This post is going to take a look at 10 typical errors committed by learners of English. There are often mistakes made when people use similar words such as MAKE or DO. We want to avoid mistakes like, I lost the bus last night. and make sure that we use the correct word, e.g. I missed the bus last night. Review the examples and try to avoid making the same mistakes.

 

Don´t be afraid of making mistakes as it is part of the process and the best way to learn.

 

Want/would like + that = I want that you help me with my homework.

We do not use want + clause, it is always want + infinitive. This can be confusing when there is an object. We use, I want you to help me with my homework. I want them to come to the party.

Be careful with the grammar structures that have VERB + OBJECT + INFINITIVE/GERUND.

 

Practice sports = I practice sport once a week.

Practice refers to repeating the same action again and again. We cannot practice sports, we DO sports. For instance, I do sport at least 3 times a week.

 

Career or degree = I am doing a career in teaching.

Be careful with false friends in English, a degree is what you study at university whereas a career is your working life. For example, I am doing a teaching degree in Birmingham.

 

Idiom or language = My favourite idiom is German.

This is another typical false friend. Idiom means an expression, for example “I am having a whale of a time”. A language is the word you are looking for. My favourite language is either Spanish or German.

 

During or for = I have been learning English during 6 months.

We use during + name of a time period for example, I relax during the summer because I study a lot during the winter. We use for + duration of time. For example, I have been living in Spain for 9 years.

 

People is … = In my city, people is friendly.

Again, this is a question of countable and uncountable nouns. In some languages people is an uncountable noun, but in English it is countable. One person, two people, three people; not persons. We say, people in Spain are very friendly. To avoid this mistake you can also use everyone or everybody + is. For instance, I think everyone in this class is very sociable.

 

Listen music = I listen music every day.

In English we always use listen to (something or somebody). This is a common word pattern that we need to review. Do not forget to include the preposition. For example, I always listen to my teacher in English class. 

 

Consist in = My job consists in working in a factory.

We say consist of and not consist in. Be careful with the use of prepositions as they can often change vary. For example,  My job consists of working in a large team to come up with innovative ideas.

 

Depend of = It depends of the day that you want to go.

This is another common error and it is based on a lack of understanding of common word patterns or prepositions (EXERCISES IN THE LINK). It happens because people directly translate- We use depend (on), for instance, My mood depends on many things. It depends (on) what time you want to go out.

 

Work or job, Travel or trip = I have a work in a hotel. I am going on a travel next week.

The difference between travel and trip or work and job is a matter of countable and uncountable nouns. 

 

Travel can be either a verb or a noun, but the noun is uncountable. We can say, I like travel (noun) or I like travelling (verb). But we must say a trip, I am going on a trip.

 

Work is uncountable but job is countable. We must say some work and not a work. For example, I have some work to do. Jobs are countable, for instance, I have a job.

 

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