Common Mistakes to Avoid While Speaking English

English like any other language, is based on a certain set of rules and regulations. For example: there is a rule for the agreement of verbs with the subject. People often commit errors because either they are ignorant of these rules or they are still new to speaking the language. Either way such small errors can be avoided by paying attention to them.

1. An Apostrophe can change the game

Apostrophe is used to show the ownership of something . It is also used in case of word blending.

When it is used with a plural noun it is used after an ‘s’ as in :

It is a girls’ hostel.

When it is used with a singular noun it is used before an ‘s’ as in:

It is Rita’s bag.


When it is used abbreviate and blend two words in case of the following :

Do not - don’t OR is not - isn’t OR it’s


2. What looks similar isn’t always the same

‘Your’ shows the possession Eg.: This is your book.

‘You’re’ shows a blend of two words ‘you’ ‘are’ Eg.: You’re a good man.

3. Difference between there and their

‘There’ shows the place Eg: There is a book on the table.

‘Their’ is a pronoun that shows possession. Eg.: It is their house.

4. Avoid the repetition of words

People often have a tendency to repeat certain words, for example ‘revert back’ or ‘return back home’ . The words ‘revert’ and ‘return’ signify reversal of something.

The work ‘back’ need not be used again with them.


5. ‘Few’, ‘A Few’ ‘The Few’

Few: shows something is negligible .

A Few : shows some in quantity.

The Few: specifies some portion that is left.

6. Then / Than

‘Than’ is used to make a comparison between two things whereas then is used as a means of showing the sequence of some event. Eg: Anil is richer than most Indians.

First we will attend the class , Then go to the party.

7. Use of article ‘the’

The article ‘the’ is used in the following ways:

  • Before a superlative degree - the richest, the tallest
  • While speaking about a category of people - The rich, The poor.
  • When the speaker and the listener are aware of the object under discussion. Eg. The book I gave you.

These are a few errors committed by people while speaking English. A repeated practice can help you overcome such errors and enhance your skills. In our online classes we not only strive to make people aware of these errors but also help them get rid of them.

  Written by: Anchal Upadhyay

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