Common errors made by ESL speakers?

Hi, what do you think are the most common errors made by our forum users? Here are some suggestions:

grammer instead of grammar
an advice instead of some advice

Maybe you can some entries to this list?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A balancing act[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten!

xi xi xi I guess I know whose error “grammer” instead of " grammar" is ,yes, it’s my own mistake, but now I know right one.Thanks Torsten,if you didn’t correct my mistake then, I would do this mistake always.But now I remember your correction every time when I want to write GRAMMAR,thanks :smiley:

P.S If you want to find more errors, you must read all my posts,you can find there a lot of mistakes and add to this list :smiley: I guess I gave a topic for forum,great! :smiley:

Hi medeya2012, as a matter of fact, there are many people who write grammer instead of grammar. You used to be one of them but from now on you will spell grammar correctly.
What about do a mistake vs. make a mistake? You can read Alan’s story about make and do to find the answer: Make or do?

Let me know what you think.

TOEIC listening, photographs: Playing field hockey[YSaerTTEW443543]

Ok Torsten, I have to say I know this "TO MAKE MISTAKE ":frowning: but I wrote to do mistake,I don’t know why.I always make mistakes even if I know the right one,but why? I always forget to write “s” in the III singular person( in the Present Simple) What do you think why? Maybe I’m very inattentive person,I guess yes. :oops:

Hi Torsten

One of them I noticed while going through old posts is:

I was finding…(instead of looking for)


PS What are you finding in this cupboard?

Hi Tom, do you mean that people often confuse find with look for?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A kickboxer is practising[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi medeya2012,

I think it’s just a question of habits. When you use your native language you don’t have to pay that much attention to details because you simply know what sounds right and what doesn’t. If there are no articles in your mother tongue, it will be more difficult for you to use the English articles. (make a mistake) But then again, if you surround yourself with English every single day, your subconscious will pick up phrases that contain the English articles and you won’t have to think about them anymore because you develop a ‘feeling’ for what sounds right and what doesn’t just as you did with your native language.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Queuing for propane gas[YSaerTTEW443543]

HI Torsten :smiley:

Yes, you’re right,we don’t have articles in my native language and it differs from the English language,so it’s a little hard to pay attention to each grammar rule that we don’t have.I know all grammar rules about articles and others,but when I must use them,I forget them.Even when I read my own post after posting it,I can point out my own mistakes :smiley: ,but then I become sadder because I know grammar which I don’t use when it must be used!

I have got some addition to your errors, too.

people use advise instead of advice

quite instead of quiet

expect and except

well instead of good

Hi medeya2012, the key to correct grammar is absorbing as much English as possible. Whenever you compose a sentence and you are not sure about a certain phrase, you simply need to read more until you have enough English sentences copied in your head. I know this is a life long process and even native speakers have to use their language constantly to improve their skills. So there is one important fact: When it comes to grammar you must keep a balance between learning rules and copying phrases and sentences. In most cases, ESL learners concentrate too much on learning grammar rules. The question is do you really need to know any grammar rules in order to speak and write in English correctly?

As for common ESL/English errors, I know there are quite a number of websites that contain such lists. What I’d like to do is create our own list. This means, our list will contain only those mistakes that are frequently made by the users of our forum.

Let me know what you think,

TOEIC listening, photographs: The young football players[YSaerTTEW443543]

hmmm, I think if we don’t know grammar rules then it will be quite difficult to create correct sentences,yes? But it doesn’t mean that we must learn only grammar rules,I know we must read a lot of books and talk to native speakers to get more phrases and to keep in mind all prepositions.I think we must do these two important things together.I mean, we must read and listen to get new words and phrases and to learn grammar rules to make of those words good, correct sentences.Oh, I could never imagine that one day I would be a supporter of learning grammar rules,as I hate grammar lessons (I guess you could see this fact from my grammar)

Also. I have written this people use advise instead of advice

and this well instead of good from posts of forum members which I have seen and remembered.


The link that I like very much and read as a bestseller: :slight_smile:

Another phrase that is frequently used by forum users is this:

What means … ? instead of What does … mean?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A designer loft[YSaerTTEW443543]

What means … ? instead of What does … mean?
I often use “What does … mean?” in class and I also use “What means” instead of it

A very common mistake, even for native speakers sometimes, is confusing “their” and “they are”, “your” and “you are”. Or at least that is what I have noticed.

Yeah, I can clearly remember a scene from the Friends series where Ross yells at Rachel: Oh-oh-oh, and by the way, Y-O-U-apostrophe-R-E means ‘you are.’ Y-O-U-R means ‘your!’ :slight_smile:

Anyway, it’s funny that many people misspell ‘misspelled’ and mispronounce ‘mispronunciation’.