5 Common Mistakes In English That Can Easily Be Avoided

5 Common Mistakes In English That Can Easily Be Avoided

Don't you just hate that awkward feeling when somebody corrects your English?

Well, you are not alone!

Thousands of people just like you feel bad about their grammar mistakes every day.

But there’s no reason to feel bad because you can easily avoid the most common mistakes in English.

Remember: Mistakes are there to help us learn. To help us be better.

Whether you have a hard time overcoming common grammar mistakes or you are not good with English spelling, it only takes some time and practice to get better.

When you are surrounded by native speakers, it's natural that you want to feel like you belong; you don’t want to be looked at differently for your grammar mistakes while you are speaking English.

Proper grammar or independent clause are nuances that can really make you stand out.

Why don't you start by reading our article carefully? Take a note if you run into your the mistakes you are making and then work on them regularly.

Lots of people have overcome them and it takes nothing but time and practice. 

Good news for you because you are one step closer to speaking English perfectly.

Let's begin, shall we?

THEY’RE/THEIR

English language is full of homophones.

Homophones are words that sound similar, but have different meanings.

It's only natural and no surprise that as a result, there are a plenty of confused words.

They’re and their (but also sometimes there) can be quite confusing for all language learners.

However, if you want to write like a pro, you should learn how to use these words properly.

They're =

They are

They were

They’re is contraction for They are and They were.

Example:

They are having fun, but I am not = They’re having fun, but I’m not.

Their =

It means that something belongs to Them

Example:

Their house is on fire.

(Whose house is on fire?)

My, your, his/her/its, our, their = possessive pronouns

They help us show possesion in a sentence. By using them, we demonstrate the owner.

My book = The book belongs to me.

His dog = He is the owner of that dog.

Bonus tip: The next time you want to use Their in a sentence, ask yourself: Do I want to say They are?

If the answer is No, you know the drill.

WHO/WHOM

This is a thinker, even for native speakers. No reason to feel bad about not being sure which word to use.

Hopefully, you’ll find this much easier once you read this paragraph.

Who = should refer to the subject of a sentence

Examples:

She drank my coffee. Who drank my coffee?

They bought me this for Christmas. Who bought you this?

She would like some tea. Who would like some tea?

Whom = refers to the object of a verb or preposition

Examples:

I gave my favorite book to Vanessa. To whom did you five your favorite book?

With whom you will to Greece?

To whom was this box sent?

Bonus tip: When in doubt, ask yourself: Can it be replaced with He/She or His/Her?

If the answer is He/She, the word you are looking for is Who.

Otherwise, go with Whom.

Don't get discouraged by this small differences. 

Trust me, English is one of the easiest languages to learn and perfect.

Try learning Arabic and you'll quickly realize how Who and Whom are a piece of cake.

PRESENT SIMPLE TENSE (ALSO KNOWN AS 'HE WANT OR HE WANTS')

This grammar mistake is very common among my students. 

Quite often, the correct form is: He wants

He want would be correct after modal verbs.

Let's see some examples:

He wants to drink water.

She wants to eat.

How could he want this?

Simple present tense is a very straightforward. But then there's the third person singular...

The only one different from the others.

Here's a small breakdown:

Singular

Plural

1. I want

1. We want

2. You want

2. You want

3. He/She/It wants

3. They want

The only case scenario where it would be correct to say 'she want' instead of 'she wants' is after a modal verb. 

Why would she want to go there?

Correct!

She want to go there.

Incorrect!

If you want to overcome this difficulty, you need to practice it. Repetition is key.

Of course, first you need to understand that in simple present tense, third person singular will always attrack the suffix -s.

There is no change to the actual verb, except in the third person singular. 

You can also remember it that way - have in mind that He/She/It are unique for simple present tense.

And then, practice as much as possible.

Feel free to correct yourself when you notice your mistakes.

Don't be mad when other people correct you. Take a note of it and learn from your mistakes.

GOOD/WELL

If I had a nickel for every time someone misuses the word good…

The rule is simple:

Good = adjective

Well = adverb

You might want to refresh your knowledge on the difference between adjective and adverbs before passing to the difference between Good and Well.

The rule of thumb is to use adjectives (in this case – Good) to describe nouns. 

Someone can be good. 

Adverbs (Well) are used to modify verbs.

Something can be done well.

Examples:

My school grades are pretty good.

Good people are rare in this world.

I am doing well today.

He speaks English very well.

COULD/WOULD/SHOULD HAVE

Language learners tend to make a lot of grammatical errors which is a normal part of their learning experience.

However, native speakers are also known for making grammar mistakes.

One of the most popular ones is the misuse of Could/Would/Should have.

Somehow, while speaking English, we tend to say and use Could/Would/Should OF.

Incorrect!

How does this happen?

Well, Could’ve is short for Could have which easily becomes Could of in the spoken language.

Same thing with Should've. Doesn't it sound like Should of when you say it fast?

It is important that you are aware of the correct forms. You should always know how to write it.

Correct examples:

You should have told me the truth.

He could have helped me…

I should’ve been at that party.

Here’s a bonus tip:

With the help of experienced native speakers, you will be a stranger for common mistakes in English writing such as this one.

Just like any other mistakes, this one can be easily avoided. It only takes some practice.

Bonus common error: THAN/THEN

Lots of people who learn English get confused by Than and Then.

Both correct.

They do sound and look very similar. However, there is a big difference.

This mistakes is very common in English sentences.

Let's see some examples and explanation:

Than = used in comparisons

Example:

He is smarter than me.

Emma is more beautiful than Vanessa, but Vanessa has prettier hair.

We work harder than them.

He is prettier than me.

Then = means in that case, at that time, in addition, next in order, as a consequence…

Example:

I will prepare my breakfast, then I will go out.

It was then that I realized how much I love him.

Let's eat and then buy some sweets.

Bonus tip: Than is pretty straightforward and is used mostly in comparisons.

On another hand, Then can be more complex.

This mistake gets easily avoided when you practice your writing skills.

Conclusion

Mistakes are the most important part of everyone’s learning process.

There is no failure, only feedback.

Don’t feel bad when someone corrects your English. Think of it as feedback.

Native speakers are no strangers to common mistakes in English so why would you feel embarrassed?

The key is to always work on your skills. 

Not sure what's the correct form? Google it!

Don't just leave it like that because that's not how you learn.

You have to work hard and be persistant. 

Language learning is a life long journey. 

You never stop learning. You never stop developing.

Are you making any of these common mistakes? Tell us more about your doubts in the comment section below.

Let's gather feedback from each other.

If you’re interested in improving your English, consider these excellent online learning resources: Kick off your journey with Babbel, offering user-friendly, engaging lessons tailored to fit seamlessly into your daily schedule. If you want something more in-depth, there's a great English course on Coursera that covers everything from the basics to more advanced topics. For a more personalized learning experience, connect with native English tutors on Preply, enhancing your speaking and comprehension skills. Take advantage of a 50% discount on your first Preply session by using this link.

Why some mistakes are frequently made?

There are such words as homophones and they cause a lot of complications for language learners.

How to stop making mistakes in English?

Don't be afraid of making mistakes, learn grammar rules and practice English as much as possible.

How to react if someone corrects your English?

Thank the person, who corrects your mistakes, next time you will be more attentive and won't make them.

How to overcome most common mistakes in English?

To overcome all the common mistakes you need some time and practice.

Do native speakers make common English mistakes?

All people make mistakes sometimes, but native speakers make less mistakes than language learners.

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