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

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. In general, English has a Noun Phrase + Verb Phrase structure. For example, "I am hot". .

That said, the Verb Phrase could also contain a noun! "She is a girl", etc.

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

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.


1. Modal verbs (lead into "Amazons in Business" pdf and emphasise the use of modal verbs in this lesson!) 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.

2. Prepositions.
For example, "I am new by iTalki" (German).


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.


A Brazilian student says: "I am get a little nervous."
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!
"So let’s look at how you can add a little more variety to your English – by using more than one verb in the same sentence.

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. Difference between "advertisement" and "advertising" (Russian).

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. I noticed that at the beginning of the lesson, while you were talking, you sometimes got confused about 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. "Ticket's prices" (Ukrainian).

10. "A customer of us." (German)

11. "We haven't such reactors in Kazakhstan" (Russian speaker.)

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).

15. "Some of rules" (Kazakhstan.)

16. "They have afraid of people." (Brazilian.)

17. "Don't bring me your problems, bring me your decisions." (Russian.).

18. "In 2015 people, who were aged 20 to 29, were in the ideal weight range." (Russian punctuation)

19. "We have 10 degrees here" (Pronouns: See page 75 of Alex's IELTS Textbook).

20. "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." (Russian).

22. "I like to watch the football." (Portuguese).

23. "There is no any heating systems in Cyprus." (Russian).

24. "I want to know how can I learn English." (Russian).

25. "I used to live near the Seoul." (Korean).

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".

Difference between "could", "should" and "must" (they seem to be the same in Russian!)

Some common mistakes from this page: Common Errors.

Use of "when" in the past tense.

Before vs until.

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

"as well as / as well" Almost vs Most
"Most" is for an unspecified group of things; "most of" is for a specific group.


"The weather today is very well."

"Have many beaches in Florianopolis."

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. "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."

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."

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| Conversation Practice | Grammar Mistakes | Kids Classes | Test Preparation | Writing & Editing

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