How to fix 10 common mistakes in English

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Advanced English Grammar Course

#1 – It is very important practice English.

The correct sentence is: It is very important to practice English.

In this structure, when a verb is used after an adjective, the verb is in the to-infinitive:

  • It’s better to apologize.
  • It’s great to see you!
  • It’s difficult to find a parking spot.

#2 – I want to take part of the event.

The correct sentence is: I want to take part in the event.

The expression “take part in” is an informal way to say “participate in.” 

The expression “part of” means a piece of, or some of:

  • Part of this apple is rotten.
  • I’m glad to be part of the team.

#3 – These are my favorites shoes.

The correct sentence is: These are my favorite shoes.

Adjectives are always singular in English, even if the noun is plural!

  • Our house has three small rooms.
  • The forest is filled with giant trees.
  • I have a couple of friendly dogs.

#4a – She takes always a long time to finish.

The correct sentence is: She always takes a long time to finish.

The word “always” comes before the main verb, which in this sentence is “takes.” Here are more examples:

  • We always take the bus to school.
  • always forget to close the window.
  • You always think you’re right.

#4b – He always is late.

The correct sentence is: He is always late / He’s always late.

The only exception to the rule is when the verb is a form of “to be” – in this case, “always” comes after “to be”:

  • We‘re always tired at the end of the day.
  • was always the top student in my class.

In the future, the word “always” comes in the middle: “will always be”:

  • She will always be my best friend.
  • These heroes will always be remembered.

#5 – I couldn’t attend to the class yesterday.

The correct sentence is: I couldn’t attend the class yeterday.

When you are present in a place, use the verb attend without “to”:

  • attend a meeting
  • attend a conference
  • attend a seminar

The expression “attend to” means something different – it means to deal with some business or take care of something:

  • I have to attend to some important matters.
  • Paramedics attended to the victims of the accident.

#6 – We arrived to the airport at 3:00.

The correct sentence is: We arrived at the airport at 3:00.

We use go to and get to, but we arrive at a place and arrive in a city/country:

  • We got to the party just as it was starting. (more informal)
  • We arrived at the party just as it was starting.
  • If we take the express train, we’ll get to Berlin in an hour. (more informal)
  • If we take the express train, we’ll arrive in Berlin in an hour.

Note: the word home doesn’t take any prepositions:

  • We arrived home early.
  • We got home early.
  • Let’s go home.

#7 – The accident caused a lot of damages to the car.

The correct sentence is: The accident caused a lot of damage to the car.

Damage is considered an uncountable noun and is always singular. The word damage means harm or problems to an object or property.

The noun damages means something different – this word refers to the money awarded by the court to compensate for the damage. For example, if a faulty microwave explodes and causes damage to your house, the manufacturer of the microwave might have to pay damages to you so that you can repair your house.

Learn more: Difference between ACCIDENT and INCIDENT

#8 – My apartment is ten miles far from here.

The correct sentence is: My apartment is ten miles away from here.

You can also say: My apartment is ten miles from here. (without using “away”).

This is confusing because the question might ask “How far…?” – but we don’t use the word “far” when giving an answer with the specific distance:

  • How far is the nearest gas station?”
    “It’s about two blocks away.
  • How far is the museum from here?”
    “At least five miles – you should probably take the bus.”

You can only use “far” in the answer when saying “It’s not far.” (meaning it’s a short distance away) or “It’s pretty/quite/very far.” (meaning it’s a long distance away)

#9 – The boss requested me to send the information.

The correct sentences are:

  • The boss asked me to send the information. (less formal)
  • The boss requested that I send the information. (more formal)

After the word ask, we ALWAYS use a person:

  • They’re asking him for answers.
  • She asked me for a drink.
  • He asked us to take his picture.
  • I’m asking them to stop.

The word request is a more formal word. We do not use a person immediately after “request.”

  • They’re requesting answers.
  • She requested a drink.
  • He requested that we take his picture.
  • I’m requesting that they stop.

Notice the two different structures above:

  • ask + person + for + noun
    = request + noun
  • ask + person + to + verb
    = request + that + person + verb

#10 – On next Friday we’re going to Paris.

The correct sentence is: Next Friday we’re going to Paris.

When using next, last, and this, you don’t need to use a preposition:

  • Let’s get together this Saturday.
  • I went to Russia last July.
  • We’re going hiking next weekend.

Learn about another mistake to avoid: YOUR vs. YOU’RE

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How to fix 10 common mistakes in English Espresso English

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