English can be tricky especially to non-native learners so here is a list of common mistakes for your reference. Bookmark this page to remind yourself time and time again.
- Use were (instead of was) in statements that are hypothetical/unreal. (a wish/imaginary/a desire)
If I were a bird.
If she were
If he were
If we were
If they were
- Use ‘could’ and ‘would’ in statements are hypothetical/unreal. (a wish/imaginary/a desire)
Which country would you like to live in?
- “Most prettiest” is grammatically incorrect
Prettiest is the superlative (highest quality) form of pretty. Adding “most” is redundant. It is either most pretty or prettiest. This is the same for other adjectives such as sweetest, hardest, thinnest, fastest, fattiest.
- Some adjectives do not have comparative or superlative forms. Example: Ideal is an absolute. It is grammatically incorrect to write ‘more ideal’ or ‘most ideal’. Another instance is ‘unique’. Adding ‘most’ to the adjective is redundant.
List of other adjectives:
- Many people are confused and not sure when to write/say ‘Jane and I’ or ‘Jane and me’. If you would use ‘we’ then it’s ‘Jane and I’ if you would use ‘us’ then it is ‘Jane and me’.
Examples: Jane and I are going to the supermarket.
There is a misunderstanding between Jane and me.
- Apostrophes can be very confusing to some.
Its is a possessive form of the pronoun it, meaning possession/ownership/belonging.
Example: The school shortened its school hours during the pandemic.
It’s is a contraction of the words ‘it is’.
Example: It’s her right to pen down her thoughts on her own Facebook page and no one should restrict her freedom of speech.
There is much controversy for this word ‘Irregardless’. It is non-standard and ‘regardless‘ should be used instead at all times.
- Whet your appetite or wet your appetite
‘Wet your appetite’ is incorrect and is usually due to misspelling or mishearing. ‘Whet your appetite’ means to arouse interest in something, usually food.
- Which is right? ‘worst comes to worst’/’worse comes to worst’/’worse comes to worse’. Traditional, people common used ‘worst comes to worst’. The modern variation is ‘worse comes to worst‘ and ‘worse comes to worse’ is incorrect.
- When do you use ‘Fewer’ and ‘less’?
Use ‘fewer‘ for countable nouns. Example: John scored fewer points than his friends.
Use ‘less‘ for uncountable nouns, like time. Example: I was given less than forty-five minutes to complete the essay.
- When do you use ‘amount’ and ‘number’?
‘Amount‘ is used for uncountable nouns and ‘number‘ is used for countable nouns.
Example: Could you check the amount of water in the pot please?
The number of patients who were infected with the virus is unknown.
- When do you use ‘then’ and ‘than’?
‘Then’ is used to indicate something following something else in time and ‘than’ is used in comparison.
Example: I just need to complete this question then I am done with my work.
I have more homework than my sister.