Most Common Mistakes In English

We prepared for you the list of most common mistakes in English that can help you to speak like a native and to improve your language skills day by day.

Misplaced apostrophes: Your/you’re

The difference between these two is:

“Your” means something belonging to you

while

“You’re” means “you are”

Similarly Its/it’s

The most common mistakes in English
The most common mistakes in English

 

Commas

The missing or misplaced comma can change the meaning of the sentence.

Mistakes in English
Commas

Let’s eat, Grandpa – asks Grandpa to join the speaker in having a meal

Mistakes in English
Commas: to be or not to be

Let’s eat Grandpa – suggests that it’s time to eat Grandpa


A woman, without her man, is nothing. – this sentence suggests that a woman is nothing without her man.


A woman: without her, man is nothing.  – while this sentence claims the exact opposite, that a man is nothing without his woman.

 

Two negatives

Double negatives are seldom used in English, in contrast to some other languages. A sentence doesn’t exactly make a positive statement if two negatives are used in it, but it is considered incorrect.

I don’t want nothing from you.  (in old English this could emphasize the negative, while in current English it can be taken to indicate a positive meaning. Any which way, it is an incorrect statement).

I don’t want anything from you.

 

Exchanging similar sounding words

 Affect / Effect

The lightning affected the tree.

The effect of the lightning was that the tree burned down.

Mistakes in English
Affect/Effect

 

Accept / Except

Accept – to receive, to include

Except – to exclude

Try not to mix: accept and except
Accept/Except

We accept everybody, except you.

Whether / Weather

Whether – if

Weather – referring to atmospheric conditions

Whether you like it or not, the weather will be like this.

 

Then/than

Then – next, later, after

Than – for comparing

Than VS Then
Than VS Then

 

Between / Among

The word ‘between’ normally refers to two items or people, while the word ‘among’ refers to multiple items or people, as, for example:  ‘At the party, I sat down between two good friends’ or ‘At the party, I enjoyed being among many interesting people

Between
Between

Between

Among
Among

Learn more about teaching English abroad, you can read our article here.

Photos: Shutterstock / Graphic Design for the purpose of this article: Martina Advaney

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