Common grammatical mistakes, courtesy of Bing Image Create!

Common grammatical mistakes

FORMAL TEXTBOOKS OFTEN TEACH GRAMMAR IN A METHODICAL FASHION, STARTING WITH THE BASICS, AND THEN MOVING ON TO MORE ADVANCED STRUCTURES. This is not the way that native speakers learn grammar. Children seem to learn everything at once, intuitively. They will use everything at their disposal to get their message across.

Baudrillard claimed that we do not learn a language, a language learns us. Therefore, all we need to do is submit. According to Chomsky, we all have an inborn grammar, just waiting to be triggered. How we communicate our deep concepts, feelings and experiences depends on the grammatical structure of our mother tongue.


In general, English has a Noun Phrase + Verb Phrase structure. In the true spirit of recursion, the Verb Phrase can contain a noun, and the Noun Phrase can contain a verb!

For example:

Noun Phrase (NP) + Verb Phrase (VP)
I (NP) am hot (VP).
I (NP) like you (VP).
You (NP) like me (VP).
The person I like (NP) is you (VP).

As the Eurocentres Blog points out: "When you’re starting to learn English, you’ll probably want to keep things fairly simple.

"Using small, easy sentences – with a single subject, object and verb and a good way to build up your skills.

"But as you get more confident, you’ll probably want to learn to say a little more, right? And having to break everything up into basic sentences can be a little boring!"

It is good to start the package with a level assessment. This will pinpoint any weaknesses that you have. Alternatively, I could ask you to make a sentence in each of the 12 tenses, or identify the parts of speech.

Verb Tenses Game.

The Importance of Nuance

WHEN A CHILD hears his or her first noun, it is quite possible that there will be an article attached to it. Thus, in their minds, nouns and articles always go together and they perhaps never realize that articles are in fact a type of adjective. That is why in my Common Grammatical Mistakes lesson, I teach articles along with nouns.

It is worth noting that in some languages, such as Russian, there is no concept of modal verbs. In English they form the foundation of many grammatical functions, such as tenses, conditionals and so on.

At the start of course, teach students correct questions to ask the teacher, for example: "How should I say this?" There should also be an explanation of nuance. This is a critical factor in determining which type of tense you should use. Also, the introduction is a good chance to see where the student is making mistakes.

2. Prepositions.


THERE ARE 12 tenses in English. Students often confuse the Present Perfect and Past Simple tense. Often, my Chinese students use the present tense when describing past events.

Embedded questions and reported speech.

Most Common Mistakes

1. "Almost" vs "Most".
2. "Most" vs "most of". "Most" is for an unspecified group of things; "most of" is for a specific group. The same rule applies for "all" and "some".
3. Gerunds. For example, "I'm used to wake up early" (Spain.) Or, "I'm live in Sao Paulo." (Brazil) Or, "I'm try bookkeeping course or accounting" (Thai.)
4. "-ing" vs "-ed" adjectives (a mistake made by students from almost all countries.)
5. Use of "when" in the past tense.
6. Difference between "common" and "popular".
7. How to turn nouns to adjectives and verbs (and vice versa). Suffixes are useful in this regard.
8. PRONOUNS. For example, you said something like: “I will stay at your house in Canada”, when you meant to say, “I will stay at HER house.” Often, however, you corrected yourself, so you were aware that this was a mistake.

9. Compound nouns: for example, "ticket's prices" instead of "ticket prices".
15. "They have afraid of people." (Brazilian.)

Other common mistakes made by my students include:
Use of "you"... "When you turn 100, you get a letter from the Queen...")

Make vs do.

Many of my students get confused using verbs like "bring" and "take", "get" and "take", and “come” and “go”. Evidently, it seems that some of my students think that those verbs are interchangeable, but it is not so. While all of these verbs convey a sense of motion, different verbs are used indicate the direction of the movement. However, “bring” describes the movement of something toward a specified location (like here), whereas Jackson’s character wanted to go away (to a town). To be carried somewhere away, it is necessary to use the verb “take”.

From my side.

He said me/proposed me...

"Propose" instead of "offer".

Some common mistakes from this page: Common Errors.

Before vs until.

1. "Never had Reith seen so wary and self-contained a people."

"as well as / as well"


MISTAKES OFTEN stem from differences between English and the student's mother tongue. In Russian, for example, there is just one word for "advertisement" (a single ad) and "advertising" (the discipline or industry). They also get mixed up with modal verbs like "could", "should" and "must" (I guess this is not a grammatical problem per se!)


1. "The weather today is very well."


1. "A customer of us."
2. "I am new by iTalki."


1. "Each program is having its own requirements in terms of score and other criteria. Check eligibility requirement for Australia PR..."
2. "It doesn't have sense."
3. "We also having curries at this restaurant."


1. "I used to live near the Seoul."


1."Have many beaches in Florianopolis." (English is not a Pro Drop language, so the subject must be verbalized.)
2. "I like to watch the football."


1. "We are going with my wife..."
2. "Should" instead of "must".
3. "We haven't a banya here."
4. "We have 4 o'clock here."
5. "There is no any heating systems in Cyprus."
6. "What about my job? Well, it is very interested..."
6. "It is a bit artificial that the top person has Coronavirus."
7. "I've never met that word before."
8. "Hard sciences and technology are the subjects, which are essential in education of the majority of students and can help them to get better prepared for the professional adult life." (Punctuation mistake).
9. "Don't bring me your problems, bring me your decisions." (Collocation error).
11. "I want to know how can I learn English." (Russian).

12. "It is enough hot." (Russian)

13. "Homosexuality was completely restricted in the USSR" (Ukrainian.)

14. "It seemed a little doubtful at first because material doesn't circulate like it is today" (Russian).


1. Using "than" and "that" interchangeably.


COMPONENTS CAN be booked in one, five and lesson blocks:


1. Nouns + Articles (Page 1-3).
2. Pronouns (Page 4-6).
3. Action Verbs (Page 7).
4. Linking Verbs (Page 7-10).
5. Verb Phrases (Page 11).
6. Mixed Conditionals.
7. Present Perfect Tense

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