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The most common mistakes made by learners of English

As students of the English Language, you need to have tips to focus your learning so that you can fine-tune your language skills. So, check these tips about the most common mistakes made by learners of English and allow them to help you to develop your skills. SEDA Online believes in education for everyone and we know you can achieve your goals with a little bit of guidance.

Pronunciation

  • Pronouncing silent letters; pronouncing the ‘t’ in ‘castle’.
  • Pronouncing the word ‘coffee’ as ‘cough’.
  • Pronouncing the word ‘of’ as ‘off’.
  • Pronouncing the letter ‘i’ consistently as /i:/ rather than one of its many proper pronunciations.
  • Using the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable of 3+ syllable words.
  • Pronouncing all words ending in -ed as ‘ED’.

Grammar

  • Using the wrong prepositions in the wrong context; ‘in home’ vs ‘at home’.
  • Confusing when to use to + inf. Verb, or gerund.

✓        “The importance of having a daily study routine’.

x         “The importance to have a daily study routine’.

  • Using question words… Who, What, Where, When, How, Why… properly.

✓         “How does this weekly routine work, to help me learn English?”

x          “How this week routine works to help me to learn English?”

  • How/when to use Present Perfect; have in present + past participle of main verb.
  • How/when to use Past Perfect; had + past participle of main verb.
  • How and when to use Conditionals.
  • Speaking in infinitives rather than conjugating verbs for their subject in the present.

✓         “She works at a hotel’.

x          “She work at a hotel’.

  • Using comparatives incorrectly by adding ‘more’ before an -er comparative.

✓         “Mark is taller than Tom”.

x          “Mark is more taller than Tom”.

  • Using superlatives incorrectly by adding ‘the most’ before an -est superlative.

✓         “Pistachio is the best flavour of gelato!”

x          “Pistachio is the most best flavour of gelato!”

  • Mixing comparatives with superlatives and vice versa.

The more best.            The more better.         The most better.


READ MORE: 45 words that differ from American to British English

Vocabulary

  • Thinking that vocabulary which looks and sounds similar to your own language is the same.

“Embarrassing” in English is not the same as “Embarazar” in Spanish.

  • Bad idea: Directly translating vocabulary words from your own language into English or entire sentences… the meaning is often not the same and you will confuse native speakers.

Google translate and direct translations are not always your friends… it’s the same for English speakers directly translating into another language; the translation can be wrong and very difficult to understand, or even insulting!

For some words and phrases, there are simply no direct translations from one language to the next, that’s what makes languages unique and fascinating. In these cases, we need to learn other words or phrases which, essentially have the same meaning.

Do you want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

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