5 Common English Grammar Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Today, let's explore five common mistakes that many non-native English speakers of ALL levels make and how to avoid them.
> Article Usage
Mistake: "This is beginning of the project."
Correction: "This is THE beginning of the project."
Articles are often used differently in other languages or don't exist at all, which can be especially challenging.
TIP: Practise using articles in different contexts to help train your memory.
> Verb Tenses
Mistake: "We’re having a new manager."
Correction: "We HAVE a new manager."
Common mistakes include using the wrong past tense form, confusing the present perfect and simple past tense, or using the present continuous tense when the simple present tense is more appropriate.
TIP: Identify the tense that you most struggle with and focus only on that one for a while.
> Word Order
Mistake: "They have meetings often."
Correction: "They OFTEN have meetings."
Most often you may struggle with word order due to the differing sentence structures of your native language.
TIP: Read extensively in English to expose yourself to natural word order patterns.
Mistake: "Do you go to lunch with your colleges?"
Correction: "Do you go to lunch with your COLLEAGUES?"
There are many words that sound or are spelled similarly, so mistaking one or two letters might change the meaning completely!
TIP: Make use of spell-checking tools and search in a dictionary (or just google it!) when you're not sure if it's the correct word.
> Reliance on Translation
Mistake: "I feel myself unhappy."
Correction: "I feel unhappy."
When you rely heavily on direct translations from your native language, you're more likely to use unnatural and sometimes nonsensical expressions in English.
TIP: Train yourself to think in English and begin to construct a sentence from scratch rather than translating in your head.
P.S. Which type of mistake do you often make?