Avoidable English Bloopers

Here are few Common English Bloopers. It is not only fresh graduates and non-English speakers who make grammatical mistakes. In fact, professionals in offices, including journalists, commit certain errors over and over again. Anyways, prepone and cope up are the words which come to mind. The problem is that many bloopers become accepted socially and feature in our day-to-day interactions. Every time someone copies an error without consulting a dictionary, the problem gets worse.

After writing an English exam, a friend of mine came up to me and the following conversation ensued.

Friend: Hey, I wanted to confirm one of my answers. Can you help?

Myself: Sure, which one was it?

Friend: Well, we were supposed to add a suitable preposition in the blank. The question was: Bear ____ me for a while.

Naturally, the answer was: Bear with me for a while. This means that the speaker requests the person to be patient for a while.

My friend, however, changed the meaning completely with his answer:

Bear chased me for a while.

Of course, this indicated that a bear had actually come and attacked him for a while.

Another funny incident happened to my friend who was walking in a park with her cousin.

Friend: Wow, what a peaceful atmosphere! It's so calm.

Cousin: Yes, this calamity is very nice!

Calamity refers to a disaster or a tragedy. My friend's cousin mistakenly connected calamity with calm.

A true calamity indeed!

Wrong: You three both of you sit together separately.

Never use the word BOTH when referring to more than two people.

Correct: I want the three of you to separate and sit apart from one another.

Wrong: I will recommend the suggestion that you must buy it -- it's a worthable one.

The beginning is very confusing and has too many words. And WORTHABLE isn't even a word.

Correct: I recommend that you buy it. It’s a worthwhile purchase.

Wrong: Off all the on fans and lights.

In English, we say turn off or switch off the fans. On and off are adverbs and thus, must be connected to other verbs.

Correct: Please turn off the fans and lights.

Once, my colleague wanted to inform our Director that his mother was seriously ill and that he needed a few days of leave. His application read as follows:

Wrong: My mother is very dangerous and I want to saw her. Please leave me three days.

The mother is not dangerous! She's very ill. Also, he doesn't want to saw her, which sounds gruesome. Instead he wants to see her, or better yet, 'be by her side'. Finally, he is requesting leave. He doesn't want the boss to actually leave him for three days.

Correct: My mother is seriously ill and I would like to be by her side. Therefore, I request you grant me leave for three days.

Wrong: You are staying alone and you can cook yourself?

This problem comes from misplacing yourself. It sounds as if Ashok is eating himself! Instead, the YOURSELF should be placed after 'you.

Correct: You are staying alone and you yourself can cook?

Wrong: Take out my ticket

Wrong: I got angry on him

Correct: Buy my ticket.

Correct: I got angry with him.

Wrong: When my boss asked me why I came late, I said him that I had to attend a function.

You should use TOLD instead of SAID in this situation.

Correct: When my boss asked me why I came late, I told him that I had to attend a function.

Wrong: This place is called as the Garden City of India

If you're using the word AS, you should use KNOWN AS.

Correct: This place is known as the Garden City of India

Wrong: I didn't got his mail.

DIDN'T is a contraction of DID NOT, which should be followed by the present tense.

Correct: I didn't get his mail.

Wrong: My husband and I went and bought furnitures for our new house.

The word FURNITURE is plural.

Correct: My husband and I went and bought furniture for our new house.

Wrong: He is a MP.

Wrong: He is an Member of Parliament.

Whenever the short form MP (Member of Parliament) is used, we should say, 'He is an MP'. But when the full form is used, we should say, 'He is a Member of Parliament.'

Correct: He is an MP.

Correct: He is a Member of Parliament.

Wrong: He is a simpleton.

People use this expression without knowing its meaning. Simpleton does not mean simple. It means idiot.

Correct: He is a simple man.

Wrong: Each individual data tells a different story.

Data is the plural form for datum, a singular noun. Words ending with UM usually have an A in the plural form: (stratum/strata)

Correct: Each individual datum tells a different story.

Wrong: He is one of those who performs well.

Even authors make this mistake. They see HE and immediately use the singular form. But, because HE is part of a group, you use the plural verb.

Correct: He is one of those who perform well.

Wrong: I came an hour back.

When we indicate the past, instead of back, we must use ago.

Correct: I came an hour ago.

Wrong: She has went to the store.

Many people do not know the conjugation of English verbs. With the verb TO GO the conjugation is: GO, WENT, GONE. You say GO in the present, WENT in the past, and GONE in the past participle. Past participle is used only with auxiliary verbs like HAVE or HAS.

Correct: She has gone to the store.

Wrong: Peoples and childrens do not listen.

People and children are plural by themselves. Do not add an s to either of these words.

Correct: People and children do not listen.

Wrong: Even after a laps of three months, I was still granted a visa.

The word here is lapse, to denote passage of time. Lap means either the flat area between one's stomach and knees (the child slept on my lap) or the circuit of a track/race course (the event had total 12 laps, but he got out in the second lap itself).

Correct: Even after a lapse of three months, I was still granted a visa.

Wrong: Please speak politically.

Wrong: The branch manager is out of order.

The customer service agent made both of these blunders in one call. She obviously meant:

Correct: Please speak politely.

Correct: The branch manager is out of office.

Wrong: He have no sense.

HE is singular, so the verb is singular as well has.

Correct: He has no sense.

I didn't knew her mother when I was young.

If it was affirmative, it would be 'I knew her mother when I was young.' In this case, the negative, past verb 'did not' denotes the past tense, making 'knew' unneeded. It should be:

I didn't know her mother when I was young.

I prefer studying in the midnight.

I prefer studying at the morning.

In the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening all denote a general time. For a specific time, such as noon and night, you must use AT. It should be:

I prefer studying at midnight.

I prefer studying in the morning.

I was excepting a better show.

No one showed up to the party, accept Dipti and Rishi.

Will you expect my sincere apologies?

These words are often confusing for some people: EXCEPT, EXPECT AND ACCEPT.

Except is to omit or leave out.

Expect is to demand or to count on.

Accept means to acknowledge, admit.

I was expecting a better show.

No one showed up at the party, except Dipti and Rishi.

Will you accept my sincere apologies?

On what bases can you argue with me?

Where are the criminal basis in Mumbai?

Bases and basis essentially, mean the same but it is important to use the right word in the right place.

Base is a foundation (as in a building, structure).

Basis is also a foundation in terms of a fundamental or principle; it is abstract.

On what basis can you argue with me?

What are the criminal bases in Mumbai?

In case of feeling of Hot or cold please to control yourself.

This is all jumbled and makes no sense!

Instead, it should be:

In case you find the temperature too hot or too cold, please turn the thermostat switch to the desired setting to regulate the temperature.

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