Common Mistakes

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.]


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