Common English Mistakes
Answering a listener question, I talk about the top 5 most common mistakes that I hear English learners make and then give you my advice on how you can stop making them. Listen to the end to hear my bonus tip too.
1. For, Since, Ago
Many learners confuse these three words, and there are specific rules to use them correctly.
Used to show a length of time (1 minute, 1 day, 10 years…)
Can be used in any verb tense
I have been waiting for half an hour
I was waiting for 10 minutes
I will wait for 10 minutes
The time when something started that continues until today
Used with the Present Perfect tense
I have lived in England since the year 2000.
I have been eating dinner since 2pm.
The time when something happened in the past
Used with the Past Simple tense
I went to Japan 2 months ago.
2. Much vs Many
Many – Countable Nouns
Much – Uncountable nouns
1 Computer, 2 computers, 3 computers (countable)
There are so many computers.
Bread, rice, water (uncountable)
There is so much rice on the table.
3. More Better
We don’t need to say “more better” or “more bigger”. This is incorrect.
This is because “more” and “~er” have the same meaning.
The cat is bigger
He is better
“More” is used for nouns and long adjectives (3 syllables or more)
More people, more bananas (nouns)
More beautiful, more interesting (adjectives)
4. Talking About Time
8:00 – Eight o’ clock / eight
8:15 – Eight fifteen / quarter past eight
8:30 – Eight thirty / half past eight
8:45 – Eight forty five / quarter to nine
8:22 – Eight twenty two / Roughly quarter past eight
5. I Didn’t Do Nothing
Not and Nothing are both negative words, so when we say “I did not do nothing” that means I did something.
The correct way to say it is “I didn’t do anything”