Sometimes making mistakes leads to great discoveries, I mean could you imagine a world without Slinkys or chocolate-chip cookies, c’mon! But when it comes to speaking a new language, unfortunately, making mistakes won’t lead to any priceless patents. So to help you avoid making any slip-ups, I’ve put together a list of 10 of the most common mistakes English learners make:
I’m thinking to buy a new car.
I’m thinking of/about buying a new car.
When we use the verb (to think) to express intention, we use the construction.
about + verb + -ing
I’m thinking about adopting a dog.
of + verb + -ing
I’m thinking of traveling abroad after high school.
Do you want that I close the window ?
Do you want me to close the window?
In English, we can’t follow the verb want with the pronoun that. The verb want is followed by the infinitive.
This afternoon, I will go to Central Park.
This afternoon, I’m going to Central Park.
When we are discussing our future plans, we use ‘GOING TO’ not ‘WILL’
What’s the difference? ‘Will’ and ‘be going to’ – For a more detailed explanation.
Let’s drop in on a conversation:
Mark: What are going to do this weekend?
Eva: I’m going to have a picnic in Central Park with some friends. Do you want to join?
Ali: Yea, that sounds fun!
I live near to a bakery.
I live near a bakery.
Unlike ‘close to’ , ‘near’ does not require the use of “to”
Let’s see it in use:
Ali: Where are you? I can’t see you guys.
Eva: We are sitting at the table near the front door.
When I will arrive, I’ll call you.
When I arrive, I’ll call you.
In time clauses with words like when, until , after we tend to use present tense forms to talk about the future.
Let’s look at a few more examples.
I’ll book a room when I will get paid on Friday.
I’ll book a room when I get paid on Friday.
When I will retire, I will move to the Caribbean.
When I retire, I will move to the Caribbean.
I lived in Brooklyn during 3 months.
I lived in Brooklyn for 3 months.
DURING + noun
I fell asleep during the movie.
The lights went off during the storm.
FOR + length of time
We’ve known each other for 10 years.
I lived in Spain for a couple of months.
I’m going to Paris for a couple weeks in June.
She said me that she found an apartment near Prospect Park.
She told me that she found an apartment near Prospect Park.
The easy way to think of say and tell is:
- You say something
- You tell someone something
Eva said that she was tired.
Eva told me that she was tired.
Can you give me some informations?
Can you give me some information?
Information is an uncountable noun. We cannot add an s to make it plural. The same rule applies to the word advice.
Ali: Can you give me some information about guided tours in NYC?
Ava: Sure, I have some good advice for you.
We’ve been to Chinatown yesterday.
We went to Chinatown yesterday.
We don’t use the present perfect tense (have/has +pp) to talk about a finished action when we have a finished time word (ex. yesterday, last night, in 2003, at 3pm). Instead, we use the simple past to talk about finished actions when we have a finished time word.
We’ve been to a nice Italian restaurant last night.
We went to a nice Italian restaurant last night.
I went to the store for buying a new coat.
I went to the store to buy a new coat.
A to-infinitive can be used to express purpose. It is used to explain why an action is done.
Let’s see another example:
She is going to Brooklyn School of Languages for improve her English.
She is going to Brooklyn School of Languages to improve her English.
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