Dos & Don'ts! Common mistakes made in English
5 easy tips!
1. “I am boring.”
We hear this one a lot as teachers and it is a mistake that can be easily avoided. So here it is!
- Soy aburrido. (I am boring.) – I’m a boring person in general.
- Estoy aburrido. (I’m bored.) – Right now I feel bored.
It’s ok! The verb ‘ser’ and ‘estar’ for English speakers can be very confusing too.
2. “My father is teacher.”
Dropping the article when talking about your profession is another simple mistake which can be easily corrected. This occurs not only at a low level, but we have even had C1 students make this very basic mistake. If you are involved in the #business world, you won’t want to be making this mistake.
- Soy profesor. (I am a teacher.)
- Eres arquitecto. (You are an Architect.)
- Él es camerero. (He is a waiter.)
3. Using time expressions.
Time expressions such as; yesterday, last week, next year, at the weekend…etc. Now there are exceptions to where you put these expressions in a sentence, but the easiest thing to do is put them either at the start of a sentence, or at the end. This way you will be sure that it is correct.
- Yesterday, I went to the beach with my friends.
- I went to the beach with my friends yesterday.
Because the sentence structure is different in Spanish, most students say the following:
- I yesterday went to the beach with my friends. (Incorrect)
4. Double negatives.
When we first start learning English, we make a direct translation from our mother tongue. This is something that can slow your learning process down, so try to avoid doing it.
- We say – “I don’t know nothing.” THIS IS A TYPICAL DOUBLE NEGATIVE.
- Correct – “I don’t know anything.”
5. Rise vs Raise.
This is a tricky one to get your head round. Don’t worry! We will make it short and sweet.
Rise is an irregular verb, which means to increase or go up. (rose/risen)
Raise is a regular verb, which means to increase or go up. So what is the difference between the two?
- We use the verb RISE when we have no control over the action.
- We use the verb Raise when we do have control over the action.
E.g. The cost of living is gradually rising in #Sevilla. (No control)
E.g. If anyone has any questions, please raise your hand and wait for your turn to speak. (control)
We hope you have enjoyed our 5 quick dos & don’ts this week. If you have any doubts, feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to help.