Jeri Trull
English Mistakes Even Native Speakers Make

Everyone makes mistakes. I wanted to share some common mistakes that I have seen native English speaking friends, colleagues, teachers, and family make! I hope this is helpful. Please ask any questions you might have or practice using some of these tough words below!

1. They're, Their, There

They're --> They are

I think they're coming to the party.

Their --> possession

 Their cat ran away.

There --> place

I want to go there.

Everyone I know has gotten these wrong at some point!!

2. "I could care less" --> "I couldn't care less."

This is for situations you truly don't care about. When you ex-partner starts dating someone new and you tell your friend, "I could care less!!!" This is incorrect, but a common mistake. It should be "I couldn't care less."

I could care less --> Suggests you do care already 

I couldn't care less/ I could not care less --> Suggests you don't care AT ALL so it is impossible to care even less. 

CORRECT: I couldn't care less about sports.

3. Except/Accept

They sound exactly the same, but mean something completely different. 

I will expect an invitation to the party.

        --> They think they will get an invitation to the party. 

I would accept an invitation to the party.

        --> They would say yes to an invitation to the party. 

In the comments below can anyone explain this sentence?? --> I except she will accept an invitation to the party.

4. Envy / Jealousy

People think they mean the same thing, but there is a subtle difference.

Envy = you want what someone else has (usually objects or good fortune)

I am envious of my friend's car. 

I envy her good luck.

Jealousy = used in terms of relationships or partners

I was jealous when my boyfriend danced with her. 

My partner was jealous she asked for my number. 

5. Since/Because

Incorrect: I want to go since it will be fun. NOOOOOOOOOO

Correct: I want to go because it will be fun.

Since is used with time:

    Since I graduated, I have started exercising. 

Because is used for causation (why or how something happened)

    I have more time to exercise because I graduated.

Mar 5, 2017 7:25 PM
Comments · 10
Hi Natalya. The "d" in that sentence stands for "would".
"When I was a child I would wear clothes handed down by my sisters."
March 5, 2017

1) Although it is illogical, and although it is a usage that has only become current in my lifetime, "I could care less," meaning "I couldn't care less," isn't really a mistake. It's informal, it's colloquial, but at this point in time, it's accepted. It seems to have emerged in the 1960s and might be related to Yiddish-influenced New York Jewish regional speech. See:

It's just like "cheap at half the price," which logically should be "cheap at twice the price."

2) I have to disagree with you on #5. Because is one of the legitimate meanings of the word since. See

(American Heritage dictionary)

conj. 3. Inasmuch as; because: Since you're not interested, I won't tell you about it.


[conjunction] For the reason that; because.
‘delegates were delighted, since better protection of rhino reserves will help protect other rare species’

March 6, 2017

I agree with everything you wrote EXCEPT that I would use  "since" in more situations than just those having to do with time .  It doesn't sound wrong to me to say " I want to go to that party , since I know that movie stars will be there."

Another mistake native speakers frequently make is " '.... the reason for that is because etc... 


March 5, 2017

Hello Jeri! This is a very useful and encouraging information. I didn't know only about "care less". 

Could you explain another thing please? What is the "d" in the past sentences like "When I was a child I'd wear clothes handed down by my sisters." 

March 5, 2017
Thanks a lot! ;)
March 5, 2017
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