The fact is English can be sometimes confusing. Its dynamic nature is another factor that result in its loss of clarity. A statement that is grammatically correct today may be proven wrong tomorrow.
It is very embarrassing when you make mistakes while speaking with friends. You might be corrected or just mocked by them. With this, you either stop using the word or look for the correct form. This is because you realised your mistake.
What about those mistakes you make everyday and yet you think you are speaking perfectly well?. You heard people using it like that and you also decide to use it the same way.
Well, making mistakes is an effective way to learn if you correct them. That is why I am writing this article to list and correct some common grammar mistakes users of English make.
COMMON MISTAKES IN ENGLISH USAGE
1. Using ‘for’ with ‘seek’
Am sure you have heard students saying “I am seeking for admission into…… “. This is very wrong and you should stop using it. The correct form is “I am seeking admission”. Do not use the preposition ‘for’ with the verb ‘seek’.
2. Using ‘night’ with ‘vigil’
What about “I am going to the night vigil?” Tautology! You are repeating the same thing. Ask yourself “Is there morning or afternoon vigil? Vigil is only done at night, so why the redundant use of ‘night’ with it? The correct form…… I am going to the vigil.
3. Using ‘of the’ to show the possession of a living thing
It is wrong to say “The house of the man is over there”,but rather say” The man’s house is over there. WHY? The rule says:
- When a living thing is involved, use (‘s) to show possession.
- When a non-living thing is involved, use (of the) to show possession. See examples below.
The boy’s pen is CORRECT while the pen of the boy is WRONG.
The table’s leg is WRONG while the leg of the table is RIGHT.
4. Wrong usage of SENIOR/JUNIOR and ELDER/YOUNGER
Most people regard their sister or brother as senior or junior e.g My junior sister, my senior brother… which is very wrong. The correct forms are My younger sister and my elder brother respectively.
- Senior and Junior are used to show ranking at place of work, offices or school.
- Elder and younger are used for age classification.
5. Using the word “Atimes”
Have you seen people using this word before? The word “Atimes” does not exist!. The correct form is “At times”.
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6. Using ‘of’ with ‘comprise’
Comprise/Comprises should not be used with ‘of’. Comprise itself means ‘consist of’, so don’t use ‘of’ again. See example below.
Our class comprises of 14boys and 20girls is WRONG
Our class comprises 14boys and 20girls is CORRECT
7. More grease to your elbow
People use this to say that “This is not the end of your success or accomplishment” but grease? The correct word is power instead of grease i.e more power to your elbow.
8. Using ‘ago’ with ‘sometimes’
Another common error is using the phrase “Sometimes ago,….”. The correct form is “Sometime ago“. If you want to use sometimes, use it without ago.
9. Using a past tense with ‘did’
Did you used to make this mistake? Oooh, I just made a mistake. “Did you used to….” doesn’t sound well to you, does it? No, it doesn’t. That is because “used” is in the past tense form and should not be used with “did”. You should rather say “Did you use to make this mistake“. Got it? So, whenever you use “did“, always use a verb in the present tense.
10. Using ‘for’ with ‘request’
I request you to stop making this mistake. Always use ‘request’ without using ‘for’ with it. Just say:
I request your support instead of I request for your support.
11. Saying ‘Motor accident’
Accident that involve vehicles is not motor accident. What if it involves ‘motorcycles’? Motorcycle accident? Very wrong. It is “ROAD ACCIDENT“.
12. Using the word ‘TOUT’
Who is a tout? Someone who behaves rude and violently? That’s wrong. Tout is not the word to use but what?…. LOUT. Check your dictionary, you’ll be amazed.
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