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Has it ever happened that you make a mistake while speaking English? Or maybe in writing?
Of course, it has.
Don’t be embarrassed. It isn’t the end of the world.
No one will make fun of you.
Everyone makes mistakes while they learn a foreign language.
Did you know that one of the secrets to speaking English fluently is making embarrassing mistakes but learning from them?
Language learners should make mistakes because it is one of the most effective ways to learn.
In this post, we’ve gathered some of the most common mistakes in English and tips on how to avoid them.
But, before we dive in, we should mention that the best way to avoid mistakes is to learn the language with Justlearn English tutors. The possibility of making mistakes is at the minimum, and if you do, then you will get an immediate correct answer.
English language learners often think that they have to speak English correctly and that there is no room for any mistakes. Flawless English speaking could be described as the motto of every English student.
And when they do, they feel embarrassed and ashamed.
If you are one of them, you should have in mind that you can’t prevent it. Sooner or later, it will happen.
But don’t be devastated. Turn the whole situation into a learning and fun experience.
Before you think that this happens to you only, you should know that even native speakers make mistakes.
You can often hear on TV programs and shows someone saying ‘This is your guy’s dog, right?’ Instead, the correct form is ‘This dog belongs to you guys, right?’
Here is one more example. Native English speakers often replace the adjective ‘good’ with ‘well.’ Many of them don’t know how to use them properly, so you can often hear a native saying ‘You speak English good,’ but instead they should say ‘You speak English well.’
We’ve come to the point you’ve all been waiting for.
Some of the most common mistakes in English sorted by grammar, written and speaking mistakes are waiting for you in the following lines.
Capitalization is essential when it comes to writing in English.
So, you should have in mind these three things:
The first letter of the first word in the sentence or phrase begins with a capital letter.
The pronoun ‘I’ is always capitalized.
Names are capitalized as well.
Let’s see from the example.
Incorrect: one summer day, I met peter next to Union street library.
Correct: One summer day, I met Peter next to Union Street library.
One of the most common mistakes today is that more and more people use quotation marks when they want to emphasize something.
When you have to emphasize a word or a phrase, don’t use quotations marks but mark them in italics.
Incorrect: This isn’t ‘just’ an ordinary book.
Correct: This isn’t just an ordinary book.
Let’s first take a look at an example, and then explain how to avoid mistakes.
Incorrect: Dear Mr Thompson: I would like to thank you for the job opportunity!.
Correct: Dear M. Thompson, I would like to thank you for the job opportunity.
Colons are never used when addressing someone or making a list of something. Instead, the address should be followed by a comma.
Exclamation marks usually show strong emotions, so in business, it sounds unprofessional.
The apostrophes are vital if you want to express that a noun owns something.
To indicate possession, we add the ‘s for singular nouns, while for plural nouns we add the ‘s if the word doesn’t end with the letter s. If it ends, then we add only the apostrophe ‘.
Let’s take a look at the bad and correct example.
Incorrect: The dress you’ve borrowed is my sisters.
Correct: The dress you’ve borrowed is my sister’s.
To know which of these words to use, you need to know the difference.
There refers to a place or idea.
Their is a possessive pronoun. It means that ‘they’ own something.
They’re is used instead of ‘they are.’ Here, the apostrophe replaces the missing letter.
Incorrect: Their moving to London.
Correct: They’re moving to London.
Each of these words is pronounced the same.
However, in writing there is a big difference.
To has two meanings. It can be a preposition and precede a noun. When preceding the verb, it indicates an infinitive.
Two is a number. It comes after one and before three.
Too has two meanings, as well. It can be a synonym for ‘also,’ and when it precedes adverb or adjective, it means ‘exclusively.’
And here is an example.
Incorrect: Anne wants too go for a walk.
Correct: Anne wants to go for a walk.
People often make mistakes in using ‘to’ and ‘too.’ Here’s one tip: if you aren’t sure which one to use, try replacing it with ‘also,’ or ‘as well.’ If the sentence makes sense, then use ‘too.’ If not, you have to use ‘to.’
Even though the meaning of the verbs ‘see,’ ‘look,’ and ‘watch’ are similar, many get confused about which one to use correctly.
When you use the verb ‘look’ you use it to look at something directly.
To see something means that something comes to your site, you weren’t looking for.
When you look at something that usually moves, and you look at it carefully, then use the verb ‘watch.’
Incorrect: I look at the snow falling.
Correct: I watch the snow falling.
Its without an apostrophe refers to a possessive pronoun ‘it.’
It’s with the apostrophe is a construction for the ‘it is.’
Even if you are clear with this difference, if you still can’t use these properly, then try to replace the verb ‘is’ in the ‘it is’ with ‘has’ to sound like ‘it has.’
If it fits the sentence, then you are free to use ‘it is.’ Otherwise, use ‘its.’
In every sentence, the subject and verb have to agree. So, then the subject is singular; the verb is singular, too. The same goes with plural.
You will understand better, from the following example:
Incorrect: The list of items are on the floor.
Correct: The list of items is on the floor.
When you have to calculate the time because you have a starting point, use the word ‘since.’
In other cases, ‘for’ is suitable because the time is indicated in the sentence or phrase.
Incorrect: I’ve lived here since eight years.
Correct: I’ve lived here for eight years.
To understand better, try to remember that casual conversation is the type you use among friends. It is not appropriate to use it at work. A synonym for ‘casual’ is ‘informal.’
On the other hand, ‘formal’ is ideal to use with your bosses.
Incorrect: (on a business meeting) Hey guys, what’s up?
Correct: Hello everyone, how is everything going?
Prepositions in English can be tricky. To avoid making mistakes, try memorizing the difference like this:
‘At’ is used for some points, such as moments, names of events, and time. For example, ‘at Christmas,’ or ‘at noon.’ The exception is ‘at/ on the weekend.’
On is used for days of the week, dates, and phrases with ‘day.’ You can say, for example, ‘on Friday’ or ‘on 1st of June.’
In is used for some periods in time, like months, years, parts of the day, seasons. We say, for example, ‘in February,’ or ‘in the morning.’
Let’s see an example:
Incorrect: Let’s meet on five o’clock. Better, let’s meet in Thursday.
Correct: Let’s meet at five o’clock. Better, let’s meet on Thursday.
One of the common mistakes English learners make is saying ‘by some reason.’ The reason lies in the literal translation from some native languages to English.
When something is happening, and you don’t know why, use the preposition ‘for’ rather than ‘by.’
So, the right phrase is ‘for some reason,’ like the example below.
Incorrect: By some reason, Anne hasn’t called yet.
Correct: For some reason, Anne hasn’t called yet.
To avoid headaches when you have to use ‘borrow’ and ‘loan,’ let’s first take a glimpse at the example.
Incorrect: Can you borrow me that book?
Correct: Can you loan be that book?
‘Borrow’ means ‘to take,’ and ‘loan’ means ‘to give.’
So, if you want to give someone something, use ‘loan,’ and get something from someone, use the verb ‘borrow.’
Understanding how the language works and knowing the differences between similar words or phrases can help you make mistakes.
That’s why these 15 most common mistakes in English are here for.
Ask English tutors for help, if you need to.
But don’t feel like a failure when making mistakes. Turn them into learning opportunities.
And when you realize that mistakes can be useful, you will grow stronger, and you won’t be afraid to make mistakes while speaking English because that’s just one more way to achieve native fluency.
Both versions could be correct, depending on the context. In the present tense, we should add -S to the end of the verb when it's third person singular. For example: He wants a cake for his birthday.
Its without an apostrophe refers to a possessive pronoun ‘it.’ It’s with the apostrophe is a construction for the ‘it is.’ Even if you are clear with this difference, if you still can’t use these properly, then try to replace the verb ‘is’ in the ‘it is’ with ‘has’ to sound like ‘it has.’ If it fits the sentence, then you are free to use ‘it is.’ Otherwise, use ‘its.’
To know which of these words to use, you need to know the difference. There refers to a place or idea. Their is a possessive pronoun. It means that ‘they’ own something. They’re is used instead of ‘they are.’ Here, the apostrophe replaces the missing letter.
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