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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > some language mistakes in English    

some language mistakes in English


some language mistakes in English
Hello, i need your ideas about a topic. I am supposed to prepare a task with my firends. I have prepare a video related to "some language mistakes in English." For example; homophones or confusing words... these are my friends � topics. I have to think of different topics. can you suggest me different topics about what can be language mistakes in English? Waiting for your urgent reply; thanks...

21 Apr 2010      



What about the different pronunciation of "ough" - tough, bought, bough, through, though...etc (I think there are eight different pronunciations in total)?

Or the different uses of "get"?

Or is there a particular tense which native speakers in your country use incorrectly? For example, in Spain people would say this, "I live here since 9 years" but the correct English phrase is, "I �ve lived here for 9 years".

Good luck :)

21 Apr 2010     

United States

How about the difference between UK English and US English:
"He hit my budgie with a rubber, so I knocked-up his mother."  has a very different meaning in the USA than in the UK

21 Apr 2010     

Homeless Turtle
United States

I found this little gem on one of my favorite sites, www.espindle.com. I hope it helps!

We �ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
why shouldn �t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,
and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
why shouldn �t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
but though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.

Let �s face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren �t invented in England.
We take English for granted.
But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that
quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don �t fing, grocers
don �t groce and hammers don �t ham?
Doesn �t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not
one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get
rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn �t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and
play at a recital? We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

So if Dad is Pop, how come Mom isn �t Mop?

And I �ve often wondered: How come we park in a driveway and drive on
a parkway? Makes no sense!

21 Apr 2010     


Thank you so much for your ideas :)

21 Apr 2010     


Homeless Turtle, this is Fantastic!!  Thanks!

21 Apr 2010     


This is wonderful, thank you Turtle!

21 Apr 2010     

Puerto Rico

I think homophones are a great topic when dealing with common errors in English. I also suggest that you explore pronouns, especially its. Students always write it like it �s (with the apostrophe) which is the contraction for it is. Also, theirs is sometimes used like there �s.
Hope this may help, and best of lucks!

21 Apr 2010     


Wow, Turtle...This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!
Some common mistakes I �ve spotted among students are also these:
1. They get confused by "written" and spell "writting".
2. When they first learn the simple present and simple past, they seem to forget the verb "to be" and write things like "I don �t be" or "I didn �t be".
3. They also get confused when they have to write, for example the negative of the verb "do" as a main verb in the present simple and past simple. So, for instance, if the main verb in a sentence is "do" they write "I didn �t my homework", instead of " I didn �t do my homework".
4. They also tend to misspell "exercise" as "excercise", because they get confused by "excellent".
5...And how about "necessary"? They always add a double c, as well.
6. Last but not least, let �s not forget "Wooster" instead of "Worcester" and other pronunciation problems.
Hope that helps!

21 Apr 2010     


thank you all so much for your ideas, these will be very helpful!

23 Apr 2010