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Common English Mistakes





Answers and Explanations

1. Do you like it? No, I don’t like it.

Like is a transitive verb. This means that it must have an object. If we use the verb like, we have to say what the person likes.

I don’t like him.
I don’t like.
We like it.
We like.
They really like us.
They really like.
Do you like this?
Do you like?

Some other common transitive verbs are bring, cost, give, buy, make, show, and tell.


2. On Sunday, I always go to the church.

When we talk about attending church, we do not use the article the.


3. On Saturdays, I always go to the movies.

The expression is to go to the movies. We need the article the.


4. I love listening to music.

Between the verb listen and the object, we need the word to.

Listen to your mother.
Listen your mother.
I listen to a lot of different types of music.
I listen a lot of different types of music.


5. I was born in 1962.

The verb is to be born. We need the verb to be.

My mom was born in 1965.
My mom born in 1965.
The baby will probably be born in April.
The baby will probably born in April.
They were born on the same day.
They born on the same day.


6. I could to go to the store tomorrow.

After all modals verbs (can, would, could, must, may, might, will, should, and shall), we use the base form of the verb and not the infinitive.

I can swim.
I can to swim.
She might go to the movies
She might to go to the movies.
You must have a passport to travel to Canada
You must to have a passport to travel to Canada.


7. The Last year I didn’t know much English.

We do not use the before expressions like last year, next year, last night, last week, next week, last month, next month, etc.

I will see you next Friday.
I will see you the next Friday.
I went to Cancun last year.
I went to Cancun the last year.
Henry saw that movie last weekend.
Henry saw that movie the last weekend.


8. Are Do you agree with me?

To agree is a verb. We do not use the verb to be with agree.

I agree with you
I am agree with you.
Mike agrees with me.
Mike is agree with me.
Does she agree with us?
Is she agree with us?


9. I’m afraid to of the dark.

The expression is to be afraid of something.


10. Always, I always study before I go to bed.

In general, adverbs of frequency (always, almost always, usually, often, sometimes, hardly ever, almost never, and never) go before the main verb or after the verb to be.

Before the main verb:
I always study before I go to bed.
I study always before I go to bed.
Always I study before I go to bed.
I almost always drink coffee in the afternoon.
I drink almost always coffee in the afternoon.
Almost always, I drink coffee in the afternoon.

After the verb to be:
They’re always late for class.
They’re late always for class.
Always, they’re late for class.
I’m almost never awake at midnight.
I’m awake almost never at midnight.
Almost never I’m awake at midnight.  

Sometimes is a bit different. It follows the same rules as the other adverbs of frequency, but can also go at the beginning of a sentence.
I sometimes go to the beach on Saturday.
Sometimes I go to the beach on Saturday.
I go sometimes to the beach on Saturday.


11. I can’t eating eat when it’s late at night because I get sick.

After all modals verbs (can, would, could, must, may, might, will, should, and shall), we only use the base form of the verb. We don’t use the gerund or the infinitive form of the verb.

I might go to the play.
I might going to the play.
I might to go to the play.


12. I’m not very good for at cooking.

We say good at + gerund, not good for + gerund to talk about things people do well.

He is good at cooking.
He is good for cooking.
Karly is good at ice skating.
Karly is good for ice skating.


13. After class, I always go to home.

The correct expression is to go home. Go to home is incorrect.


14. My uncle John is funner more fun than my uncle Mike.

Fun does not follow the rule for one-syllable adjectives. The comparative form of fun is more fun.


15. These pants are more cheaper than the other ones.

The comparative form of one-syllable adjectives (except for the irregulars good, bad, far, and fun) is formed by adding “er” to the adjective.

Which movie is longer?
Which movie is more long?
I am taller than my brother.
I am more tall than my brother.


16. Probably He probably likes soccer.

We don’t normally start a sentence with probably. Probably usually goes  before the main verb or after the verb to be.

Before the main verb:
Your dog probably wants to go outside.
Probably, your dog wants to go outside.
I probably have a cold.
Probably, I have a cold.

After the verb to be:
He’s probably sick.
Probably, he’s sick.
We’re probably going to be late because of all this traffic.
Probably, we’re going to be late.


17. I love that movie because it is funny.

After because we need a noun and a verb.

I like you because you are such a nice person.
I like you because are such a nice person.
I moved to Florida because it was too cold in New Jersey.
I moved to Florida because was cold in New Jersey.


18. I’m thinking of to go going home because I’m tired.

If we use a verb immediately after a preposition, we need the gerund. We can never use the infinitive immediately after a preposition. Some common prepositions are on, of, before, after, to, in, about, and with.

I’m reading a book about starting your own business.
I’m reading a book about to start your own business.
After studying all day, I was tired.
After to study all day, I was tired.
Besides running, I also like playing soccer.
Besides to run, I also like playing soccer.


19. I’m a doctor. So do I. So am I.

To agree with a statement which has the verb to be, we use the verb to be in the short response (or simply say “yes”).

He’s hungry. Response:  So am I.
He’s hungry. Response:  So do I.

20. I go every day to school every day.

In general, we put frequency expressions (every day, once a month, three times a year, twice a day, etc.) at the end of the sentence.

I go to the gym three times a week.
I go three times a week to the gym.
Some people clean their house every day.
Some people clean every day their house.
We have English class twice a week.
We have twice a week English class.


21. Do you have a dog? Yes, I have do.

The chart below shows how to form short affirmative and negative responses to yes or no questions.

Question Affirmative Negative
do or does    
Do you like your job? Yes, I do. No, I don’t.
Does he like his job? Yes, he does. No, he doesn’t.
Do we have to work today? Yes, we do. No, we don’t.
Do they have to work today? Yes, they do. No, they don’t.
to be
Are you Michael? Yes, I am. No, I’m not.
Is he Spanish? Yes, he is. No, he isn’t.  or No, he’s not.
Are you and your wife American? Yes, we are. No, we aren’t.  or No, we’re not.
Are they managers? Yes, they are. No, they aren’t.  or No, they’re not.
modals (respond with same modal in question)
Can you swim? Yes, I can. No, I can’t.
Can he swim? Yes, he can. No, he can’t.
Should we invite him? Yes, we should. No, we shouldn’t.
Will they help us? Yes, they will. No, they won’t.


22. Do Would you like to go to the movies tomorrow night?

There are two main ways to invite someone to go somewhere in English.

Formal: Would you like + infinitive………..?
Informal: Do you want + infinitive……..?

Both forms are correct, but we cannot combine the forms.

Would you like to go to lunch?
Do you want to go to lunch?
Do you like to go to lunch?
Would you want to go to lunch?


23. What are you doing? Right now I cook am cooking dinner.

To talk about something that is happening right now, we use the present continuous.

I’m eating lunch right now. I’ll call you later.
I eat lunch right now. I’ll call you later.
She’s walking the dog at the moment.
She walks the dog at the moment.
We’re paying attention right now.
We pay attention right now.
Note that some verbs are not normally used in the continuous tenses. We call these verbs stative verbs. Stative verbs include want, depend, remember, believe and agree. Stative verbs do not involve actions. They are verbs which communicate feelings, beliefs, or mental states. For a complete list of stative verbs and examples of their use, see this page.  


24. I don’t dance good well.

Good is an adjective. We use it to modify a noun.

This is a good book.
This is a well book.
I had a good day yesterday
I had a well day yesterday. 

Well is an adverb. We use it to modify a verb or adjective.

He plays soccer very well.
He plays soccer very good.
How well do you cook?
How good do you cook?
I did very well on my test.
I did very good on my test.

Exception: If we are talking about a verb involving some type of sensation (feel, smell, hear, for example) we use good instead of well.

That idea sounds good.
That idea sounds well. 
It smells really good in here.
It smells really well in here.


25. Where did you went go yesterday?

In general, the formula for forming questions is:

Questions Word + Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Main Verb + Other (QwASVO)

When the auxiliary is do, does, did or any modal, the main verb needs to be in the base form. The main verb is never in the simple past for questions with did.

What did you eat for breakfast yesterday?
Did you sleep well last night?
What did you ate for breakfast yesterday?
Did you slept well last night?


26. When did were you born?

The verb is to be born. We always use the verb to be before born. We need the auxiliary to be in the question form.

Where were you born?
Where did you born?
Where were they born?
Where did they born?
What time was I born?
What time did I born?


27. What did you do yesterday? I did go went to the mall.

We mostly use did for:

1. questions in the simple past tense
Where did you go yesterday?
2. short answers in the past tense
Did she go to work yesterday. Yes, she did.

If we want to make a statement in the simple past tense, we do not use did unless it is a short answer to a question (or to express emphasis).

I saw a movie yesterday.
*I did see a movie yesterday.
I talked to my boss last night.
*I did talk to my boss last night.
I watched TV on Sunday.
*I did watch TV on Sunday.
* These sentences would be correct if we’re expressing emphasis. See this page for an explanation.


28. There is much a lot of noise here.

For affirmative statements with non-count nouns, we use a lot of.


29. How much many restaurants are in your neighborhood?

We use How many… for count nouns (things that we can count).
We use How much…for non-count nouns (things we can’t count).
For more information, see this guide to count and non-count nouns.


30. It is very windy today.

Unless we are using the imperative, sentences in English need a subject.
We use it as the subject for statements about the weather, times and dates, and opinions about places.

It is raining really hard right now.
Is raining really hard right now.
It’s 3:35 in the afternoon.
Is 3:35 in the afternoon.
It’s too crowded here. Let’s leave.
Is too crowded here.  Let’s leave.

For more information see this page from the British Council.


31. I love Brazil because it’s too really/very beautiful.

We use too before an adjective when there is a greater quantity or number of something than we want. In the above sentence, the speaker is talking about something good (the beauty of Brazil). Therefore, we can’t use too.

The words very and really are neutral. They intensify the adjective and can be used to communicate something good or bad.


32. What you can can you do in New York City?

In general, the formula for forming questions is:

Questions Word + Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Main Verb + Other (QwASVO)

In this example, can is the auxiliary verb. The auxiliary verb needs to go before the subject.


33. I have a daughter. I am do too.

See the explanation to number 21.


34. I’m glad we’re practicing grammar because I do make a lot of mistakes.

We make mistakes. We don’t do mistakes. Make and do, can be confusing. This is an excellent make vs. do chart which explains some of the tendencies. Also see these business collocations with do and make and this practice activity.


35. Before make making a presentation, you should practice a lot.

See the explanation to number 18.


36. Things went really good well today at work.

See the explanation to number 24.


37. My mother always told me a bedtime history story when I was a kid.

The difference between history and story can be confusing. A history explains a chronological collection of events that shows how something has progressed, changed, or developed over time (the history of the world, a person’s medical history, the history of the Vikings, etc.) A history usually deals with political, social, or economic topics and often includes an explanation of the events.
A story is a description of an event or series of events (real or fake) and is often told with the intent to entertain the listener.

In the example above, we’re talking about something that isn’t real and which is designed to entertain the listener. Therefore, story is the correct word.


38. There isn’t aren’t a lot of cars on the road today.

We use there is to communicate the existence of a singular noun. We use there are to communicate the existence of plural nouns. In the example above, we have a plural noun.


39. Class today was really bored boring.

Some adjectives have “ed” and “ing” forms.


The two forms of the adjectives are not the same. The “ing” adjectives are used for nouns that cause a feeling or emotion. The “ed” adjectives are used to describe nouns that receive a feeling or emotion.


40. I don’t have no any money.

Some languages use double negatives. In English, we do not use double negatives. If we want to say that the speaker has $0.00, we can say I don’t have any money or I have no money.

He doesn’t have any experience.
He has no experience.
He doesn’t have no experience.
There aren’t any parking spaces.
There are no parking spaces.
There aren’t no parking spaces.

Back to Questions…


For more error correction exercises, see: 

Exercise 2A (intermediate)
Exercise 2B (intermediate)
Exercise 2C (intermediate)
Exercise 3A (advanced)
Common Mistakes in Emails
Common Mistakes in Emails 2
Error Correction for Spanish Speakers

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