I always suggest to my students that they hang out with English native speakers as this is a fast way to improve their English. I did the same thing when I lived in Japan and my Japanese improved quickly. However, native speakers make mistakes and these can be learnt by accident. So, I want to write about some typical mistakes English native speakers make so students can avoid using them 😊
See how many mistakes you can find in the email below ⬇️ (there are 9)
Hello, how are you? I am writing to you to ask you for some advise and to say hi to.
I would of written earlier if I had not been so busy, but I am working on Sunday’s now so I am pretty busy. Today is my day off and I am just laying on the couch so it’s a great time to write.
Your a very helpful person, I wanted to ask you about my friends and there business which is doing worse then when we last spoke….
Did you find all the mistakes? 📝
Let’s find out and see what is wrong with these mistakes.
- Advise is a verb. The noun is advice and in the sentence, we need a noun because we ask for something ( a noun).
- To is a preposition or part of the infinitive form of a verb (to + base verb) but in this context the word should be too which means also.
- Would of is not a grammatically correct structure at all as after modal verbs we always use the base verb. We use would + have + present participle to form part of a third conditional structure which is in the sentence.
- Sunday’s- we do not use apostrophes with plurals unless we want to show possession so the correct word is Sundays. Please see my blog post Apostrophes to show possession for more information on this.
- Laying is a transitive verb (it needs an object after it ) so the correct verb is lying as there is no object in the sentence and lying is an intransitive verb (it doesn’t take a direct object after it).
- Your is an adjective showing possession. We use is before nouns but in this sentence we need to use you are or you’re because lovely is an adjective and so we need the be verb which is ” are ” because the subject is “you”.
- You’re a very helpful person, I wanted to ask you …..This is a punctuation mistake called a comma splice and you can read more about it in my blog post comma splices .
- There shows existence but the possessive adjective their is needed in the sentence to show the business belongs to the friends.
- Then shows time or sequence and we need to use than here as the comparative is used.
Number six (your) is my pet hate (something I really don’t like at all ) but unfortunately, I see this a lot 😱
So, if you see any of these mistakes , please don’t use them and you may even want to teach your friends why they are wrong 😉