Common mistakes in English – Part 1

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We all love to speak in English language. It makes us feel advanced. However, when we speak it wrongly, the impression that we intend to create on our audience is nullified. In fact, it leaves them horrified.

We have compiled a list of 10 common mistakes that we often notice in usage of English language among Indians.

1) Past tense after ‘did’

This is the most common mistake people make. Remember, ‘did’ should never be followed by the past tense.
Incorrect: He did gave me the gift.
Correct: He did give me the gift.

2) Difference between take exam and give exam

A student never gives an exam. He takes an exam. A teacher gives an exam.
Remember it this way – A teachers gives papers to students; a student takes a paper from a teacher.

3) Return back/ Repeat again or revert back

Return means ‘go back,’ so no need to add ‘back’ to the word.
Similarly, repeat means ‘doing again,’ hence no need to use again with ‘repeat.’
And, revert means ‘go back’ or ‘return to.’ Do we need to repeat the logic?

4) One of the common mistakes we make is to use singular noun after ‘one of the’

Incorrect: Agatha Christie is one of the well-known author in the world.
Correct: Agatha Christie is one of the well-known authors in the world.

5) Incorrect: Write between 500 to 700 words.

It is wrong to say ‘between 500 to 700.’ Between requires two values or objects, hence correct usage is ‘between 500 and 700.’
Correct: Write between 500 and 700 words.

READ ALSO: Common Mistakes in English – 2

6) Comprise means ‘consist of,’ so no need to repeat ‘of.’

Incorrect: Our country comprises of 29 states.
Correct: Our country comprises 29 states.

7) Can and May

‘Can’ indicates an ability to do something while ‘may’ signifies asking for permission for doing something.
Incorrect: Can I take this book?
Here, you are questioning your ability to take a book. Instead, use “May I take this book?” as you want to ask for someone’s permission.

8) Cousin and Cousin Brother/Sister

How often we hear ‘my cousin sister or brother.’ Cousin is used for both the sexes – male or female. Hence, it is incorrect to say “He is my cousin brother”“He is my cousin” is enough.

9) Order for/Discuss about

Incorrect: Let’s order for dinner
Correct: Let’s order dinner
You order something, not ‘order for’ – hence the preposition ‘for’ is unnecessary.
Similarly, you discuss something and not ‘discuss about.’
Incorrect: We will discuss about the issues.
Correct: We will discuss the issues.
However, one can say – We will hold discussion about the issues.

10)  Mr and Mrs

They should be used either with the full names or last names. Using them with a first name is wrong. For example, Mr Barrack Obama or Mr Obama is correct. Mr Barrack is wrong.
Also, nowadays it is outdated to use Mrs or Miss for females. Use ‘Ms’ instead. Whether a woman is married or single is no one’s business.

Can you think of more such mistakes? Well, send them across and we will keep on updating the list.

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