There are common errors in English that students tend to make in their papers. In some case, these mistakes can be explained by the fact that people rely too much on text editors; they forget that these programs cannot fully substitute human reasoning. Sometimes, people merely lack attention and fail to notice typos or grammar mistakes. Here is an overview of common errors in the English language that people should be aware of.
Common Errors in English: The Danger of Typos
Misspellings are probably the most common mistakes in English that ESL students and even native speakers sometimes make. Special attention should be paid to words which look or sound similarly, for example:
- Week vs. weak. Don’t confuse a period of seven days with someone who is lacking in physical or mental strength.
- Two vs. too. Again, there is no need to use a numeral and an adverb interchangeably.
- Advise (verb) vs. Advice (noun).
- Desert vs. Dessert. Again, a waterless land has nothing to do with sweat meals.
- Then (adverb) vs. than (conjunction).
- Right vs. write.
- See vs. sea.
- Vocation (an occupation) vs. vacation (a break that is taken from studies or work).
These are quite common errors in English, and they cannot be eliminated by text editors because they don’t understand what exactly a person had in mind when writing a sentence. In addition, students shouldn’t forget lexical mistakes. Proper word choice is a vital component of a good paper. Here are some common mistakes you should keep in mind:
- Ascribe (to give credit to) vs. describe (depict);
- Affect as opposed to effect;
- To regret of something. In this case, the preposition of is not necessary.
- Anyways instead of anyway. Remember that the first word anyways is too colloquial and it cannot be used in a paper.
- To borrow vs. to loan. The first verb means to receive money from somebody, whereas loan means to give money to somebody.
- Another vs. other. Again, this is a common error in English. Another generally means extra or one more, while other implies difference between two or more things.
Common Errors in English: Understanding Grammar
Surely, grammar mistakes are the reason why students often receive low grades for their papers. These are the things that you need to avoid:
- Can not instead of cannot.
- The use of ones instead of one’s in Possessive Case.
- Failure to use the proper sequence of tenses;
- The use of plural number with uncountable nouns. For example, words such as knowledges or informations are not acceptable in any way.
- Fail to distinguish between which and that.
Overall, there are many textbooks and reference books that can help students avoid common mistakes in English. If you use them, your papers will earn you higher grades. So, a paper free from any mistakes is the goal that you should aim for.