Six English grammar mistakes you might be making

Advanced English Grammar Course
Hello! It’s Shayna from EspressoEnglish.net, and in today’s lesson I’m going to show you six mistakes that real students of mine have made – and you might be making, too! The purpose of this lesson is not to make you feel bad about those mistakes, but instead to learn from them.

One problem with language learning is that if you make a fairly minor mistake that doesn’t affect communication, native speakers often don’t correct you because they understood what you meant in general and they don’t want to make you feel bad by pointing out an error in your grammar. And then you might go on making the same mistake for months or even years.

If you want to get your English corrected by a teacher, join my Advanced English Grammar Course, which includes writing tasks that you can send me for correction.

Let’s take a look at these mistakes – and their corrections.

INCORRECT: Playing sports makes me to feel good.

CORRECT: Playing sports makes me feel good.

When we use the structure “make + someone/something” take an action (meaning to cause that person or thing to take the action), we don’t use the word “to.”

The verb “let” is also like this:

  • Incorrect: I let my kids to stay up late.
  • Correct: I let my kids stay up late.

INCORRECT: They got married in October 5th.

CORRECT: They got married on October 5th.

We say “in October” if we say ONLY month, without specifying the day. But if we say the specific date, then we say “on October 5th.” Always use “on” with days: on Monday, on the first of June, on my birthday.

INCORRECT: I bought several stuffs at the store.

CORRECT: I bought several things at the store.

CORRECT: I bought some stuff at the store.

The word “stuff” is considered an “uncountable” noun in English – it is always singular, even when it refers to multiple things. The word “things” is a “countable” noun – it can be singular or plural.

With countable nouns like things, we can use the words many, a few, and several.

With uncountable nouns like stuff, we need to use different words: much, a little, and some. (“Some” can be used with countable nouns, too – some books, some tools, etc.)

INCORRECT: I played the piano when I was child.

CORRECT: I played the piano when I was a child.

OR: I played the piano when I was young.

We say “a child,” “a teenager,” and “an adult,” because these are all countable nouns.

“Young” is an adjective, so we do not need to use “a.”

INCORRECT: There’s a cabinet below of the sink.

CORRECT: There’s a cabinet below the sink.

You don’t need “of” with most prepositions of place/location, such as behind, near, under, over, between, etc.

  • My house is near a school.
  • There’s a bridge over the river.

The exceptions are in front of, on top of, and to the right/left of.

  • The pot is on top of the stove.
  • The sink is to the right of the toilet.

INCORRECT: I know every students in the class.

CORRECT: I know every student in the class.

OR: I know all the students in the class.

The noun immediately after “every” must be a singular countable noun. So even though this sentence refers to multiple students, using the word “every” means we must use the singular form, student.

The word “each” is similar, but “each” can be used two ways:

  • The teacher gave a test to each student.
  • The teacher gave a test to each of the students.

We use each + a singular countable noun.

We use each of + the/these/those/my/our/your + plural countable noun.

It’s not easy to find your own mistakes, so that’s why it’s good to have feedback from someone else. Again, if you’re interested in getting your written English evaluated and corrected, join my Advanced English Grammar Course.

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