In this article I’m going to show you some common mistakes made by ESL learners. Go through the examples and make sure you understand the corrections.
INCORRECT: Please supply us with 12 pieces of cushion covers.
CORRECT : Please supply us with 12 cushion covers.
[We use quantifier ‘piece of’ with uncountable nouns, eg.: a piece of paper, 12 pieces of paper.]
INCORRECT: Do you like to play the baseball?
CORRECT : Do you like to play baseball?
[We don’t use ‘the’ with sports.]
• He hit me with a baseball. (baseball as a ball.)
• He likes to play baseball. (baseball as a kind of sport.)
INCORRECT: I looked at me in the mirror.
CORRECT : I looked at myself in the mirror.
[Use reflexive pronoun when you do something for/to/by yourself.]
• I accidentally cut myself. (do something to yourself)
• She sent a birthday gift for herself because she has no friends.
• He did it himself. (do something by himself)
INCORRECT: He has a little interesting shop.
CORRECT : He has an interesting little shop.
[The adjective that express opinion, such interesting, beautiful, nice, and so on comes first before the adjective that describes size or shape.]
INCORRECT: The frigthen woman screamed.
CORRECT : The frightened woman screamed.
[‘Frightened’ is a past participle (verb -ed) functioned as an adjective modifying the noun woman.]