We already discussed in our previous lesson that mistakes are inevitable for humans. No matter what, we end up making errors. But we’re not referring to the mistakes we make in life. This article is all about the common English mistakes that we commit in our daily lives. Notice that we say Part 2? That is because we have already covered a few of these in our previous lesson. If you haven’t checked it out here, click here. Come back to this lesson once you have gone through that one.
If you have followed part 1, then this quick summary will help you connect with this lesson. We covered the difference between the use of then and than, who or that, the use of passive voice, the use of dangling modifiers, and the difference between the words assure, insure & assure.
Now, you are all caught up. Let us continue further.
12 Common English Mistakes- Part 2
6. Lesser or Fewer?
Often, we confuse the use of the words lesser and fewer. We shall put an end to this mess right now and understand when to use which. The things that you can identify with a quantity take the word fewer. For example, There are fewer items on the cereal aisle today; we’ll have to buy them quickly. Cereal packers are items you can have a quantity, and therefore we use the word few. Quite indicatively, lesser is used for items that arent quantifiable. For example, There is less hope that Jake will make it to the game.
7. Between or Among
Here’s yet another pair of words that we had to cover on our list of common English mistakes because they are words we use daily. Although, the difference between the two is very simple. Read the previous sentence, and analyze why we used the word between there, and not among. Whenever we want to speak of just two things, we use the word between. Just like that sentence, where we were speaking about the difference between two words- between and among.
On the other hand, we use the word “among” when there are more than two people or things. For example, Distribute the sweet among yourselves.
8. The space between “Into”
Is it “into” or “in to”? This is one confusion that often gets the best of us, and so it isn’t a surprise that it is one of the common English mistakes that most of us commit. So, the answer is, both are correct, only if you use them in the right place. We use into when we want to signify the movement of something from outside to inside. For example, The cat moved into its basket when he saw the guests walk in. Which means, the cat was outside, and then moved inwards.
“In to” is also correct, but only when you want to use these prepositions words together. For example, Sorry I am late for dinner; I was called in to a meeting at the end movement. Clearly, there is no outside to inside movement in this case, and so, we need the space.
9. Alot to Allot?
It happens to many of us that we want to use the word allot and end up using a lot to alot. Here’s the news: alot is incorrect. Not that we are using the word wrong; the word just doesn’t exist. There are only two ways of using it: a lot or allot. We use a lot when we want to say that something exists in a lot of quantity. For example, There are a lot of problems in my family right now. Allot is what we use to say that you are segregating something. For example, I have allotted work to everyone based on your past experiences; please stick to your own duties. Much clearer now, isn’t it?
10. The Abbreviation error- one of the most common English mistakes!
Do you ever feel stuck when you have to use the abbreviations i.e. and e.g.? Well, they’re very simple to differentiate between. You can expand i.e. to “in other words” or “that is.” For example, This is one of the best offers you can get, i.e. if you are still interested in buying the house.
When you want to give an example, you can use the abbreviation e.g. which expands to “example given”. For example, You can pick from the many types of houses on this road, e.g. row houses, apartments, or the independent bungalows at the far end.
11. When to use me; When to use I
Here’s yet another of the most common English mistakes that all of us make, but don’t intend to. Who intends to make mistakes anyway? Take a look at this sentence- Once you are done, can you send a copy of this document to my husband and I? Can you spot the error? Yes! We cannot use the word “I” in this sentence. The correct way to write this sentence would be- Once you are done, can you send a copy of this document to my husband and me?
12. Comparison Errors
Several times people write comparative words but forget to add the comparison. For example, This car is smaller. But smaller than what? Whenever we use comparative words, there should be something we compare it with. This car is smaller than the one my father has. And now, the sentence is complete!
We hope this lesson on common English errors is useful for you, and your fellow learners. Share the article with friends and family who you think will find this helpful. Stay subscribed to Vocabulary Today for daily word updates and quizzes.