Common Mistakes in English

What are some common mistakes in English, and how can you avoid them ...


Incorrect: We had a lot of difficulty to find the place

Correct: We had a lot of difficulty ( in ) finding the place.

Incorrect: Killing the robbers are something the detective would not do.

Correct: Killing the robbers is something the detective would not do.

Incorrect: I was difficult to get a good job.

Correct: It was difficult to get a good job.

Incorrect: It is capable of getting his work done without help.

Correct: He is capable of getting his work done without help.

Incorrect: Rose is capable to cook Indian food

Correct: Rose is able to cook Indian food.

Incorrect: My father is busy in his business.

Correct: My father is busy with his business.

Incorrect: Sorry, Jane is busy with cleaning up her room.

Correct: Sorry, Jane is busy cleaning up her room.

Incorrect: I have watched some films late.

Correct: I have watched some films lately.


Incorrect: I was only late five minutes but Mary was already gone.

Correct: I was only five minutes late but Mary was already gone.


Incorrect: Lorna likes the kitten. I like it either 

Correct: Lorna likes the kitten. I like it too.


Incorrect: Edward never went to a party, so did David.

Correct: Edward never went to a party, neither did David.


Incorrect: I will go but I have not finished my homework too.

Correct: I will go but I have not finished my homework yet.


Incorrect: She is yet talking on the phone.

Correct: She is still talking on the phone.


Incorrect: Michelle is working hardly for the test.

Correct: Michelle is working hard for the test.


Incorrect: Veronica is a hard student.

Correct: Veronica is a hard-working student


Incorrect: He worked enough hard that he finally became a billionaire.

Correct: He worked so hard that he finally became a billionaire.


Incorrect: We have never been to so a nice place.

Correct: We have never been to such a nice place.


Incorrect: We have got such much to do but only so many hours in a day.

Correct: We have got so much to do but only so many hours in a day.


Incorrect: The old man was walking towards the entrance although it had closed slowly.

Correct: The old man was walking slowly towards the entrance although it had closed.


Incorrect: He has completed the course satisfactory.

Correct: He has completed the course satisfactorily.


Incorrect: My sister treats the baby motherly.

Correct: My sister treats the baby in a motherly way. 


Incorrect: Please give me a detail description of the robbery.

Correct: Please give me a detailed description of the robbery.


Incorrect: I want to know the detail of the plan.

Correct: I want to know the details of the plan.


Incorrect: It was a long time before when I met her for the first time.

Correct: It was a long time ago when I met her for the first time.


Incorrect: She has not told him her name ago.

Correct: She has not told him her name before.


Incorrect: Judy, as well as Joei,  play the piano.

Correct: Judy, as well as Joei,  plays the piano.


Incorrect: It is me who won the first prize last year.

Correct: It is I who won the first prize last year.


Incorrect: The standard of living of Singapore people are reasonably high.

Correct: The standard of living of Singapore people is reasonablyhigh.


Incorrect: I like apple.

Correct: I like apples.


Incorrect: An American old couple visited him last week.

Correct: An old American couple visited him last week.


Incorrect: Ball games is my hobby.

Correct: Ball games are my hobby.


Incorrect: Ten thousand dollars are a large sum of money.

Correct: Ten thousand dollars is a large sum of money.


Incorrect: Five years are much too long for me. I cannot wait.

Correct: Five years is much too long for me. I cannot wait.


Incorrect: The clerk and typist have been with this company fortwo years.

Correct: The clerk and typist has been with this company for two years.


Incorrect: The manager and the secretary was out.

Correct: The manager and the secretary were out.


Incorrect: Neither they nor I are to blame for this mistake.

Correct: Neither they nor I am to blame for this mistake.


Incorrect: Either of you have given me the gift.

Correct: Either of you has given me the gift.


Incorrect: Many people prefer to buy Malaysia products.

Correct: Many people prefer to buy Malaysian products.  


Incorrect: Japan spare parts are rather expensive nowadays.

Correct: Japanese spare parts are rather expensive nowadays.  


Incorrect: My cousin dead in that accident.

Correct: My cousin died in that accident.  


Incorrect: You have to on the switch before putting the disk in the computer.

Correct: You have to turn on the switch before putting the disk in the computer.  


Incorrect: My aim is to communicate clear and concise with my colleagues.

Correct: My aim is to communicate clearly and concisely with my colleagues.  


 Incorrect: He gave me useful advices.

Correct: He gave me useful advice.  


Incorrect: I like to eat good foods.

Correct: I like to eat good food.  


Incorrect: She bought two photos albums. 

Correct: She bought two photo albums.   


Incorrect: He has three son-in-laws. 

Correct: He has three sons-in-law.   


Incorrect: The passengers's luggage was misplaced.

Correct: The passengers' luggage was misplaced.



Incorrect: The football's players wives often watch them play.

Correct: The football players' wives often watch them play.  


 Incorrect: Please supply us with 12 pieces of cushion covers. 

Correct: Please supply us with 12 cushion covers.   


Incorrect: Do you like to play the badminton. 

Correct: Do you like to play badminton.  


Incorrect: I looked at me in the mirror.

Correct: I looked at myself in the mirror.  


Incorrect: He has a little interesting shop.

Correct: He has an interesting little shop.  


Incorrect: The frigthen women screamed.

Correct: The frightened women screamed.  


Incorrect: James is a matured man of forty.

Correct: James is a mature man of forty.  


Incorrect: Pak Dollah is very loved by his grandchildren.

Correct: Pak Dollah is much loved by his grandchildren.  


Incorrect: My report will stress on the problem of 'junk food'.

Correct: My report will stress the problem of 'junk food'.  


Incorrect: You shouldn't worry of getting married.

Correct: You shouldn't worry about getting married.


Incorrect: My writing needs to be improving. 

Correct: My writing needs to be improved.   


Incorrect: Since that incident, I followed my friend's advice.

Correct: Since that incident, I have followed my friend's advice.  


 Incorrect: Some badminton players face problems such as do not have a job. 

Correct: Some badminton players face problems such as not having a job.   


Incorrect: I think there will never be another singer as Sudirman.

Correct: I think there will never be another singer like Sudirman.  


Incorrect: You may need English in correspondence or meet foreigners. 

Correct: You may need to know English when writing to or meeting foreigners.   


Incorrect: This rice is not the same quality like you sold before.

Correct: This rice is not the same quality that you sold before.  


Incorrect: If we practice sports we will enjoy together.

Correct: If we play sports we will enjoy ourselves. 

OR

If we play sports we will enjoy it together.



Incorrect: Mary's friends advised her don't be so proud. 

Correct: Mary's friends advised her not to be so proud.   


Incorrect: I do not know why did this happen. 

Correct: I do not know why this happened.   


Incorrect: University life is not that hard as school life.

Correct: University life is not as hard as school life.


Incorrect: After the shower, the air was nice and cooling 

Correct: After the shower, the air was nice and cool 

The adjective for something which is at a fairly low temperature is “cool”. The word “cooling” is used for something which causes something else to become cool.     


Incorrect: The alphabets F.R.C.P. after his name show that he is a medical specialist.

Correct: The letters F.R.C.P. after his name show that he is a medical specialist.

The word for a single symbol used in the written form of a language is “letter”. An alphabet is a full collection of such letters.     


Incorrect: There were several incidences of burglary in that neighborhood.

Correct: There were several incidents of burglary in that neighborhood.

The word for an occurrence is “incident”, the plural of which is “incidents”. The word “incidence” indicates the level of an occurrence.      


Incorrect: You must return back the book by next Friday or you'll be fined.

Correct: You must return the book by next Friday or you'll be fined.  


Incorrect: They came out of the blues and snatched my dog away.

Correct: They came out of the blue and snatched my dog away.  


Incorrect: Two hundred over people were present at the meeting.

Correct: Over two hundred people were present at the meeting.  


Incorrect: I cannot understand that map; it is too complicating.

Correct: I cannot understand that map; it is too complicated.  


Incorrect: I was boring watching that TV program.

Correct: I was bored watching that TV program.  


Incorrect: Why the postman did not come today ?

Correct: Why didn't the postman come today ?  


Incorrect: She will finish schooling in two years' time.

Correct: She will finish her schooling in two years' time.  


Incorrect: We'll get down at the next bus stop.

Correct: We'll get off at the next bus stop.    


Incorrect: Mr. Choy is the personal manager of the company.

Correct: Mr. Choy is the personnel manager of the company.


Incorrect: The wasteful usage of water in factories leads to a shortage of water.

Correct: The wasteful use of water in factories leads to a shortage of water.      


Incorrect: Twenty-five-year-old Thomas Pang is regarded as matured enough to be elected president of the party.

Correct: Twenty-five-year-old Thomas Pang is regarded as mature enough to be elected president of the party.

The past participle of the verb may also be used adjectivally, but it should not be used to refer to human being.


Incorrect: The presence of one corrupted member in the council led to bad administration.

Correct: The presence of one corrupt member in the council led to bad administration.

The past participles of the verbs may also be used adjectivally, but they should not be used to refer to human being.


Incorrect: The swimming pool is opened to club members five days a week.

Correct: The swimming pool is open to club members five days a week.  


Incorrect: He was so tensed before the interview that he had to take a tranquilliser.

Correct: He was so tense before the interview that he had to take a tranquilliser.  


Incorrect: I've waited three weeks but I didn't get a single mail.

Correct: I've waited three weeks but I didn't get any mail.


Incorrect: What kind of a flower is this ?

Correct: What kind of flower is this ?  


Incorrect: The gold is a kind of precious metal.

Correct: Gold is a kind of precious metal.  


Incorrect: Where are you going for the Deepavali ?

Correct: Where are you going for Deepavali ?  


Incorrect: Do you play the table tennis ?

Correct: Do you play table tennis ?


Incorrect: She is taller compared to Ali.

Correct: She is taller than Ali.    


Incorrect: I hope you would do it quickly.

Correct: I hope you will do it quickly/

In Standard English would is used in conjunction with the past tense. It can be used with the present tense if a condition is involved. eg. [ I think she would benefit if she studied a little more. ]   


Incorrect: I want to know what is the matter.

Correct: I want to know what the matter is.    


Incorrect: He cut his hair.

Correct: He had his hair cut.  


Incorrect: I'm having a headache.

Correct: I have a headache. OR I've got a headache.  

Have/has is used to refer to possession ( I have a car ) or sensation ( I have a cold )   


Incorrect: I'll give to you next week.

Correct: I'll give it to you next week.  


Incorrect: My one is very nice.

Correct: Mine is very nice.  


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Common Mistakes in English

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