In Proceedings By Oksana

The Top 40 most common mistakes. Hit parade of errors in English

My disciples dedicated …


Everyone is starting to learn a foreign language with one main purpose — to learn to speak. And our task — to teach you how to speak correctly. During the training, all students make mistakes, and teachers, in turn, correct, explain the rules, and fix them in a speech to avoid repeating mistakes. But is it always turns to «avoid»? How many times of the lesson, the lesson you said «I am agree», «It depends from», «I feel myself good»? Well very much! And the level of proficiency for these «infectious» bugs do not measure! If at the initial stage such mistakes more forgivable, the students level Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and Advanced must seriously reflect on their behavior and recognize their mistakes! 🙂

In this article we consider the fact that «in the ear» that interferes with the right to speak — the most common phonetic and grammatical errors of our pupils (spelling mistakes — this is a topic for another discussion).

Pronunciation mistakes

NB! If you have any problems understanding the English transcription, visit our online glossary. It is enough to double-click on any word and you can hear how to pronounce it correctly.

The adage «write» Manchester «and say» Liverpool «» could not be accurately characterizes the features of English spelling and pronunciation. And I understand the difficulties in pronunciation of sounds [θ] and [ð] (think / this), [w] and [v] (which often is pronounced Russian sound [in]), difficulty in pronunciation of words such as conscientious, circumstances, and so on. n. But these difficulties pronunciations students usually easy to overcome, but not so on the following words:

  • Colleague — instead of [kɔliːg] pronounced [kɔliːg] — probably by analogy with the Russian word «colleague» with the accent on the second syllable.
  • Hotel — instead of [həutɛl] pronounced [həutɛl]. The reason is unclear. In Russian, the word «hotel» is also pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. There is a hypothesis that the pronunciation [həutɛl] associated with the song Eagles «Hotel California».
  • Also — instead of [ɔːlsəu] pronounced [aːlsəu] — how many times we forget that the rules read the Russian language do not apply to the English!
  • Since — instead of [sɪns] pronounced [saɪns] — the favorite error of those who remember very well the rules of reading in the open / closed syllable. But as they say, Woe from Wit …
  • Has — entry-level students instead of [hæz] pronounced [haz].
  • Put — the entry-level students instead of [put] pronounced [pʌt]cm. Since.
  • To live (live) — instead of [lɪv] say [laɪv], and the adjective live (live) [laɪv] pronounced [lɪv]. On the exact opposite!
  • Policeman — instead of [pəliːsmən] pronounced [pɔliːsmən]. The reason for this error is still my complete mystery! 🙂
  • Additional — instead of [ədɪʃənl] say [adɪʃənl] — is somewhat similar also.
  • Stopped, worked, and so on. D. — Pronounced [stopɪd], [wəːkɪd]. When everyone knows the rule: [ɪd] utter only after the sound [t], [d] (hated, decided), and in other cases [t] (after [k], [p], [f], [s ], [ʃ], [tʃ]) or [d] (after the call).
  • Born — instead of [bɔːn] (born) say [bəːn] → burn (burn, burn). And instead of saying, when you were born, it turns out, you are reporting that you have done something strange, probably burned … ?!
  • Society — instead of [səsaɪətɪ] say [sɔsɪətɪ] — I see and read!
  • Stomach — instead of [stʌmək] say [stomʌtʃ] — the same story as with society.

So, remember the basic rule of reading the English words: not sure — check dictionary.

Grammar mistakes

Go to the next set of errors that as «word-parasites» periodically appear in the speech of students of all levels, not excluding the Advanced students. And I know that you know how to. And you know, that you know how to. You know the same! But still you do not talk like that!

Sometimes there are funny expressions and suggestions, but let’s start with the «unhumorous» the most common mistakes.

Terms of use of prepositions («The use of prepositions in the English language», «Prepositions of time in English: at, in, on», «prepositions of place in the English language: at, in, on») hated almost everything. Still would! Very much to memorize and learn by heart, so do not often use the excuse, pass, or use it where it is absolutely not necessary. Many people, I think, are familiar mistakes that teachers correct almost every lesson:

  • I went to somewhere — to here once I went somewhere (I have somewhere to go).
  • I phoned to him → I phoned him (I called him).
  • I came to home → I came home (I came home). Easy to remember — we do not need an excuse (excuse) to come home, so do not use it!
  • We discussed about it → We discussed it (we discussed this.) But We talked about it (we talked about it).
  • I went to holiday → I went on holiday (I went on vacation).
  • To influence on smth → To influence smth (influence on something). BUT To have influence on smth (have an impact on something).
  • In the weekend → At the weekend (the weekend).
  • In 5 o’clock → At 5 o’clock (5 pm).
  • It depends from smth → It depends on smth (it depends on something).
  • In last week → _ Last week (last week).
  • In next year → _ Next year (next year).
  • In Monday → On Monday (Monday).
  • This may also include the use of the particles to: can to / should to / must to / may to — never tried to particle after these modal verbs!

Sometimes the «fed» the plural of nouns («plural nouns in English,» «Table: plural nouns»):

  • children s
  • people s
  • man s
  • woman s
  • And, of course, advice s — everyone knows, but forget that substantive advice (council) — uncountable and is used only in the singular. For example:

    He gave me a lot of useful advice. — He gave me a lot of useful tips.

So many students like to say, «I am» (I am) where they «to be» completely unnecessary. The result: «I am working,» «I agree there,» «I went there» and so on. Etc .:

  • I am agree — a classic of the genre! → I agree / I do not agree (I agree / disagree).
  • I am work and so on. P. → I work (I work).

And here is where the verb to be supposed to be, it is often overlooked:

  • I _ tired → I am tired (I’m tired).
  • I _ afraid (I do not afraid / scared) of → I am afraid (I am not afraid / scared) of (I’m afraid / I’m afraid).

Common are also errors when used «not the» word «is not» meaning, changing the order of words in a sentence. Here are the most favorite ones:

  • To make photos instead To take photos (photographed).
  • I very much like / I very need instead I like it very much / I need it very much (I really like / need).
  • He said what instead He said that (he said that …).
  • I forgot my book at work, instead I left my book at work (I forgot the book at work).
  • I like read books, instead I like reading books (I love to read books).
  • Hardly (barely, barely, violence) instead of hard (hard): He works hardly → He works hard. Messed up the words, and hardly hard, you have called the person lazy and not hard worker!
  • Eating because instead that’s why, for example: She is ill because she stayed at home → She is ill that’s why she stayed at home (ie. E. «She got sick not because they stayed at home,» and «stayed home as sick «).

Often these are permitted and grammatical errors:

  • It ‘s depend on → It depend s on (it depends …).
  • It ‘s often rain → It often rain s (often the rain). In this context, the rain is a verb.
  • It ‘s mean that → It mean s that (this means that …).
  • Borrowed it: Supermarket it is a place where we can buy food → Supermarket _ is a place where we can buy food (supermarket — a place where we can buy food).
  • For some common questions are brief answers to the wrong auxiliary verb: Are you ready? — Yes, I do. → Are you ready? — Yes, I am. Remember that in a brief answer (Yes / No) uses the auxiliary verb, with which began the question: Do you speak English? — Yes, I do; Is he a student? — No, he is not.
  • Improperly used other / another — more on this can be read in our article «Indefinite pronouns in English — Part 2».
  • Misuse say / tell / speak. Read more about this — «Selecting the word: tell / speak / say / talk»
  • He looks like young → He looks _ young (he looks younger). But like it is used, if followed by the noun / pronoun. For example: He looks like his father (he looks like his father).
  • I have not a car, instead I do not have a car / I have not got a car (I have no car).
  • And, of course, subordinate to the if (when), which never tried the future. That is, instead If the weather will be fine, we’ll go for a walk to talk need If the weather is fine, we’ll go for a walk.

Funny mistakes

All of the above error can be called a «serious», but there are «ridiculous.» For example, the expression I feel myself fine raises questions about the actions of the speaker, because this combination feel translates as «touch», «feel» and the phrase I feel myself fine is rather strange, is not it? 🙂 If you want to say that feel great, then we should say I feel _ fine.

Somehow having trouble answering the simple question: «How are you?», «What is the weather like today?». Consider this example:

  • How are you? (How are you?) — I am good (I’m good). Of course, you’re a good man, but the answer should be: I am well / fine (I’m fine).
  • How are you doing? (How are you?) — I am doing nothing (I do not do anything). Nobody asks what you’re doing. Expects to hear how are you doing, that is. E. I am well / fine.
  • What is the weather like today? (What is the weather today?) — Yes, I like it (yes, I like it) → The weather is fine today (today is good weather).

Very often you can hear how you all love and need you:

  • English needs me for my job (English needs me), instead I need English for my job (I need English for work). English will manage without you. English does not need you! 🙂
  • These new shoes like me (the new shoes like me), instead I like these new shoes (I like these new shoes).

There are also students with high or low self-esteem:

  • I am interesting (I’m wondering), instead I am interested in it (I know).
  • I am very good (I’m very good) instead I am very well (do very well).
  • I am boring (I’m boring) instead I am bored (I’m bored).
  • I am scary (I’m terrible) instead I am scared (I’m scared).

And some went there, I do not know where:

  • I went to the magazine (magazine — magazine), instead I went to the shop (I went to the store).

Imagine the aforementioned error in a table that you want to print and hang it on the desk (next to a table of irregular verbs). 🙂 Here are collected the best examples of frequency:

↓ Download the table «Top 40 most common mistakes made by our students» (* .pdf, 361 KB)

The Top 40 most common mistakes made by our students
Number Error Right Option
1 Colleague [kɔliːg] Colleague [kɔliːg]
2 Hotel [həutɛl] Hotel [həutɛl]
3 Also [aːlsəu] Also [ɔːlsəu]
4 Since [saɪns] Since [sɪns]
5 Policeman [pɔliːsmən] Policeman [pəliːsmən]
6 Society [sɔsɪətɪ] Society [səsaɪətɪ]
7 Stopped [stop ɪd], worked [wəːk ɪd] Stopped [stop t], worked [wəːk t]
8 I went to somewhere I went _ somewhere
9 I phoned to him I phoned _ him
10 I came to home I came _ home
11 I went to holiday I went on holiday
12 To influence on smth To influence _ smth
13 It depends from smth It depends on smth
14 Discuss about smth Discuss _ smth
15 In last week _ Last week
16 In Monday On Monday
17 In 5 o’clock At 5 o’clock
18 In the weekend At the weekend
19 Children s, people s, man s, woman s Children, people, men, women
20 A lot of advice s A lot of advice
21 I am agree I _ agree
22 I _ tired I am tired
23 It ‘s mean that It means that
24 I _ afraid / I do not afraid I am afraid / I am not afraid
25 I very much like it I like it very much
26 He said what He said that
27 I have not a car I do not have a car / I have not got a car
28 If the weather will be fine, we’ll go for a walk If the weather is fine, we’ll go for a walk
29 I feel myself fine I feel _ fine
thirty I forgot my book at work I left my book at work
31 It ‘s often rain It often rain s
32 How are you? — I am good How are you? — I am well / fine
33 How are you doing? — I am doing nothing How are you doing? — I am well / fine
34 What is the weather like today? — Yes, I like it What is the weather like today? — The weather is fine today
35 English needs me for my job I need English for my job
36 These new shoes like me I like these new shoes
37 I am interesting I am interested in it
38 I am boring I am bored
39 I am scary I am scared
40 I went to the magazine I went to the shop

If you teach English for a long time, then you must also be a «favorite rake» — errors that do not want to leave. Share them with us, and maybe then we can fight together with them!

PS I thank my colleagues for their help in the compilation of the material!

PPS Special thanks to Svetlana for the idea to write an article!

Do you think that you do not allow such errors? Test yourself by performing the test for the most common errors in English:

 

Proceedings

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