Here are five very common English grammar mistakes which can cause misunderstandings.
If you’re at an intermediate level of English, check them out! When you fix these mistakes, your English will become more accurate – and easier to understand.
‘Like’ And ‘As’
“As you, I think…”
“He works like a teacher.”
1. We use “as” in these situations:
* followed by a clause (noun + verb)
“As I said before…”, “As you know…”, “As my teachers always told me…”
* with professions
“He works as a teacher.”
2. We use “like” in these situations:
* followed by a noun
“Like you, I think…”
* for comparisons
“He looks like you.”
Present Perfect vs Present Continuous
“I’m working here since 2018.”
1. We use the present perfect to describe situations or events that start in the past and continue up to now.
“I’ve worked here / I’ve been working here since 2018.”
2. Use the present perfect continuous to emphasise the duration of the situation / event. It can also be used to suggest that something is temporary, rather than permanent.
“I’ve been staying at a hotel while the builders renovate my house.”
“I showed he my new car.”
“Go with they to get the tickets.”
1. Use subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) at the beginning of the sentence, before the verb.
“You know…”, “He lives…”
2. Use object pronouns (me, you, him, her, it, us, them) after the verb and after prepositions.
“I showed him my new car.”
“Go with them to get the tickets.”
3. Don’t confuse pronouns with adjectives
“He has a new car. His new car is silver.”
The table below shows you the equivalent subject and object pronouns and possessive adjectives as a handy reference:
|Subject Pronouns||Object Pronouns||Possessive Adjectives|
“Do you fancy to have a coffee this morning?”
“She avoids to go out.”
1. Some verbs are followed by the gerund (“ing”) form:
fancy, avoid, risk
2. Some verbs are followed by the infinitive form:
decide, promise, agree.
These verbs are typically “speech” verbs. If you can imagine someone promising something, you can summarise as “He promised to…”
Want to know more?
See my page on gerunds and my page on infinitives.
“Is cold today.”
1. Always start your sentence with a noun or a gerund.
“She eats toast for breakfast.”
“Walking is good for you.”
2. If you don’t have a “person” or activity, use the default subject “it”:
“It’s cold today.”
“It’s difficult to see in the dark.”
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