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Why You Should Learn About Common English Mistakes

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Teaching Methodology

Why You Should Learn About Common English Mistakes

Have you ever made a mistake while speaking in English? Perhaps you have had some awkward English language situations.

For example, after English class you want to give your teacher a compliment, so you say, “You teach English good.”

It took quite a bit of courage to speak with your teacher directly.

She says, “You think I teach English well? Thank you!” Ah, you forgot that you should not use “good” to describe a verb. Instead you should use “well” to describe a verb. English is so tricky. Instead of feeling pride in your attempt to speak—which is what you should always feel—you begin to feel ashamed of your grammatical mistake.

Here’s another example. Perhaps a good English-speaking friend of yours is moving away to another town or another country. To say goodbye, you tell them, “I will always forget you.” He begins to laugh, and says, “I will never forget you either.”

Later, you realize that you mixed up the words “forget” and “always,” and so the meaning of your well-rehearsed farewell speech makes you feel foolish.

Many English students seem obsessed with perfecting their language learning, and become frustrated when they make errors and spend hours trying to correct those errors. Shame and embarrassment bother every one of us from time to time.

However, while you might try to prepare for embarrassing moments, you can never fully prevent them. With a little bit of skill, those uncomfortable moments can turn into opportunities for learning, humor and maybe even friendship.

It might be a relief for some to learn that even native speakers make mistakes. So before we make fun of non-native English speakers, it’s important to realize that native speakers make mistakes all the time.

For example, on English-language TV programs, characters often say things like, “This is your guy’s cat, right?” Actually, that sentence is supposed to be, “This cat belongs to you guys, right?”

Television writers might be trying to match the level of correct English grammar spoken in “the real world,” but they end up creating more errors than they know.

After all, many beginner English language learners are watching TV to learn how to improve their grammar. Misunderstandings and confusions occur when English mistakes prevent clear communication. Many of these problems can exist in both written and spoken English.

Native English speakers also replace “good” with “well” all the time, so if you’ve ever done it, you’re definitely not the only one!

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