How to Avoid Common Grammatical Mistakes


Even people who have been speaking English for a long time tend to make grammatical mistakes. Common mistakes like using wrong tenses, plural forms in the wrong places or using passive/ active voices interchangeably are common mistakes and the hitch is that people don’t even realize that they make such mistakes! 

If you wish to improve and polish your spoken English skills, you need to read English as much as possible, interact with people who speak proper English and observe how they form sentences. If you are looking for shortcuts, then you will be sadly let down! Learning proper and right English takes time.

Though, there are few people who can be credited for speaking impeccable English, everyone makes some or the other mistake in speaking English. However, some mistakes are more common than others are. Here are a few:

· Me and Rakesh, I and Rakesh: Remember this golden rule, whenever you are talking about a third person and yourself, the third person or his/her name comes first. ‘Me and Rakesh went for a movie’ is wrong. It should be ‘Rakesh and I went for a movie’.  Similarly, when there are three subjects in a sentence, say Rakesh, the other person and you – the order will be based on the presence of the people. If Rakesh is present while you are talking, the other person will appear first in the sentence – ‘Other person, Rakesh and Me’. When the other person and Ramesh, both are present while you are speaking, you can take the names in any order, just remember that ‘me’ or ‘I’ will follow the other two.

· Had ran: ‘By the time I could see what he was doing, my son had ran out of the house’. Did you pick out the mistake in the sentence? Since, incident being recounted is in the past tense, it is correct to use words like ‘had’ or ‘ran’ to denote the tense. But here’s the catch –using ‘had’ denotes that the incident is a past one, so using ‘ran’ is not needed. If the sentence was ‘my son ran out’ it would suffice, but when using ‘had’, the right sentence would be ‘…had run out’.

· It’s broke or It’s broken? These two sentences are very similar, after all, both comprise of the past tense of 'break'. The difference in the two sentences is very subtle. ‘It’s broke’ is past tense, while ‘it’s broken’ is past continuous. For eg. When your computer breaks down, but you repair it later, you say ‘My computer broke, but now it’s fine’. But when your computer breaks down and you leave it like that, you say ,’My computer is broken’.

· Envy and Jealousy: The word ‘envy’ means that one longs for something that someone else has. ‘Jealousy’, on the other hand, is a lot more negative. It refers to an emotion close to rivalry. These two words are very close to one another in meaning and that is why people often confuse the two. Envy is when you long for looking like someone, or possessing a fancy car that one of your friend has. Jealousy is what you feel when your spouse pays unnecessary attention to your extremely beautiful friend!

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