Common English Errors To Avoid

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Common English Errors to Avoid While Preparing for Competitive Exams (1)

Common English Errors: The English language is well-known as the language of worldwide communication – and no matter where you come from or what native tongue you speak, learning English is likely to be beneficial in both your personal and professional lives. Naturally, the English language frustrates newcomers with a variety of grammatical obstacles and stumbling blocks. Understanding the most common mistakes might assist you in improving your writing. We’ve covered practically every common English error you need to avoid while writing/speaking English in this blog.

What are Common English Errors?

Common English errors can vary depending on the proficiency level of the speaker or writer. However, here are some common English errors that many learners and even native speakers make:

  • Grammar
  • Pronunciation Errors
  • Vocabulary and Word Choice Errors
  • Spelling Errors
  • Sentence Structure Errors
  • Cultural and Idiomatic Errors
  • Punctuation Errors
  • Sentence Structure Errors

To improve English language skills, it’s important to be aware of these common errors and to practice speaking, writing, and reading in English regularly. Additionally, seeking feedback from proficient speakers or teachers can be very helpful in addressing and correcting these errors.

Types of Common English Errors

Here are some common types of English errors for your reference:

Grammar Errors:

Subject-verb agreement errors (e.g., “He don’t” instead of “He doesn’t”).
Incorrect use of verb tenses (e.g., mixing past and present tenses).
Misplaced modifiers (e.g., “She almost drove the car every day”).
Run-on sentences or sentence fragments.
Incorrect use of articles (e.g., “a” vs. “an” or “the”).

Pronunciation Errors

Mispronouncing words due to irregular English spelling (e.g., “colonel” pronounced as “kernel”).
Difficulty with vowel sounds and diphthongs (e.g., “ship” vs. “sheep”).
Problems with word stress or intonation.

Vocabulary and Word Choice Errors

Using words incorrectly (e.g., “affect” vs. “effect”).
Using overly complex or archaic words when simpler ones are more appropriate.
Using non-standard slang or expressions in formal contexts.

Spelling Error

Misspelling common words (e.g., “receive” vs. “recieve”).
Confusing words that sound alike (e.g., “their,” “there,” “they’re”).
Not paying attention to homophones (e.g., “its” vs. “it’s”).

Sentence Structure Errors

Writing overly long and complex sentences.
Neglecting to use conjunctions to join related ideas.
Lack of parallelism in sentence structure (e.g., “She likes swimming, to bike, and hiking”).

Punctuation Errors

Misusing or forgetting to use punctuation marks (e.g., commas, semicolons, and apostrophes).
Using too many exclamation points or question marks.

Common Colloquial Errors

Using “irregardless” (non-standard) instead of “regardless.”
Overusing filler words like “um,” “like,” and “you know.”
Cultural and Idiomatic Errors:Misusing idiomatic expressions (e.g., “It’s a piece of cake” vs. “It’s a walk in the park”).
Failing to understand cultural nuances in language use.

Top Common English Errors

Following are the top common errors one can make speaking or writing English.

Present and Past Tense 

When delivering a tale in the present tense, present tenses are used to communicate about the present, the future, and to summarise a book, film, or play. In English, there are four different present tense forms.

  • Present Simple: I Work 
  • Present Continuous: I am Working 
  • Present Perfect: I have worked 
  • Present perfect continuous: I have been working 

When discussing events or circumstances that have ended, you can use the past tense. In English, you may also use the past tense to discuss long-term events and circumstances that have already occurred.

Also Read: Tenses Rules and Examples 

Common English Errors in Pronouns

Another typical blunder made by English learners is conflating “he” with “she.” Some languages, such as Japanese, do not discriminate between these articles in every instance.

Also Read: Pronouns

Getting Adjectives and Adverbs confused

English learners frequently mix up adverbs and adjectives, which confuses many native English speakers. Well is an adverb, whereas good is an adjective. So you ran well technically, but your run was nice, and the exam was good, but it went well.

Also Read: Learn All About Adjectives in English Grammar!

Missing Comma After Introductory Element

After an initial word, phrase, or sentence, a comma should be used. Using a comma after an opening section provides the reader with a little pause, which can assist avoid misunderstanding.

Check Out: Best English Grammar Books

Misplaced Modifiers

You should insert a modifier immediately next to the term it is designed to alter to effectively explain your intentions. The modifier must clearly refer to one of the terms in the sentence. Modifiers that are misplaced might cause ambiguity and misunderstanding. Consider the following scenario:

  • “He almost walked for the entire day.” – Here’s how this example would look if the modifier was in the proper spot:
  • “He walked for almost the entire day.”

Also Read: Modifier Rules Most GMAT Test-Takers Get Wrong

Common English Errors in Prepositions

These are tough in every language since they are used differently in each. In English, “IN” refers to both confined areas and periods, “AT” refers to a specific time or location, and “ON” refers to the surface something is on or a day.

Also Read: Prepositions

Title Capitalization Problems

It’s difficult to know whether to uppercase the words in a title. The first and last words, all nouns and pronouns, all verbs, and all adjectives and adverbs should all be capitalized. However, depending on the style you’re employing, there are unique capitalization guidelines for titles. In English, we uppercase the following words:

  • “I” as a subject
  • The first letter of a sentence
  • Proper names, national nouns, and adjectives
  • Days of the week, months

Also Read: English Vocabulary: Tips to Improve

Common English Errors in Articles

Even native English learners have trouble distinguishing between indefinite and definite articles, often known as “or,” “a,” “an,” and “the.” “The” is only used when referring to anything that both the writer and the reader are familiar with, but “a” or “an” can refer to anything. Yes, it’s perplexing. Furthermore, the word “an” is only used before a vowel. However, why do you say an hour rather than a horse?

Also Read: Grammar for Class 10

Mixing Up Similar Words

It’s not often an issue of spelling mistakes, but rather a mistake in word choice. Many words have similar-sounding names but different meanings and spellings. The following are some of them:

  • “Affect” and “effect”
  • “Except” and “accept”
  • “Comprise” vs. “compose”
  • “Further” vs. “farther”

Misusing The Apostrophe With “Its”

When the term it’s signifies it is or it has, you use an apostrophe. It signifies belonging to it without the apostrophe.

Check Out: The Ultimate Checklist for English Speaking Books 2022!


The usage of “don’t” in negative phrases confuses English learners, particularly Spanish speakers. To communicate a negative sense in English, you must use the words “do” and “not.”

Also Read: CBSE Class 9 English Syllabus

Common English Errors in Well and Good

Mixing up “well” with “good” is one of the most prevalent grammatical mistakes. In general, “well” is an adverb, whereas “good” is an adjective. If you’re unsure, simply ask yourself if an adjective or an adverb is more suitable in the scenario.

Also Read: Secure English Level Test (SELT)

There / They’re/ They’re 

It’s conceivable that you’re having trouble with these annoying homophones. The proper method to utilize them is as follows:

  • Use “There”  to allude to a place that isn’t here.” 
  • When referring to who owns something, use “their” to show that it belongs to that individual.
  • Instead of “They are,” use the shorthand “They’re.”

Also Read: English for Competitive Exams

Common English Errors in Your / You’re 

It’s conceivable that you’re having trouble with these annoying homophones. The proper method to utilize them is as follows:

  • “Your” indicates ownership and establishes that something is yours.
  • “You’re” is a contraction of “You are.”

These are some of the common English errors to avoid. Planning to study abroad and need assistance with institutions, the application process, finances, paperwork, or anything else, call the Leverage Edu professionals at 1800572000 and let them give you outstanding end-to-end mentorship and advice to help you make your goal a reality in no time!

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