COMMON MISTAKES intermediate level

By Pili A.M.

Use TENSES coherently
If you are telling a story in the PAST, use past tenses, don't jump forwards and backwards in time I couldn't believe that I was talking to my old friend; we hadn't met for a long time, so we decided to go for a drink

To indicate PURPOSE...
You use this knife for cutting bread (GENERAL USE) I want to cut some bread, will you pass me that knife, please? (SPECIFIC PURPOSE)

But you can NEVER EVER SAY...

for to cut!!!

ANOTHER + singular noun I will tell you another day OTHER + plural noun At weekends I go jogging, the other days I swim OTHERS (pronoun) Some people like it, others don't.

Last Saturday I went to a party (i.e. Feb 16th) Next Saturday we're going hiking in the mountains (i.e. Feb 23rd ) Our point of reference is TODAY, Monday 18th.

THE last Saturday in January I was ill (i.e. Jan 26th) THE next Saturday after Carnival we'll go on holiday (i.e. March 8th) Our point of reference is NOT TODAY, Monday 18th, BUT January and Carnival (March 4th)

WHEN? It refers to the moment when sth happens


HOW LONG? It refers to the duration

He was in hospital for 6 weeks during the summer
There was a storm during the night; it rained for 3 hours

You arrive AT the airport (specific place, a building) but... You arrive IN London (a town, country)
A SPECIAL CASE: If you arrive AT Paris, you only consider it a point in space/ a stop in a journey

Watch out! arrive home

¿Un viaje...?
TRAVEL (uncount.): activity of travelling in general Her interests are reading and travel (plural): time spent travelling, especially abroad and for pleasure: his travels in India TRIP: specific and concrete, for the day or including TRIP the stay) I went on a business trip My trip to Paris was fun JOURNEY: el desplazamiento, el trayecto de un JOURNEY viaje concreto (sobre todo si es largo) It was a six-hour journey, so we were exhausted TOUR: organised, visiting several places TOUR

 HOPE: you wish this to happen  WAIT

 EXPECT: something logical and probable

MEET (for the first time) KNOW (deeper, requires time)

Nice to meet you!
I know Liz, she'll love that doll They've known each other for 6 years

...knowing them takes longer

 (SEEING something) NOTICE


 (mental process) REALISE

He is so stupid that he thinks Dom Perignon is a Mafia godfather. “so” = “tan” He's so tall that you can always see his
head in a crowd He is so stupid! It's an exclamation used in casual English, but to be avoided in a serious composition.

To mean “muy” you just say: He is very stupid. Don't use “so” by itself as an intensifier in formal writing, and be careful when you use “very”. It's usually better to use a stronger adjective, e.g. I was starving; it was huge, etc
An exercise here:

To speak IN GENERAL we don't use any article Mobiles are useful (plural)

The mobile is a great invention A mobile phone is necessary nowadays

All / every
 Everybody enjoyed themselves at the party  (each & every person who went) every + singular noun

“all people” = all humanity (all = whole, complete)  Everything was good = all the things (that...)

 I was out all day (the whole period of time)  All men are mortal (everyone, with no exception)  All of the people enjoyed themselves (a specific and concrete group of people)  All my plants have died (the whole number I had)  The page was all ads (it only consisted of one thing)  All we have is bread and cheese (the only thing that we have)

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