So we went over my first four grammatical pet peeves, but, being an English major, it really gets my goat when my law school hopeful students commit egregious grammatical errors, so I must continue forth with more common grammatical missteps many people make. I want you to be better than grammatical mistakes.
- Whether and If
“Whether” and “if” are NOT interchangeable. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives. Examples: I don’t know whether I will go to the party tonight. I will go to the party if I finish my logical reasoning section.
- Fewer and Less
“Less” is used for hypothetical quantities, and “few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify. Examples: I have fewer than twelve cupcakes. The cupcakes are less delicious now that I have eaten most of the frosting.
- Farther” and “Further”
Similar to the above, “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can’t always measure. Examples: My cat jumped three feet farther than your cat. My cat jumped further than that possum.
- Since and Because
“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation. Examples: I have lost weight since I have stopped eating cupcakes. I have lost weight because I have stopped eating cupcakes.
- Disinterested and Uninterested
These two words are not synonymous. “Disinterested” means impartial, whereas “uninterested” refers to being not interested or concerned about something or someone. Examples: To choose a fair jury, I need to pick twelve disinterested people. I used to love dolls, but these days I am uninterested in them.
- Nauseous and Nauseated
This might be one of my biggest pet peeves. To be “nauseous,” does not mean that you are feeling queasy, it, in fact, means that you have the ability to make others feel queasy. Rotten milk is nauseous and you are nauseated when you drink it. Get it right!
Okay, you are now equipped with my top ten grammar pet peeves. Go forth into your LSAT prep world and beyond, and use them correctly. Be better than grammatical mistakes. Be better!