Common mistakes I have observed people making in English.

Common mistakes I have observed people making in English.

Before I begin, I would like to clear that English isn't my first language and it isn't too hard to get a grip on it if you look keenly on it.

Here are some common mistakes I have seen people making on here, on other social media and in real life too.

1. Than or then:

Than

It is used when there is a comparison done between two or more things.

For example: It is warmer today than it was yesterday.

Then

It is used to depict a sense of time or a happening or to express what comes next.

For example: I was planning to go for a walk, but then I changed my mind.

See? There's a huge difference between the meaning of those two.

An example of the most common mistake and its correction:

He is shorter then I am. <wrong

He is shorter than I am. <correct

2. It's or its:

It's

Although it may seem by the looks of the apostrophe (') in it's that it is used in a possessive case, it is certainly not so.

The word it's is always short for it is or it has.

For example:

1. It is

It's really heavy.

2. It has

It's been raining since yesterday.

Its

It's its what you use when you show a sense of belonging or a possessive case.

For example:

Guess its colour.

Examples of the most common mistakes and their corrections:

Its really good to meet you. <wrong

It's really good to meet you. <correct

Every dog has it's day. <wrong

Every dog has its day. <correct

Here are some interesting cases that just clicked my mind:

1. It's always been mine.

In the above sentence, although it's a possessive case, but still its is incorrect here since the words 'it has' have been shortened to 'it's'.

2. I believe it's yours.

Conspicuously, again, it is a possessive case, but on looking keenly on it, it'll be clear that here, it's is used instead of it is so the sentence is correct.

And same is the case in the third sentence,

3. It's mine.

I myself used to get confused with the usage of the two words but thanks to the internet and some meaningful conversations with @sarahhcmarie, it's all good now.

To make it easier, go for knowing whether the word is used as a shortened term or not, forget about the possessive case for once.

P.S. There is no such word as Its'. Its wrong to write this but you can use that if you want to be rebellious lol, it won't cause you any physical harm.

3. Complement or compliment:

Though these words may again, sound alike, they have different meanings. Also, talking about the two words when used as a verb individually.

Complement

(Not taking into consideration the meaning of it as in the group of proteins present in blood plasma which does stuff lol.)

It means to add something in order to enhance or improve.

For example: This dress complements your looks.

Compliment

Used as an expression to praise, admire or commend someone about something.

For example: She complimented him on his suit.

An example of the most common mistake and its correction:

He gets complemented on his hairstyle quite often. <wrong

He gets complimented on his hairstyle quite often. <correct

4. Your or you're:

I dunno what's really hard to understand about the difference in this case. Still, a lot of people are confused with these two.

Your

Used as a second person adjective to describe something belonging to you.

For example: Here is your bag.

You're

A shortened term for you are.

For example: You're really dumb.

An example of the most common mistake and its correction:

Your good at fishing. <wrong

You're good at fishing. <correct

5. Quite or quiet:

Quite

Used as an adverb meaning 'a little or a lot, but not completely' or 'to an extent/degree'.

For example: I'm quite busy today.

Quiet

Used as an adjective giving the meaning of 'having little activity' or 'making little sound'.

For example: It's really quiet in here.

An example of the most common mistake and its correction:

She is a quite girl. <wrong

She is a quite girl. <correct

This reminded of the song

Remember to use proper grammar before roasting someone 😉. Peace.

Let me know if you wanna add something.

That's all people.

Thank you for reading it.

Hope it helped.

-Eryxx


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  • 2d

    A lot of people do have problems with homophones. Here's an exercise I found at www.tolearnenglish.com , just one of dozens of sites that offer worksheets to print out, tests, and word drills to sharpen skills.
    I've inserted the WRONG answers - - -replace them with the CORRECT answers. Enjoy.

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    • 2d

      Haha sure..
      1. too
      2. their
      3. by
      4. heal
      5. wear
      6. rain
      7. four
      8. flew
      9. right
      10. pear

  • 5d

    They're are also many more as you also have
    Their
    There
    They're

    Whether
    Weather

    Were
    Where
    Wear
    We're
    There is probably a load more too!!

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    • 4d

      'There' and 'their'. Yep those are some common ones too.

  • 2d

    THANK YOU!!!

    Grammar is important. It's good to see someone who also appreciates its importance.

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  • 4d

    As an unapologetic grammar snob, I really enjoyed this. Out of curiosity, what is your native language?

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    • 4d

      I'm an Indian, so my native language is Hindi.

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    • 4d

      Ha! You are exactly right. Learning at the high school level is basically worthless because it's much more difficult to learn by then. I have always said this and most agree... but sadly my voice won't revolutionize our education system. Foreign language IS available at an elementary level, but you have to go to a private school for that.

    • 4d

      Didn't know that. Thanks for the insight.

  • 3d

    Not really relevant to this my take but I hate it when people say "I could care less" when they mean to say" I couldn't care less".

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  • 5d

    All good points. However, some apps have an auto-correct feature that actually changes something correct with an incorrect word.

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  • 5d

    Not that's we call a research😂
    I hope yo score bohot hard on boards...

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    • 5d

      Now* that's what* we call a research.
      Sorry bruh 😂 couldn't tame it lol.

      Haha dhanywaad. Ummeed tw yahi hai 😌. And you too XD.

    • 5d

      🤦😂

  • 2h

    My assumption would be that most of us doesn't bother to spell perfectly because it's not an essay or job application we're writing.

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    • 2h

      Don't*
      Still, if you're all good making mistakes, cheers. Just don't make it a habit and write wrongly in job applications and essays.

    • 2h

      I typically don't write an essay or job application in 10 sec like this message lol

  • 4d

    I am from England and even I think the English language needs improvement.

    Sure it is better than many other languages but it has serious flaws as shown.

    Apostrophes are one of the worst things in the English language as they cause confusion and do not help at all.

    Things not being spelled how they are pronounced or lazy tongue syndrome.

    Using the example you set

    Compliment is pronounced fine
    (Comp-lim-ent)
    Complement should have a stressed e sound (Comp-leee-ment) but they are pronounced virtually the same.

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    • 4d

      I don't think apostrophes create too much trouble as it differentiates the plural word from the word indicating a sense of belonging in many cases. Indeed it creates confusion in case of it's and its but that can be worked upon by saying 'it is'/'it has' instead of 'it's' if that helps.

      I would like to add one more thing but I can't update my take. There are also confusions with writing words using short forms and mistaking the apostrophe with the plurals. I remember you posting an opinion on one my questions regarding your perspective about the BMWs.

      You wrote: "I have never liked BMW's they all look like boxes."
      Seemingly, you were implying that you don't like the BMWs but the apostrophe there confused you, it would go like this:" I have never liked BMWs, they all look like boxes."
      It's a mistake I have observed the masters of English making but I guess I made a mistake I didn't include it lol.

      And I guess, it mostly depends on how people listen to the word and how they match the it with the sentence. It isn't a problem, if they get to know what the sayer is implying, nor do they sweat to guess the spellings lol.

      About the pronunciation you mentioned, I think there is gonna be different for different accents and how fast the person speaks.

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    • 4d

      The first one is more correct. While it usually assumed to be a group of things, it could possibly mean all the things as the group has no size limit.

      The second one only means a single car and is not what I meant in this situation.

    • 4d

      Thought so. BMWs' it's lol.

  • 3d

    You dood a boo boo!
    She is a quite girl. <wrong
    She is a quite girl. <correct
    You used the same word in both examples.
    Other words you could've added to the list:
    There, their and they're
    To, too, and two (and maybe even tu-tu)
    Where, were and we're
    Through and threw
    And one that really cheeses me off: using "of" instead of "have" or the contracted form, "'ve", as in, "should've", "would've", "could've", "must've".
    Another that really gets me cheesed off is starting every sentence with the word, "So".
    "How was school today?"
    "So school was a lot of fun!"
    "What do you call your dog?"
    "So I call my dog, Fido."
    And, just the general complete ignorance of punctuation at all, especially apostrophes and commas.
    Also, completely changing words, like: instead of saying, "All of a sudden", it becomes, "all of the sudden". I've even seen, "Every once in a while." become, "Every wants and awhile."

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  • 2d

    I've noticed most of the people who make these mistakes are native English speakers...

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  • 3d

    their shouldn't be a probkem, dont juge they're engish... why juge there english!

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  • 4d

    i write its because i am too lazy to put '

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  • 4d

    i hate people that do not capitalize their "I".

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  • 5d

    Sweetness

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    • 5d

      Haha. Thank you. You're a fast reader by the way.

  • 4d

    Good take..

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  • 2d

    It's mostly native English soeakers who make those mistakes. It's usually natives because they learn how to speak before how to write, so they don't have a good memory of when to use each word. As those words are homophones, it's very understandable that they might have trouble with them.
    You, as a non-native English speaker, have it easier when it comes to spelling because you most certainly first saw those words written down somewhere, you didn't hear them and then later had to learn how to transcribe the sounds into letters.

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    • 2d

      I don't think that me not being an English speaker has anything to do with it. Many non-english speakers commit horrible mistakes too. All I can say is that I am a douche for the correct language lol.

    • 1d

      Trust me, it has everything to do.

  • 3d

    Really well written for a non English speaker!

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  • 4d

    These are a piece of cake though, and I'm not even a native speaker.

    And isn't the "she is a quiet girl" one wrong?
    The lines are exactly the same.
    Are you referring to "she is a quite girl" and "she is a quiet girl"?

    An addition would be "aloud" used as "allowed", together with the ones mommabarbz91 mentioned.

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    • 4d

      Nice observation. A mistake on my part. Too bad I can't edit that error.

    • 3d

      Ah, okay :)
      Nice take, nevertheless!

    • 3d

      You're welcome.

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