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English Grammar – Exploring and avoiding common mistakes

Published On: 05/21/2018

Every language student knows how difficult it can be to master the grammar of English at an advanced level. From making sure to use the correct unions of subjects and verbs, through the use of their and they're up to the proper use of in and on, the rules that govern English are not so easy to apply in each case. In this useful guide, we will explore some of the most common mistakes that English students make and at the same time, we will also give you some tips to avoid falling into these.

Every language student knows how difficult it can be to master the grammar of English at an advanced level. From making sure to use the correct unions of subjects and verbs, through the use of their and they're up to the proper use of in and on, the rules that govern English are not so easy to apply in each case. In this useful guide, we will explore some of the most common mistakes that English students make and at the same time, we will also give you some tips to avoid falling into these.

Verbs: Improperly using the 13 times

Did you know that in English, there are 13 verb tenses and that all of them are used to identify the past, present and future under different conditions? If you still get confused when discerning between when to use the simple past or the perfect past, or you cannot get your conjugations to be in the same time, you are not alone. Examples of the most common verb conjugations errors include:

  • Yesterday, I talk with my friend on the phone. (Incorrect conjugation, talked should be used instead)
  • I will graduate from university and found a fulfilling job. (Inconsistent conjugations, find should be used instead)

These are just two of the frequent faults regarding conjugation. But with 13 different options, potential errors multiply.

Confusion between the subject and object-pronouns

Pronouns take the place of nouns: Tim saw Sarah at the mall, and he said hello to her.

In the sentence above, he and she are pronouns that were used to replace Tim and Sarah respectively. The most common pronouns in English include: I, me, he, she, him, her, it and they. Many students struggle to understand when to use he instead of him, I instead of me and she instead of her. If you normally make this kind of mistake too, don’t worry, in fact, a lot of people do commit these kinds of faults. The important thing to emphasize here is that you must always give your best effort to reach an advanced understanding of the use of these grammatical structures.

The lack of consonant between subjects and verbs

Children play in the park, and the sun rises every morning. This sentence denotes a consonant between subjects and verbs. The singular subjects are conjugated with the singular verbal structures, and the same rule applies to the plural subjects. It's a pretty simple rule, but it's very easy to get lost along the way.

Misuse or absence of items

It is not surprising that the absence of articles is one of the most common grammatical errors. This is because the rules for the use of articles in English grammar are a bit confusing. For example, the article is usually omitted when using a plural noun as a direct object: I love cars. I like to eat apples. The prepositional phrases must also be taken into account to know which article should be used. Many of these require that the article be totally omitted.

In the vast majority of other cases, you will need an article (the, an, a). Yesterday, I rode bus can convey a comprehensible message, but people will notice the error immediately. In this case, you have omitted the use of the article the (The correct thing is to say: Yesterday, I rode the bus.)

Conclusion

Grammar is one of the dimensions of the language that many students choose to ignore until they can no longer do it. Submerging yourself in the rules of this discipline may not be your idea of ​​fun and play, but it will undoubtedly help you to speak English better. Ultimately, it is this detail that should motivate you to work on your grammar. Remember that slow but sure is the way to get anywhere. There is no point in filling you with complicated concepts at the beginning, instead, add new knowledge that you have little by little, and in a very short time, you will be surprised with the results.