To speak English fluently, we all take help of phrases. The native English speakers use a lot of phrases when communicating, and hence for aspiring English speakers it is important to learn the right usage of phrases. Today, we have compiled a list of six English phrases that are most commonly misused.
Phrases you might be saying incorrectly
Here’s the list.
1. I could/couldn’t care less
The right phrase to use is ‘I couldn’t care less’ which means you are not bothered about it and you really don’t care. But if you are saying ‘I could care less’, it means you care a little.
For ex: When you heard about a colleague’s breakup, you could say ‘I couldn’t care less’.
2. Sneak peek/peak
A peek means a quick look, as in let’s have a sneak peek into this presentation. A peak means the top of a mountain. Therefore, the correct phrase to use is ‘sneak peek’ and not ‘sneak peak’. This is a common error even committed by native English speakers.
3. Nipped it in the bud/butt
Nip it in the bud means when you deal with an issue early before it becomes serious. Many people say this phrase incorrectly.
4. Tongue and/in cheek
The right phrase to use is tongue-in-cheek and not tongue-and-cheek. It is used to bring out irony or sarcasm in a situation. Ex: Raj always speak tongue-in-cheek, he is never serious.
5. He did good/well
Most people use ‘good’ and ‘well’ interchangeably. However, that should not be the case. The grammar rule states that ‘well’ is used as an adverb to describe a verb while ‘good’ as adjective to describe noun. Therefore, in the above example, he did well is the right phrase. Whereas you can use good with a phrase like - he did a good job – well wouldn’t sound right here.
6. Sort a/of
The right phrase is sort of and not sort a. When you use the latter, you come across as informal in your communication.
Phrases and idioms form an essential part of English speaking and unless you are fluent with phrases, it is hard to impress a native speaker with your communication. To learn more about English phrases, you can browse through our blogs. To achieve the confidence to speak English fluently, you can join our online spoken English classes. Improve your English speaking and climb up the corporate ladder fast.
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-By Chander Madan
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