Intermediate Mistakes (iv)


Source: Swan. M. 2005. Practical English Usage Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press (2011).

Practical English Usage lists over a hundred common mistakes in the English language. Listed below are a number of mistakes that intermediate students of English often make according to Swan (2005).

“He’s married with a doctor.” = He’s married to a doctor.
(449) The most common combination is: marriage to; get/be married to (not with).

“Can you mend this until Tuesday?” = Can you mend this by Tuesday?
(602.6) We use until to talk about a situation or state that will continue up to a certain moment. We use by to say that an action or event will happen at or before a future moment. (117.1) By can mean ‘no later than’. Compare: I’ll be home by five o’clock. (= at or before five).

“There’s a hotel in front of our house.” = There’s a hotel opposite our house.
(402.1) We put the adjective opposite before a noun when we are talking about one of a pair of things that naturally face or contrast with each other.

“I like warm countries, as Spain.” = I like warm countries, like Spain.
(326.1) We can use like or as to say that things are similar. Like can be a preposition. We use like, not as, before a noun or pronoun to talk about similarity. Compare: like + noun/pronoun.

“Please explain me what you want.” = Please explain to me what you want.
(198/449) After explain, we use to before an indirect object.

“When you come take your bike.” = When you come, bring your bike.
(112.1) We use bring for movements to the place where the speaker or hearer is, but we use take for movements to other places.

“My brother has got a new work.” = My brother has got a new job.
(148.3) Work is an uncountable noun, whereas job is a countable noun. (66.1) We do not normally use an indefinite article with plural and uncountable nouns.

“He’s Dutch, or better Belgian.” = He’s Dutch, or rather Belgian.
(491.4/104.2) People often use or rather to correct themselves.

See other: Notes On English Grammar

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