Mastering the English Language - Common Errors, Tips and Techniques

Mastering the English Language – Common Errors, Tips and Techniques

Are you new to the English language or looking for ways to improve? Learning a new language always has its own perks. The way you approach the language decides how quickly and how well you would acquire the language. Knowing how and when to use a particular grammatical component will be of great benefit to you when you begin to communicate your thoughts and ideas. Let us now look at some of the tips and techniques you can follow to enhance your language learning process. 

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to speak the English language without a, an and the? Articles in English are inevitable, and language, without it, would be meaningless and vague. Faulty use of articles is one of the most common errors in the English language. The only thing that you have got to remember when using articles is that the definite article ‘the’ is used before nouns that are specific, in the plural form and also before adjectives used in the superlative form. The indefinite articles – ‘a’ and ‘an’ are used to determine common nouns that occur in the singular form. Now, using the indefinite articles should be done with a little care. ‘An’, especially, is used before nouns that begin with a vowel sound and ‘a’ is used before singular nouns that have a consonant sound at the beginning of the word. 

The next grammatical component that is considered unavoidable and fundamental to a sentence is the verb. Verbs, as you already know, are words that represent the actions performed by the noun in the sentence. They come in different forms and are used in accordance with the tense in the sentence. When you sit down to learn verbs, ‘what is tense’ should be a question that pops up in your mind. Understanding and practising the use of tenses is the key to using error-free language. Working out grammar exercises based on tenses and reading books, newspapers, and magazines will help you comprehend how it is used. 

Mastering the English language can be done only with constant practice. Everytime you learn a new language, finding out the most common errors made by users of the language will always be of great help. You can try out omission exercises or error-correction exercises to help you with this. However, here are some tips that will help you avoid the most common mistakes. 

  • One of the most frequent mistakes made by users of the English language is the use of the verbs ‘can’ and ‘be able to’. Most often, it is found that people use both the verbs together. Remember that both the verbs are synonymous, and only either of the verbs can be used. For example: I can understand, or I am able to understand – both mean the same thing. 
  • Another common mistake is the use of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. While both have different meanings, many language users are seen to use these interchangeably in writing. ‘Your’ is a pronoun as in ‘Which is your bag?’ and ‘you’re’ is a contraction of ‘you are’ as in You’re invited to the party’.
  • The usage of ‘whose’ and ‘who’s’ is the next common error. ‘Whose’ is mostly used as a possessive adjective, whereas ‘who’s’ is the contracted form of ‘who is’. For example:
    • Whose car is parked in B1? 
    • Do you know who’s hosting the ceremony?
  • The usage of ‘who’ and ‘whom’ is also seen to cause confusion among English speakers. Both pronouns cannot be used interchangeably as ‘who’ is a subject pronoun, and ‘whom’ is an object pronoun. For example:
    • Is this the man who lives next door?
    • To whom did you give the money?
  • The usage of ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ is another error mostly found in writing. Check out the following examples.
    • There is a church down the street. (Pronoun)
    • Their house is on 6th street. (Possessive Pronoun)
    • They’re on their way. (Contraction of ‘they are’)

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