
Today, I’ll go through some of the most common grammar mistakes that can blight even the best online dating messages. The following examples have all been culled from real online dating messages and profiles: some I’ve come across while doing online dating re-writes, others girlfriends of ours have shown us in their own inboxes.
5 Apostrophe Mistakes
For our purposes, apostrophes are used for two things. 1) They show possession: Mark’s hat means the hat that belongs to Mark. 2) They are used to indicate missing letters: Mark’s happy means Mark is happy. They are not needed to make plurals.
Here are some common mistakes that have cropped up in online dating first messages using (or not using) apostrophes:
1. Sunday lunch at it’s best. It is unusual in that it doesn’t need an apostrophe to form the possessive. The correct version is: “Sunday lunch at its best”.
2. See you in a weeks time. You need an apostrophe here as a week is modifying time: “See you in a week’s time”.
3. You should have seen Marks hair. This is a possessive and needs an apostrophe: “You should have seen Mark’s hair”.
4. Who’s car is that? Who’s means who is. Here we need the possessive form of who, which is whose: “Whose car is that?”
5. Check out these photo’s. Apostrophes are not used to form plurals. To form the plural of photo, simply add s: “Check out these photos”.
5 Homophones and Homonyms
There are lots of words that look and/or sound similar that can easily be confused in your online dating first message:
1. You Are v You’re v Your. You’re is just the contracted version of you are: both can be used with adjectives (you’re cute / you are cute) or in verb constructions (you’re sitting next to me). Your is the possessive of you (your hat / your girlfriend).
2. They Are v They’re v Their v There. They’re is just the contracted version of they are and both are acceptable. Their is the possessive of they (their dog is black). There is used in sentences like: I’ve been there… there is no one home…
3. We are v We’re v Were v We re. We’re is just the contracted version of we are and both are acceptable. Were is the past tense of the verb to be (we were asleep at midnight / they were at the party). We re is incorrect.
4. Know v No v Now. Know means be aware of (I don’t know the answer). No is the opposite of yes. Now means at this moment (I can’t come to the phone now).
5. Text v Texted v Texed. Text is a noun (send her a text) and a verb (I’m going to text her tonight). Texted is the past tense of the verb text (I texted her yesterday). Texed is incorrect.
5 Spelling Mistakes
A quick spell-check (you do spell-check your online dating messages, right?) should see off most spelling mistakes, but there are always some that sneak through the net. This is sometimes because what you’ve typed is actually the correct spelling of the wrong word. Here are some examples:
1. Ben is such a looser. Looser means more loose (my trousers are looser than yours). You mean: “Ben is a loser”.
2. I think about you alot. The phrase is a lot. There is no need or justification for abbreviating it: “I think about you a lot”.
3. Ill get back to you. Ill means sick or unwell. You are using the contracted version of I will and so the correct form is: I’ll get back to you”.
4. Were are my keys? Were is the past tense of the verb to be and is used in sentences like: We were asleep at midnight / were you at the party? In this sentence we need the word where: “Where are my keys?”
5. Dont tell me you’ve got a boyfriend! You are using a contracted version of do not and so you need an apostrophe to show the missing letter: “Don’t tell me you’ve got a boyfriend!”
5 Fundamental Grammar Mistakes
1. Bob texted John and I. A generation of English speakers has grown up thinking that and is always followed by I rather than by me. It actually depends on the sentence. In this case, I am the object of the verb: Bob texted me. So here we use me even after and: “Bob texted John and me”.
2. We should of gone home at midnight. The correct usage is: “We should have gone home at midnight”.
3. The curry is to hot… I think so to… I want a beer to. In each case, we need the adverb too: “The curry is too hot… I think so too… I want a beer too”.
4. Let’s try and talk to ten women tonight. Try is followed by the infinitive of the verb: “Let’s try to talk to ten women tonight”.
5. Let’s get of at Waterloo. The opposite of on is off, not of: “Let’s get off at Waterloo”.