9 Mistakes English Pros Want to Avoid [And How to Overcome Them!] (2023)

9 Mistakes English Pros Want to Avoid [And How to Overcome Them!] (1)

The fastest way to speak English well is to make mistakes, lots of them. As long as you understand what you're doing wrong and try something different next time, mistakes are a language learner's best friend! However, you can'tLearn from your mistakesif you don't know what they are...

That's why we rounded up 9 of the most common language mistakes English learners make, according to a variety of experts: college professors, English teachers, andFamous English YouTube Enthusiasts.

Nobody expects you to have perfect English, but absorbing the information in this article will make you seem more natural through some of the more difficult parts. That way any mistakes you make will be cool and original!

Common mistakes in English (and how to avoid them)

Most English errors occur when non-native speakers try to translate sentences directly from their native language. The mistakes you are prone to making usually depend on your native language and how the grammar and structure differ from English. However, here are some very common pitfalls:

1. Mix "borrow" and "borrow."

Washington State University professor Paul Brians has created his own encyclopediacommon mistakes in english. Just one of many examples? Some people use "borrow" when they really mean "borrow" or "borrow." For example, a non-native speaker might say:

  • Canborrowme a chewing gum?

If you think so:

  • Canloana draft for me?

In standard English, "to borrow" means to take something from someone, knowing that they will pay it back. To "borrow" or "borrow" means to give something to someone else for a short period of time.

How to avoid this error

Ask yourself: "In which direction is this object moving?"

← borrow ← [I] ← borrow ←

  • If an object moves away from you, do it.loanHe
  • When an object moves towards you, moveloanHe

You can also tell what the word is from the prepositions that surround it. we borrowed somethingforsomeone, but we borrowed somethingVonsomeone.

9 Mistakes English Pros Want to Avoid [And How to Overcome Them!] (2)


2. Confusing “me too” and “me too”.

supervisor,Muyahid B.You have noticed that many of your students are confusedthe difference between "me too" and "me too".

"The difference between 'me too' and 'me too' is that one is positive and the other is negative. The positive is “me too”, so for example if you say “I like to travel”, I would say “to me too”, which means “I also like to travel”.

On the other hand, if you say "I don't like extreme sports", if I agree with you, I would say "Me too", ie "I don't like extreme sports either". ”

How to avoid this error

One of the first things you'll learn in English class is how to agree with a positive "me too" statement. If you want to agree with a negative statement, say "I disagree." To remember this, learn the keywords for negative statements, including:

  • I don't like …
  • I hate…
  • I can not stand…

3. Say happy birthday to someone.

According to the ESL expertIt has been around, which is very common among English learnersComment your friends' birthdaysin a way that sounds strange.

"If it's someone's birthday, you can say Happy Birthday, you can send congratulations, but you can't really say 'congratulations' in English. In English, the word 'congratulations' is used to praise a person's achievement. However, if it's your birthday, it's just something that happens to you. It's not really an achievement. This error usually comes from translating your own language into English."

9 Mistakes English Pros Want to Avoid [And How to Overcome Them!] (3)

How to avoid this error

Instead of wishing the birthday girl "Happy Birthday," say "Happy Birthday!" or "I hope you're having a great day." Save "Congratulations" for when your English-speaking friends have accomplished something more active. For example, if someone gets married, gets a promotion, gets a new house, then say "Congratulations" because this is something completely new happening in your life!

In general, LinguaMarina advises that such mistakes can be avoided by trying to "think in English" instead of directly translating words from your native language.

4. Mix "from" and "to".

Vanessa, the teacher behind the YouTube channelEnglish with Vanessa, mentions that even some advanced English speakersconfuse "from" and "to"..

“I often hear people say, 'I've lived here for three years.' Too bad, because "I live here" is a nice beginning sentence, very advanced. However, the last part of this sentence contains an error. You should say: “I have lived here for three years.

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How to avoid this error

Unfortunately, there is no magic trick here! You just need to learn the two use cases ofoutsidemifor.

For = the duration or amount of time that something is happening.

  • i was a doctorfor5 years

From = point where something started that is still happening today.

  • i was a doctoroutside2016.

If you really have trouble remembering the difference, try listening.since you leftby Kelly Clarkson reading the lyrics. You'll notice that "since" is used here to refer to something that started in the past, Kelly's breakup with her mean boyfriend, which is still going on today. It's a pretty boring song... but hey, it works!

5. Say "eat" instead of "take" as medicine

According to Australian English expert Max deLearn English with max, many non-native English speakersmix your verbswhen it comes to medicines and drugs. You can say:

  • my head hurts so iCornersome painkillers

But the correct verb is:

  • my head hurts so ihe recordedsome painkillers

She explains:

“We use the verb 'take' for medicines, pills, vitamin pills, and drugs, including illegal drugs. In English we do not use "take" to talk about drinking or eating. We only use it for medicines and drugs.”

9 Mistakes English Pros Want to Avoid [And How to Overcome Them!] (4)

How to avoid this error

Practice! The next time you're feeling down, say the correct version out loud in English: "I am going tocarrySome medicine".
Alternatively, you could try watching an English TV show set in a hospital, e.g.PeelingoGrey's Anatomy. This way, you will always hear the correct verb to talk about medicine!

6. Mixing "Lay" and "Lie"

Sea Preply-Tutorleona, many learners of English are confused about the difference between "lay" and "lie".

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"Lie down and lie, don't lie, those two little three-letter words have been known to annoy English speakers and non-natives alike for over 700 years! So if you're feeling confused, you're in good company! I say that the best way to understand the difference between laymen and liars is to study the difference betweentransitive and intransitive verbs.“

Watch Leonah's full explanation of the difference between lying and lyingHere:

How to avoid this error

There is no escaping how confusing these two words are! If you're still stuck, check out this explanation of the difference betweenlying and lying in bedon the Preply Ask-a-Tutor forum. In the words of Preply tutor Leonah:

"Lay" means to put something on the ground, it is transitive and requires an object to act on. Like in:

  • He lowered his sword.

"Lying" means being in a flat position on a surface. "Lie" is intransitive and does not require an object to respond to. "Lie" describes something that either moves into position by itself or is already in position.

  • I decided to lie down.

Once you understand these definitions and want to make them permanent, you can use this mnemonic (memory tool):

  • LIE -> lean back

7. Use "no one" when you mean "someone."

According to Hridhaan, one of the moderators behind it.Learn English with Let's Talk, It is very common for non-native speakers to say "I haven't met anyone", which is incorrect. He explains:

"People say 'I haven't met anyone,' but the word nobody would be wrong in that sentence. The correct version is 'I didn't know anyone.' Do you know why? Because 'nobody' is not used in a sentence that already contains "not", a sentence that is already negative. If a sentence already contains a negative component, don't add another negative to it. You would say, "I haven't met anyone."

How to avoid this error

Read what "double negatives" are in English and why they are considered incorrect. This tip will also help you overcome mistake #2: confusing “me too” and “me neither”.

8. Use of "or" in general statements

Of course, this entire list could be items if we wanted to! Those little words can be a real nightmare for non-native speakers. RespectivelyY hay BBC Learning Englishmany non-native speakers use the definite article "the" when making a general statement.

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“This is old, but it's still complicated! Many advanced students still use the definite article when talking about a plural oruncountable noun. Remember that in English when we talk about anything in general, we don't use "the". For example, the sentence "Life is beautiful" is correct.

That doesn't mean we can't use "the", but when we do, we are specific and only mean one thing. For example: "I am reading about the life of Michael Jackson."

How to avoid this error

Remember that to use a specific article, you must be talking about something specific! Try to remember some specific examples of general statements, for example:

  • life is Beautiful
  • the war is terrible
  • Something that scares me is climate change

9. Use of incorrect grammar in affirmative statements

english teacherAliHe describes how many of his students use "I really like X" and "I really like X" when talking about something they like. It sure is easy to throw grammar out the window when you're passionate about something! This is what it says:

"Many of my students say, 'I love dogs so much!' I mean, yeah, me too, but that's a mistake. Just as often, students say, "I really like dogs. This is more common among Russian speakers. Both are mistakes, how can we fix them?" If you want to use "so much", you must first search for the object. So the correct version is: 'I like dogs so much!' Otherwise you should use a modifier instead of 'a lot', then it would be 'I really like dogs'

9 Mistakes English Pros Want to Avoid [And How to Overcome Them!] (5)

How to avoid this error

Remember: it is rare that you translate sentences directly into English from your native language. Even if you are an advanced student, memorizing a few sample sentences can be a big help. For example:

  • i really like itPancakes.
  • I likePancakes.
  • MeetingpancakesThey are amazing.

How can I speak English correctly?

Speaking English correctly is passion and attention to detail. You must be obsessed with the intricacies of grammar and the subtle meanings of words. You should also feel comfortable being corrected for your mistakes!

Fortunately, as we have seen, there are many passionate experts online who can inspire you to improve your English skills. You can also try conversation classes with an online tutor who will give you live feedback on how to improve and offer advice on how to form sentences more naturally.

No one speaks English 100% correctly, let alone native speakers! But by looking up lists of common mistakes like this one, you'll be well on your way to speaking as accurately as possible.

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