There can be thousands of little mistakes you can make when talking English, those little mistakes might not seem like a lot to you but they are. If you make these small mistakes might not seem like a lot to you but they are.
These mistakes make you sound less confident, less professional, and more faulty. No this way you are never going to make a good impression on the people that you are interacting with. Probably you are not gonna get a job, miss out on a business deal, or simply not leave a good impression on the people around you.
So what can you do about all this mess? Well, we have got you covered and we present you the & pro tips to avoid mistakes when learning English.
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1. Using False Cognates
A false cognate is a word that arrives from a different language (with the same form or a changed form) that may not have a similar meaning to the meaning that the word holds from the language that it arrived at. So cognates are etymologically related whereas false cognates aren’t etymologically related. These false cognates mainly create confusion when stating the meaning of a word and lead to errors. For example, I went to the library to buy some books. “The library” here is the false cognate, cause it means a bookstore in French whereas in English it means a place for borrowing books. So the correction would be a “bookshop”.
2. Using Incorrect Articles
The use of incorrect articles is probably the most common mistake that speakers make when starting out and even pro speakers sometimes make this mistake (It’s just that common) The mistake here is missing out on an article, using “a” instead of “the”, using “a” instead of “an’ or vice-versa, etc. Firstly you need to have a clear concept about the usage of articles, and by clear we mean to steer clear. Basically, “the” is to define special or specific things, “a” is to identify common things, and “an” is to use before consonants. But there are some more details that you need to keep in mind when using these.
3. Trying to Memorize Tons of Words at Once
It is another common mistake that learners make. This mostly happens due to over-excitement or because of being over-intimidated. It’s just one of these two things. There are tons and tons of words in English and even native speakers don’t deal with all of these, maybe using 2-3k words regularly. So you don’t need to memorize all these words, memorize the ones used very regularly. The thing is you don’t need all these words if not you are someone directly working on a language, like a teacher or a translator or someone like that. Besides, the internet is always there to help you whenever you are stuck with a word.
4. The Uses of “what” and “which”
We often tend to mix these two words up because we don’t know the correct place and the purpose of using them. What is used to ask a question when the question can be answered with any of a number of things. On the other hand, Which is used when the question can only be answered with a limited number of things. So “what” doesn’t have bounds and “which” does. For example: What one of these do you prefer? It’s simply incorrect. Correction: Which one of these do you prefer?
5. Forgetting about Listening
The learners get so very obsessed with learning speaking and writing when learning a language they completely ignore the listening activities. The learners might develop an idea of having dazzling speaking, reading, or writing skills but they can get completely lost when they try to communicate in real life or listen to others talking. They don’t get a hold of whatever the other person’s saying and even misinterpret their words. So to avoid these, you can listen to podcasts, songs, radio, and watch movies. Just keep in mind that you have to practice listening to English daily.
6. Spending All of Your Time with Stuffy Books
Going only by the textbooks is a common thing that learners do but this is a grave mistake to make. Using a book as your only reference will probably teach you a bunch of grammar rules, and build a rich vocabulary but this won’t help you communicate in real life. You see, in real life people don’t talk abiding by all the grammar rules and don’t sound all so formal. And you are never gonna learn jokes, idioms, cultural references, regional dialects, and all if you are only using a book. So just don’t make it your only guidance, expand your area of learning English.
7. Making Mistakes When Using Prepositions
There are over 150 different prepositions in English and there are so many rules for using them. It’s quite difficult trying to memorize all these prepositions and the rules. But it’s an even bigger problem when you are constantly using the wrong prepositions, it’s a big no-no. So what can we do here? Well, firstly stick to the basics, find out which preposition makes sense, and then over time, you will master it and discontinue making mistakes. For example, I have to get to the end. It’s incorrect, because “to” creates a relation between words. Correction: I have to get to the end.
And we are at the very end of this article, you have got to admit it, it was fun debunking some common myths that you had about learning English. And knowing that the myths are just myths and finding out the common grammatical errors that you make sure is a relief. Now that you know these errors try not to make them and to apply the tips that you learned above in your English learning journey. We wish you all the luck with your journey and hope that you make the most of it. Good luck and happy reading.
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