10 mistakes in English that make even people with a good knowledge of the language

To speak English, stop panicking each failure. The publication “Lifehacker” collected 10 errors in English that we should pay attention to worry much.

10 ошибок в английском, которые делают даже люди с хорошим знанием языка

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1. To use the Past Simple instead of Past Perfect

Past Perfect is when something happened so long ago that no one remembers why you need to use it this time. If a bunch of exercises on past tenses fails, just hone Past Simple. And relax. In most cases it is enough to tell me all your adventures from the past.

To remember can the main function of the Past Perfect: something happened before something else. She had learnt Italian and then moved to Rome. — She learned Italian before moving to Rome. Past Perfect will help you make time accent. But anything globally will not change if you say She learnt Italian and moved to Rome. — She learned Italian and moved to Rome.

2. Say good instead of well

Confuse these words without a twinge of conscience — in most cases the meaning does not change. You can navigate this way: good is used as an adjective, that is, answers the question “What?”. He’s a good singer. He’s a good singer. At the same time well — an adverb and answers the question “How?”. He sings well. — He sings well.

Sometimes the difference is so thin that its barely visible. He did a good job. — He did a great job. He did the job well. — He is well coped with the task. In some cases, the value is changed, for example, Be good! means “Behave well” and Be well! is the wish of health.

3. Mix up phrasal verb

Dastardly phrasal verbs change their meaning depending on the preposition. To say pass away (to die) instead of pass out (lose consciousness) — is himself. But the reaction of the person you will realize they were wrong. Situation, where you split a pair, because they had confused make-up (put up) with the make out (kissing passionately), it is also quite mythical. Most likely, you just asked what you meant.

The main thing — do not avoid phrasal verbs because of the fear to say the wrong preposition. First, understand that this is a complicated topic. Second, these verbs allow you to succinctly Express the idea and make you cool.

4. To lose article

Articles — weird, incomprehensible English-speaking people. At first everything seems to be clear: before a noun you need to put a/an or the if we are talking about something specific. But then there are exceptions, abstract concepts, names of rivers and lakes, idioms and the desire to close that book and throw it out of my head.

A secret: even if you forget the article, you’ll know anyway. Add it where it’s not necessary, also not a big trouble. Much more important is not to hesitate to speak instead of remain silent and try to remember the rule. There is a small trick: when possible, use the possessive pronoun where there is doubt in the article. For example, my apple is the apple or an apple.

5. It is wrong to pronounce the name

Try to read these names of British cities: Loughborough, Leicester, Worcester, Hawick. Oops. But how these words are pronounced: Liboro, Leste, Waste, the Haiku. It is impossible to know exactly how to read all the names. So don’t beat yourself up if you made a mistake with the city name or even the name of the person. Just ask how to say it correctly.

Even in normal words it is not easy to say everything perfectly the first time. For example, the same combination of letters is read differently in the words tough (TAF), though (zo) and neighbour (of nebo). But English phonetics should not confuse you: if you only knew how many foreign tears shed over our letters u, W, C and h and the hard and soft signs is actually completely discourage the desire to go into the jungle Russian.

6. To screw around with the gerund

A gerund is a verb ending in -ing that is used as a noun. The exact analogue of the gerund in the Russian language there. Remember the main thing: and I like to read books and I like reading books means you love to read. Just the option with the gerund emphasizes that you enjoyable the reading process and not just something from books, you learn something new. At this pay attention to is that linguistic nerds.

But sometimes treacherous gerund can change the meaning of the sentence. For example, Go on reading the article to continue reading the article and Go on to read the article — go read the article after the other classes. She quit working here means that she’s no longer here. But She quit to work here — she quit her former job to work here. It is a difficult language point, but over time you will learn to tell the difference.

7. To confuse singular and plural

Here precisely it is necessary to understand the basic rules: when to add s (spoiler — almost always), and when es. Learn words‑exceptions that do not change shape, like fish. Other more complex nuances, you can learn endlessly. English has many nouns that seem to be single, in fact, used in the plural. And Vice versa. For example, the word “police” — a plural: The police are coming. — The police are coming. At the same time the “news” we need to be in the singular: The news is good. Good news.

The word “money” is also always singular: Money is never enough. — Money does not happen much. Experts say stock markets monies to the value of “sum of money”, but it’s jargon. Don’t try this at home. Few people know that the names of the football clubs is also often used in the plural. If you are a fan of Chelsea to say Chelsea are the best football club in the world.

8. Not to understand a set expression

Idioms — a strange thing from a different culture, and there is no shame in not knowing all the expressions. Even a perfectly speaking in Russian, a foreigner can enter into a stupor phrases such as “I bet” or “the munchies”. The same situation with English. If you do not understand that to pull somebody’s leg — do not pull someone’s leg, a trick, nothing bad will happen. In conversation you can always just ask again, what man has in mind. But if a strange expression was found in the series — Google translation.

Keep a separate dictionary of idioms and reread the record. Gradually you remember that phrase It’s not rocket science — it’s not about spaceships, but about something easy to understand. And to hang somebody out to dry means to leave a person without help, and not dry. To beat around the bush — is not about beating the bushes. The expression means “to beat around the Bush”, “to avoid the main issue”.

9. Don’t know when to say whom instead of who

To properly ask the question “who are you going on vacation?”, you need to say: Whom are you going on vacation with? But few remember this. When it comes to choosing between who and whom, can be confused even by native speakers. To help yourself because if the answer is the nominative case, the question should be put who. For example, Who is taking the dog out today? He is. — “Who today walk the dog? He.” If the response will need to tell him, the question is whom. For example, Whom do you believe? I believe him. — “Who do you believe? I believe him.”

In spoken English whom is often omitted. Therefore, despite the fact that is grammatically correct is To whom are you talking?, most people will say Who are you talking to? But if you are using a formal style, about whom should not be forgotten. For example, the phrase in the letter “For presentation at requirements” in English sounds To whom it may concern.

10. Choose the wrong future

It seems that in English so many ways to tell the future that it is easier to live in the present. Don’t tell anyone, but the difference in the future most often insignificant. So you still will not be misunderstood. The only way to understand the nuances is to try, to fail and to try again.

To start you can navigate, without going into details:

  • Future Simple often means a spontaneous decision.

I will cook chicken for dinner tonight. — I thought that dinner: chicken.

  • Present Continuous describes a precise plan.

I am cooking chicken for dinner tonight, you should come over! — Today I cooked chicken for dinner, come visit us!

  • To be going to emphasizes your intention.

I am going to cook chicken for dinner tonight, unless my husband got us something else. — I’m going to make chicken for dinner if my husband hasn’t bought something else.

  • Future Continuous emphasizes the duration of action.

Don’t bother me for the next two hours, I will be cooking. — Don’t bother me in the next two hours, I’ll cook.

  • Future Perfect says the action will end in the future.

Talk to me in two hours, I will have cooked dinner by then. — Talk to you in two hours, I just pogotovu dinner.

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