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Some common mistakes in English language usage


This compilation Dr. Audwin T. Yap


Verb tense

I check the equipment last week. (checked)

I will completed the course 2 months ago. (completed/have completed)

Verb form
(after modal and other auxiliary
verbs, after prepositions)

We should to inform the administration. (inform)

I am study English III this semester. (studying)
The student has wrote his report and submit it before the deadline. (written has submitted)

Subject-verb agreement

The report do not have enough details. (report does/reports do)

Word form

Thai social has changed. (society)

I will presentation my report this afternoon. (present)
I will application for a summer job. (apply)

Missing verb, i.e. verbs to be

The purpose of the report __ to recommend solutions. (is/was)

Wrong verb (be, have, do)

There have limited parking areas at the mall. (are)

Double verb

The statement is mean that... (means)

Passive/Active voice

The exhibition will hold in July. (will be held)

The reporter have been interviewed me. (have interviewed)

Number of noun

Every students should attend. (student)

Many student are absent. (students)

Word choice
(e.g. effect / affect,
protect / prevent,
interested / interesting,
lend / borrow)

Pollution effects the environment negatively. (affects)

We should help protect pollution. (prevent)
I am boring because the movie is not interested. (bored / interesting)
I am very exciting to know the results of the exam. (excited)
I will borrow you my book. Please return it when you have finished. (lend)

Sentence Fragment

According to the report. Many students violated the uniform policy. ( report, many )
Due to the power outage. All classes were cancelled. (outage, all)

Run-on sentence

We requested an interview with the Computing Director denied our request.

(Director, but he denied ) or ( Director. He denied )

Double subject

The president, who he is the owner, resigned. (who is the)

Wrong prepositions

The requirements depend to the situation. (on)

Article (a, an, the) or no article

_ Student came to the department. (The student came )

A final exam is the last requirement of the course. (The)
A herbal drink is suppose to make you healthy. (An)
Please do not call. Just send me a sms. (an)


The students are aware of his responsibilities. (their)


I was absent although I was sick. (because)

I was sick because I was absent. (therefore)

Omitting the final s when the correct

form has an s

I alway come to class on time. (always)

We had refreshment during the break. (refreshments)

Adding s when the correct form has

no s

Many equipments are needed to do the experiment. (equipment)

A lot of informations are needed. (A lot of information is / Lots of information are)

Using spoken language in place of

formal written language

Nowadays, the situation has changed for the worse. (Now, / At present, / Currently, )
I wanna get good marks. (want to)
Are you gonna help me? (going to)


barack obama is the 44th president of the united states of america.

(Barack Obama United States America.)
Updated June 2011 ATYap