Mistakes we make while speaking English part-1..



The girl next door is as cute as a button, but when she opens her mouth, her English is bad enough to get her sent back to kindergarten! Well, it's a common enough problem today --



almost everyone is mourning the lack of fluency in English among our school and college-going generation, as well as in the new entrants into the work force.



Presented here are a few English bloopers sent in by our readers -- they are good lesson in the English language!

Let's start off with a few common blunders that reader Sunita R Kamath comes across frequently:





1. ~ "It was a blunder mistake."

Correction, people! The word 'blunder' means mistake, so you could say:

~ "It was a blunder," or

~ "It was a big mistake."



2. ~ "It would have been more better."

The word 'better' itself implies that the option in question is superior -- the use of the word 'more' in the sentence is, therefore both inappropriate and unnecessary. Thus the correct sentence would go as follows:



~ "It would have been better."



3. ~ "Why don't he get married?"

The term 'don't' applies when discussing a plural subject. For instance, "Why don't they get married?" The right way to phrase that sentence would be:



~ "Why doesn't he get married?"



4. ~ "I want two Xeroxes of this card."

The term 'Xerox' is used in North American English as a verb. Actually, 'Xerox' is the name of a company that supplies photocopiers! The correct thing to say, therefore, would be:



~ "I want two photocopies of this card."



5. ~ "Your hairs are looking silky today."

This is one of the most common Indian bloopers! The plural of 'hair' is 'hair'! Thus:



~ "Your hair is looking silky today."



Get Ahead reader Nasreen Haque says, "We must realise that English is not the native language of Indians. Having said that, we should tell ourselves, 'Yeah, I could go wrong and I could make innumerable mistakes, but of course there is always room for improvement.'"



Here are a few bloopers Nasreen has across often:



1. ~ Loose vs lose:



Many people make this mistake. They inevitably interchange the words 'loose' and 'lose' while writing. 'Lose' means to 'suffer a loss or defeat'. Thus, you would write:



~ 'I don't want to lose you," and not ' don't want to loose you.'



'Loose', on the other hand, means 'not firm' or 'not fitting.' In this context, you would write,



~ "My shirt is loose," not "My shirt is lose."





2. ~ "One of my friend lives in Kolkata."

This is one of the most common Indian English bloopers ever! The correct way of putting that is:



"One of my friends lives in Kolkata."



Why? Because the sentence implies that you have many friends who live in Kolkata, but you are referring to only one of these friends.



3. ~ Tension-inducing tenses.

People often use the wrong tense in their sentences. For instance, someone might say:

~ "I didn't cried when I saw the movie."



Unfortunately, the word 'didn't' is never followed by a past tense verb, in this case 'cried'. The correct way of putting it would be:



~ "I didn't cry when I saw the movie."





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Mistakes we make while speaking English Part-2.......



English is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. After all, you have to keep in mind all the exceptions, rules, irregular tenses and other oddities.

Don't abandon hope if you're having trouble. Keep reading our reader-driven, English bloopers series, and before long you'll be an expert!

Today, we look at contributions from Karan Shah and Shihari BN.

Karan, a 21-year-old English student in New Delhi, says that many people make mistakes with irregular nouns, especially when changing them into plural form. He provided the following list:

~ I bought new furnitures for the bedroom.

~ Please bring along the film equipments!

~ Display the datas in a graph.

~ Did you see the deers in the forest?

~ There were many pretty womans at the party!

~ What were the different criterias for joining?

~ I'm interested in misunderstood phenomenas.

The common problem linking these bloopers is using the incorrect plural form of the noun. All of them have 's' added on to the end when it is unnecessary. The correct version would be:

~ I bought new furniture for the bedroom. (Furniture is plural as well as singular.)

~ Please bring along the film equipment! (Equipment is plural as well as singular.)

~ Display the data in a graph. (Datum is singular; data is plural.)

~ Did you see the deer in the forest? (Deer is singular and plural.)

~ There were many pretty women at the party! (Woman is singular; women is plural.)

~ What were the different criteria for joining? (Criterion is singular; criteria is plural.)

~ I'm interested in misunderstood phenomena. (Phenomenon is singular; phenomena is plural.)

Srihari, a 36-year-old from Bangalore working in IT enabled services, sent a few bloopers he commonly hears in office.

Blooper no 1:

~ Every Sunday, I take headbath.

The correct version should be:

~ Every Sunday, I wash my hair.

Blooper no 2:

~ I sended that parcel.

This is common mistake. English has many irregular verbs in the past tense. Sent is the past form of send.

~ I sent that parcel.

Blooper no 3:

~ I will call you today night.

Just dissecting the word, to-day, shows the origin. It means during the day. Therefore, you should use to-night.

~ I will call you tonight

Blooper no 4:

~ Can I have your name?

~ Can I go to the toilet?

~ Can I hold your hand?

This is one of the most common misuses of a word in the English language. Of course you *can* have someone's name, just as easily as you *can* go the toilet or hold someone's hand. Can means whether or not you are able to do it. May means whether or not you have permission to do it.

~ May I have your name?

~ May I go to the toilet?

~ May I hold your hand?

We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing. This is the 2nd in a series of articles featuring your response.

If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list of common bloopers, along with their correct alternative to --

we'll highlight them right here as a helpful guide to those trying to improve their English.

Also make sure you include your FULL NAME, AGE, OCCUPATION and the CITY you are based in.

*****************************

Mistakes we make while speaking English Part-3..



Terrible grammar and error-riddled speech is frequently a problem for young adults.



Poor English makes you sound unprofessional and can lead to laughs at your expense! If you need to touch up on your English, or just want a few giggles, read on!







Continuing our user-driven series on common English bloopers, let's highlight a few mistakes overhead by Rediff.com users.



Shilpa Archaya sent several bloopers she encounters frequently.



~ Please return my book back.

~ Could you repeat that last line again?





In both cases, the final word is redundant. When you return a book, you give it back to the owner. When you repeat a line, you're saying it again. They should read:



~ Please return my book.

~ Could you repeat that last line?



Shilpa also noted the following common mistake.



~ I, my sister and Deepa went to the mall



'I' and 'me' are always placed at the end of a list of names/ pronouns. The correct usage is:



~ My sister, Deepa and I went to the mall.



SM Hussein from Andhra Pradesh notes the prevalence of other redundancies:



~ The fish aquarium is very large.

~ The dance ballet was lovely.



In both cases, the descriptive word is unnecessary. An aquarium houses fish and a ballet is always a dance! The correct usage is simply:



~ The aquarium is very large.

~ The ballet was lovely.



Another mistake Hussein hears frequently:



~ I could not able to do it, sir.



In this case, either able should be removed or could should be replaced with was. Here are the two correct possibilities:



~ I could not do it, sir.

~ I was not able to do it, sir.



Later this week, we'll provide gut-busting bloopers arising from errant Hindi-English translations!



*****************************

English bloopers.. Part-4 of Mistakes we make while speaking English

Praveen Madhukar Naik, Gurmeet Singh Mehtab

T he most humorous and head-scratching bloopers occur when many of us attempt to translate from our mother-tongue directly into English. The results can be hard on the ears and embarrassing for the speaker.

Our reader-driven series on English bloopers reaches its fourth instalment; today we look at erroneous translations overhead by our readers.

Praveen Madhukar Naik, 26 from Bangalore, repeatedly hears these three mistakes.

~ "He said me to go."

This is the result of a direct translation. In English, direct commands and directions are given using the verb 'tell'. In this case, we use the past tense of 'tell' -- told

~ "He told me to go"

~ "Please on the fan!"

Praveen finds this is the most irritating blooper, because he hears it every day! In English 'on' is not an action verb in the traditional sense; the 'on' must be qualified with a verb!

~ "Please turn on the fan" or "Please switch on the fan"

~ "He is my cousin brother."

This is another mistake caused by a direct translation; it can be heard in all strata of society. English does not contain a separation/ qualification for female or male cousins, so the correct way to use it would be:

~ "He is my cousin."

Gurmeet Singh Mehtab, a corporate language trainer in Mumbai, teaches English everyday. In Gurmeet's experience, people normally make mistakes with words which cannot be visualised independently.

These include helping verbs, prepositions, modals, conjunctions and articles. Here are a few recurring bloopers heard frequently by Gurmeet.

"He has eaten a mango yesterday."

When speaking of the past, helping verbs like have and has should not be used. Instead, the correct conjugation of the verb, in this case 'ate', is required.

~ He ate a mango yesterday

Then, there's this:

~ "He is loving Sangita!"

The 'is' is unnecessary in these cases. When showing sustained or continuous action from a verb, the verb alone suffices. This kind of error is the result of a direct translation from the mother tongue into English.

~ "He loves Sangita!"

Here's another common one:

~ "I am standing on the bus stop."

In English, the preposition 'on' signals being above, or literally on top of, something; it is rarely used as an indicator of location. Instead, use the preposition 'at'.

~ "I am standing at the bus stop."

That's all for today! Please check later this week for more reader-submitted English bloopers.

DON'T MISS!

part-1 ,2 and 3 of the series... if you have not received you can mail and request for the same hope you can improve your mistakes in English by our series....

We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing. This is the fourth in a series of articles featuring your response.

*****************************

More English bloopers.. Part-5 of Mistakes we make while speaking English



Most of us are fairly comfortable speaking English informally, even if it is our second language. However, when we have to put down something in writing, we panic!

Continuing our English-bloopers series, let's look at a few more reader submissions. This time, they all deal with English as a written language.

Mohammed Irfan, from Brook Software Systems, sent these spelling mistakes he comes across in written documents:

Wrong spelling Correct spelling

Pronounciation Pronunciation

Ballon Balloon

Grammer Grammar

Truly Truly

Recieved Received

Occassion Occasion



Rajiv Raghunath, with Conversant Info Solutions in New Delhi, finds other common errors while editing business letters and other forms of writing.

~ I am quiet certain that I paid the fee.

~ I could hear quite music in the distance.

While you may be certain that you paid the fee, no one will know if you remain 'quiet'. Likewise, 'quite' music makes no sense. The authors mixed up the spellings of 'quite' (very) and 'quiet' (a soft sound).

The correct version would be:

~ I am quite certain that I paid the fee.

~ I could hear quiet music in the distance.

Here's another common error

~ Did you go their as well?

~ I gave you they're contact details in my last e-mail.

~ There going to the office tomorrow.

There/ they're/ their are used mistakenly all the time. Their is a possessive pronoun; while they're is a contraction of 'they are.'

So, if you were using the correct words, you would write:

~ Did you go there as well?

~ I gave you their contact details in my last e-mail.

~ They're going to the office tomorrow.

Here are some more common mistakes people make:

~ There are meetings at 2 pm and at 5 pm, with a brake in between.

~ Will changing jobs hurt my carrier?

Again, here, the wrong spelling has been used for similar sounding words. A 'brake' is a restraint used to stop a vehicle. A carrier is someone or something that carries objects, like a carrier ship.

The correct words to use here would be:

~ There are meetings at 2 pm and at 5 pm, with a break in between.

~ Will changing jobs hurt my career?

That's all for today, but remember, writing in English can sometimes be especially tricky! You need to be careful; mistakes like these can make your letters seem unprofessional.



DON'T MISS!

part-1 ,2 and 3 of the series... if you have not received you can mail and request for the same hope you can improve your mistakes in English by our series....

We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing. This is the fifth in a series of articles featuring your response.

*****************************

More English bloopers.. Part-6 of Mistakes we make while speaking English............



English is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. After all, you have to keep in mind all the exceptions, rules, irregular tenses and other oddities.



Don't abandon hope if you're having trouble. Keep reading our reader-driven, English bloopers series, and before long you'll be an expert!

Today, we look at contributions from Karan Shah and Shihari BN.

Karan, a 21-year-old English student in New Delhi, says that many people make mistakes with irregular nouns, especially when changing them into plural form. He provided the following list:

~ I bought new furnitures for the bedroom.

~ Please bring along the film equipments!

~ Display the datas in a graph.

~ Did you see the deers in the forest?

~ There were many pretty womans at the party!

~ What were the different criterias for joining?

~ I'm interested in misunderstood phenomenas.



The common problem linking these bloopers is using the incorrect plural form of the noun. All of them have 's' added on to the end when it is unnecessary. The correct version would be:

~ I bought new furniture for the bedroom. (Furniture is plural as well as singular.)



~ Please bring along the film equipment! (Equipment is plural as well as singular.)



~ Display the data in a graph. (Datum is singular; data is plural.)



~ Did you see the deer in the forest? (Deer is singular and plural.)



~ There were many pretty women at the party! (Woman is singular; women is plural.)

~ What were the different criteria for joining? (Criterion is singular; criteria is plural.)



~ I'm interested in misunderstood phenomena. (Phenomenon is singular; phenomena is plural.)



Srihari, a 36-year-old from Bangalore working in IT enabled services, sent a few bloopers he commonly hears in office.



Blooper no 1:

~ Every Sunday, I take headbath.



The correct version should be:



~ Every Sunday, I wash my hair.

Blooper no 2:



~ I sended that parcel.

This is common mistake. English has many irregular verbs in the past tense. Sent is the past form of send.



The correct version should be:



~ I sent that parcel.



Blooper no 3:

~ I will call you today night.

Just dissecting the word, to-day, shows the origin. It means during the day. Therefore, you should use to-night.

The correct version should be:

~ I will call you tonight



Blooper no 4:

~ Can I have your name?

~ Can I go to the toilet?

~ Can I hold your hand?

This is one of the most common misuses of a word in the English language. Of course you *can* have someone's name, just as easily as you *can* go the toilet or hold someone's hand. Can means whether or not you are able to do it. May means whether or not you have permission to do it.

The correct version should be:

~ May I have your name?

~ May I go to the toilet?

~ May I hold your hand?

We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing.



This is the sixth in a series of articles featuring your response.



If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list of common bloopers, along with their correct alternative



we'll highlight them right here as a helpful guide to those trying to improve their English.



Also make sure you include your FULL NAME, AGE, OCCUPATION and the CITY you are based in

*****************************

Mistakes we make while speaking English part-7.......



We asked for your help, and the result has been overwhelming! The mail from readers continues to pour in, containing some of the funniest gut-busters and gaffes we've ever heard.





It's not all about the laughs, though. Teens and young adults must have a firm grasp of English as they enter college and the work force. Today, we focus on some of the more mundane rules of grammar, and other oddities of the English language.

First, let's highlight the bloopers sent by Sri Madhuri Vardhinedi, a 29-year-old technical recruiter in Hyderabad. He sent these gems:

1. The concerned person is not there

Read literally, this means the worried person is not present. What the speaker actually meant to say is that the person who is involved is not present. The correct way to say this would be:



~ The person concerned is not there.



2. We discussed about the project.

This is a blunder. Discussed is an action verb; therefore, it must be followed by the object. Adding 'about' is unnecessary and improper. So it would be:

~ We discussed the project.



3. Anyways, afterwards we went to the party.

Here, the word anyway has an 's' attached improperly. In US English, afterward is acceptable, but 'anyways' is NEVER acceptable. The correct way to say this would be:

~ Anyway, afterwards we went to the party.







Not to be outdone, Ashok Seshadri, a 26 year old software engineer from Chicago , USA, sent us some common errors he's encountered in both America and India.



1. I practice cricket every morning.

2. Practise makes perfect.

Practice is a noun and practise is a verb. This also happens with advise/ advice. Here's the correct version.

~ I practise cricket every morning.

~ Practice makes perfect.



Here's another one:





3. There was a tough contest among Australia and South Africa.



4. The prize will be divided between the three groups.

'Between' is used when there are two objects. 'Among' is used when there are more than two objects. Therefore, it should be:



~ There was a tough contest between Australia and South Africa.



~ The prize will be divided among the three groups.

5. I haven't found it nowhere.

6. He didn't do nothing at office!

In both cases, the speaker uses the dreaded 'double-negative'. The second negative in English, unlike most languages, cancels the effect of the first negative. The result is that the speaker is saying the exact opposite of what her or she intends! It should be:

~ I haven't found it anywhere.

~ He didn't do anything at office.



We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing. This is the seventh in a series of articles featuring your response.

*****************************

Mistakes we make while speaking English part-8.......



English errors are common at the office, home, school and even in the movies!

So, with everyone else making mistakes, why should you worry about it?

Well, speaking and writing proper English is one way to make you stand above the crowd. If a job opening comes down to you and another applicant, wouldn't you want your interview and resume free of mistakes?

On that note, let's begin another series of English Bloopers, provided by rediff.com users. Today, we look at mistakes from both written and spoken English, all noticed by observant readers and e-mailed to the Get Ahead team.



Vasantha Balsubramanian, from Chennai, hears mistakes in the classroom everyday. She sent these gaffes along:

1. One of my student wanted a book.

Even though you are talking about an individual student, you are still mentioning them as part of a larger group. Therefore, it should be students instead of student.

~ One of my students wanted a book.

2. She do not know the answer.

This is one of those tricky parts of English, verb conjugations. The verb 'do' stays as 'do' for first-person singular/ plural, second-person singular/ plural and third-person plural. For third-person singular, however, it changes to 'does'. It should be:

~ She does not know the answer.

3. The examinations are preponed.

We've received countless e-mails identifying this mistake. Preponed is supposed to be the opposite of postponed, only there's a problem -- preponed isn't in the English dictionary! Instead, use advanced.

~ The examinations are advanced.



Manas Joshi, a 19 year old student from St Xavier's College, Mumbai, hears English mistakes all across the metropolis. Most of them are the result of a direct translations of Hindi/ Marthi to English.

1. Have you removed tickets?



This is an exact translation from the Hindi/ Marathi version: 'Ticket nikala kya?'/ 'Ticket kaadhle kaa?' It should be:

~ Have you bought the tickets?

2. You are a doctor, no?

This is another common mistake, probably arising as a result of a direct translation from Hindi. We always add 'na' on to the end of each sentence.! It should be:

~ Aren't you a doctor? OR Are you a doctor?

3. He is very heighted.

There is no such word as 'heighted' in the English language. You could say, 'he has height' but this would be awkward. Instead, try:

~ He is very tall.

4. I went there, only.

Again, this is another common mistake. One hears it so frequently that it doesn't even sound like a mistake! It also arises from literal translations of Hindi. Most of the time, 'only' can be cut from your speech.

~ I went there.

Courtesy,,

Syed Hassan Ali

Senior Support Operations (Team Lead)

Apex Technology Systems

From India, Coimbatore
Thank you Mr. Peer Mohamed. Very informative. Your post reminds me the Proverb , "Small things can make perfection but perfection is not a small thing". Regards, Kumanan. A
From India, Madras
DON'T MISS!
part-1 ,2 and 3 of the series... if you have not received you can mail and request for the same hope you can "improve your mistakes in English" by our series....
Here we have eanother one
:arrow: Improve your Mistakes


Dear Sir,
A very nice post. informative and influencing
Here something i found out is----
Rajiv Raghunath, with Conversant Info Solutions in New Delhi, finds other common errors while editing business letters and other forms of writing.
~ I am quiet certain that I paid the fee. ~ I could hear quite music in the distance.
While you may be certain that you paid the fee, no one will know if you remain 'quiet'. Likewise, 'quite' music makes no sense. The authors mixed up the spellings of 'quite' (very) and 'quiet' (a soft sound).
The correct version would be:
~ I am quite certain that I paid the fee.
~ I could hear quiet music in the distance.
There is no difference between the error and correct statement.
Request you to comment on the following statements which are also common........
1. Lot of peoples attended the International conference on "Advances in pollution control " held at New York last month.
2. I will be able to do that task alone.
thanks

From Czech Republic, Mlada Boleslav
Thanks Sir! Good post!
Would like to add one more Americanism which is wrong, grammatically.
The peculiar expression is- "I am hurting" or "He is hurting".
What is being communicated here is that their is pain which he/she is undergoing at the moment.
Grammatically, it would mean that the subject is in the act of hurting (inflicting pain on somebody); but that is not what is intended by the colloquial usage.
There are more colloquial ways to use 'hurting' in AmE. Sometimes 'hurting' used informally to describe a person or thing which is in bad shape/condition or isn't working properly.
For example:
- If my car is running, but just barely, I might tell you that 'my car is really hurting'.
- If John is broke, I might tell you that 'he's hurting for money'.
In the Indian context though, we have not caught up with the Americans on this expression.

From India, Gurgaon
hi
Mr. Peer
thanks for for your efforts that you put in to this posting..
you have reminded me what i have studied like tenses, verbs, proverbs, etc. in the school days which we may not use in our daily conversations.
regards,
Kalyani.

From United States, Marina Del Rey
hello Mr Peer
Thanks for the Post Really helpful & good.
dis is swetha im from bangalore. i studied in kannada medium so dt im very poor in english. imworking in a mnc as a receptionist but imworking all the hr works except screning the resume , hiring the candidates.
here immaintaing leave mgt, attendance, colleting employee like i can do all the asst hr jobs but my communication is poor. nw imsearching for a job inmy resume i mentiond working as a admin executive. pls tell me wt i have mentioned is it ok. my communication is bad but i can improve just i need ur help pls tell me hw can i improve my cmmunication.
here my hr & manager allare teasing my communication pls help me bossssssssss
waiting for ur replay
thanks & regards
Swetha

From India, Bangalore
As always a veryy good contribution Sir!!
Thank u
Hi Anamika as to ur query:
The use of advice and advise is as follows:
He gave me a good advice
I advised him.
Advice acts as a noun while advise is a verb.
I hope its clear.
Cheers [:)]

From India, Calcutta
Hi all,
I thank Mr. Sardhar for posting these "Bloopers". However, before others start to cut and paste more bloopers, sent to them by mail by others, let me guide you to a website which has 27 such parts.
The website is BPO (Business Process Outsourcing): Mistakes we make while speaking English Part-1
found by searching the Web using Google.
BPO (Business Process Outsourcing): Mistakes we make while speaking English Part-1
Have a nice day.
Simhan
A retired Academic

From United Kingdom
Really a good one. I have put in over 8 years in the recruitment industry and not a day would have passed without a grammatical blunder. My life is full of anecdotes. One very common one is when people introduce themselves as - myself....(name).
Thakns for the post
Regards,
Rajni Gopal
Cucumber Consultants #2, Jai Nagar Colony,
Tadbund Hanuman Temple Road,
Sikh Village,
Secunderabad-500 009.INDIA
Ph:+91 40 40141090 (Direct), Mobile: +91 9704501747
,
Cucumber Consultants - Recruitments, Staffing, Training

From India, Hyderabad

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