Mistakes are normal when you are learning English or any other language. In fact, most teachers welcome mistakes, because it means you are trying!
Of course, it helps to know what mistakes you keep repeating. This way, you can correct the mistake before it becomes a habit.
Here is a quick list of common grammatical mistakes English learners make. Being aware of these will help you improve your language accuracy.
1. Wrong subject-verb agreement. The basic rule is: Subjects and verbs must agree with one another in number.
Incorrect: The books
Correct: The books are old.
Incorrect: The boy
have been to Paris.
Correct: The boy has been to Paris.
There are exceptions. For example, when you are using the simple past tense with action verbs, subject-verb agreement is not an issue.
The girl baked a chocolate cake.
The girls baked a chocolate cake.
Just remember the basic rule! Here is a useful introduction to subject-verb agreement from YourDictionary. We’ll talk about subject-verb agreement some more in another post.
2. Wrong pronouns. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Here are some examples of pronouns: she, he, it, they, something, and someone.
Incorrect: Miguel loves sports.
She plays football and tennis.
Correct: Miguel loves sports. He plays football and tennis.
Incorrect: Are you cooking? I smell
someone burning in the kitchen.
Correct: Are you cooking? I smell something burning in the kitchen.
Be careful when choosing what pronoun to use. Check out this helpful introduction to pronouns by Grammarly. You can also start studying pronouns with this list from The British Council and this list from the Cambridge Dictionary.
3. Wrong preposition. This one is tricky for many English learners, because there are many prepositions and the rules are not very clear.
Prepositions show the relationships between nouns and pronouns and other words in a sentence. They give us information, like the position of an object or when an event happens.
Incorrect: The cake is
in the table.
Correct: The cake is on the table.
Incorrect: She will go to school
Correct: She will go to school on Monday.
There is no shortcut to learning how to use prepositions, but it’s not difficult. You just need to be familiar with their common usage. Here’s a quick introduction to prepositions, also from Grammarly.
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