• Are You Making These 5 Common English Mistakes?

    If you are taking classes with LOI, your English level is probably improving quickly.  Hopefully you are feeling more comfortable and fluent each day.  Sometimes, though, it can be hard to break the habits of our native language, and we make errors like the ones
    we’ll discuss today.  We’re going to take a look at several common mistakes make by English learners.  If you realize you have said these things, take a minute to learn how to correct it and practice.  By the time you finish reading this post you’ll be able to impress your friends or colleagues with your skills.


    1. “have so many money.”  “I have a few money.”  “There were so much people.”

    Many students have trouble using countable and uncountable nouns appropriately. 

    Let’s review:

    Countable nouns: can count (people, bottles, phones, bags)

    • Determiners: a/an, some, (number), these, fewer, a few, many

    Uncountable nouns: cannot count (milk, bread, money, sand, coffee, wine)

    • Determiners: some, this, less, so much, a little bit of, a lot of, 5 pieces/glasses/cups of

    Let’s practice:

    Write your answers in the comments section below.

    a.)  There were (so much/so many) people at the party.

    b.)  I have (a lot of/many) money.

    c.)  She ate (5 of/5 pieces of) bread.

    d.)  He has (less/few) milk.

    e.)  My mom has (some/an) iPhone.

    If you’d like to keep learning about this topic, click here for a review of countable and uncountable nouns.

    2.  “I like to see movies.”  “My trip was very funny.”

    There are some words that are often mixed up.  Let’s review:

    • Fun; enjoyable (My vacation was fun.)
    • Funny; humorous  (The comedian is funny.)
    • Bored; someone is not interested in a person/event (The students are bored.)
    • Boring; use to describe something that makes us bored (The class is boring.)**
    • Look at; a passive, continuous action we choose to do (I’m looking at the flowers.)
    • See; passive, we do it without thinking when our eyes are open (I see a bus over there.)
    • Watch; continuous, voluntary, active (I watched TV for an hour last night).

    **Click here for a deeper review of bored vs. boring!

    Let’s practice!  Can you make a sentence with each of the words listed above?  Write them in the comments section.

    3.  “My dog it is big.”  “Is fun to read.”

    Repeating or omitting the subject is very common, especially for Spanish or Portuguese speakers.  Read more about this in Paul’s post here!

    Let’s review:

    • In English, the subject is separate from the verb.  The most basic sentence structure is:
      • Subject + Verb + Object/Adjective
      • My dog is big.

    Let’s practice:

    Correct the mistakes in the following sentences.  As usual, share your answers in the comments!

    a.)  Is fun to read.

    b.)  Is so bored my company.  (2 mistakes!)

    c.)  She is so nice Marcela.

    4.  “My birthday is on April”

    I have heard people say this one a lot, so don’t worry if you have too!  Prepositions are very difficult for English learners.

    Let’s review:

    • If we want to say the DATE of our birthday, we use ON.  For example, my birthday is ON November 15th.
    • If we want to say the MONTH of our birthday, we use IN.  For example, my birthday is IN November.

    So, for dates and days we use ON, and for months we use IN.

    Let’s practice:

    What you will be doing ON Sunday?  What do you usually do IN November?  What are you favorite activities to do OVER the winter?

    5.  “My sister has your party this weekend”

    This is another mistake I often hear from Spanish speakers.  This is because the pronouns ‘your’ and ‘his/her’ are both ‘su’ in Spanish.

    Let’s review possessive pronouns:

    • I = my  (I have my…)
    • you = your  (You have your…)
    • he = his  (He has his…)
    • she = her  (She has her…)
    • it = its  (It has its…)
    • we = our  (We have our…)

    Let’s practice:

    a.)  You look funny.  ____ hair is messy.

    b.)  Tom rides ___ bike in the rain.

    c.)  Susan hurt ___ leg.

    Great job!  If you’d like to learn more, check out these two posts about common mistakes and 10 ways to sound more fluent.  Of course the best way to learn is through practice with a native speaker, so book a class with an LOI instructor today!

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