It happens to all of us. You’re standing in front of your closet staring at the abundance of clothes yet you’re still wondering, “what do I where?” Wait a minute, “what do I where?” That can’t be right. Or is it? While you’re focused on what’s in fashion, allow me to pardon your inner fashionista for a moment to take you on a walk down the grammar runway.
Where: Mostly simply, the word “where” most often indicates a location. It can be a physical location or as Merriam-Webster defines it, the location can be, “at, in, or to what situation, position, direction, circumstances, or respect.”
Where are my car keys?
Where do you see your career in the future?
Wear: This one is a little trickier so I will stick to the most common usage. “Wear” can mean an article of clothing or an item that a person has on. It can also mean to deteriorate something or to produce gradually by friction (Merriam-Webster).
I want to wear my party dress.
Tiffany is wearing her favorite pair of earrings.
The carpenter used sandpaper to wear down the rough patches on the baseboard.
Let’s try it out:
Which is correct?
A. Where can I find a good pair of running sneakers?
B. Wear can I find a good pair of running sneakers?
The correct answer is “A” because we are referring to a location. “Wear” would only be correct if the sentence said something like, “I am going to wear my new pair of running sneakers.” or “I usually wear down the soles of my running sneakers within six months.”
Which is correct?
A. Now that summer is here I can wear my flip-flops again.
B. Now that summer is here I can where my flip-flops again.
The correct answer is “A” because flip-flops are shoes and therefore they go on your feet. “Where” would be correct if the sentence said something like, “Where are my flip-flops?”
Does English grammar have you confused? Email us your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.