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What's a common mistake made in your language?


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Guest isabbbela

The most common mistakes in my language are with verb conjugations. Even educated people will sometimes say those wrong. Also spelling mistakes are very common, and some of them are really big errors! I wish people would at least speak their own language well enough. Making mistakes here and there is normal and everyone does that, however writing really common words wrong is embarrassing.

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Accents, people don't seem to know where to put those, lol.  It's something really annoying, because if you fail to place the accents in the right place, your message could be totally missunderstood. Like for example... it's not the same when I say: ''Cheque lo que me mando!'' to ''Chequé lo que me mandó''.  It depends on the context, but the first one can be taken like an order for the receptor to follow inmediately, but the latter can be clearly taken as an activity that took place in the past.  HUGE difference! 

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I think mispronunciations abound both by native and non native speakers.  Another thing I often here is problems with tense. using present or past tense interchangeably.  (Sometimes with native speakers they seem to purposely use 'slang tense')

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Polish people mispronounce Polish words. There are letters that get neglected when they're used at the end of the sentence and it makes the talk sound really scruffy but on the other hand, when you pronounce them too carefully, you sound funny! Seems like you can't win here.

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In mine it's a bit more grammatical. There is a preposition in Malay / Indonesian meaning "in" or "at" which is "di". I could say "di Malaysia" meaning "in Malaysia" or "di Amerika" meaning "in America".

There is also another :"di-" which is a prefix to show the passive. So "dimakan" means "it's being eaten", "ditolak" means "it's being pushed" and "ditulis" means "it is being written". The "di" shows that the verb is in the passive. The problem is that the preposition meaning "in" is always written separately from the main word while the one used as passive is always written together.

A lot of people confuse them in writing and do not know when to put a space and when to join the words.

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In written English, you won't believe how many native speakers don't know the difference between "it's" and "its". It seems so simple; "it's" has no meaning other than "it is". Every other place you would use that word, don't sneak the apostrophe in there.

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In written English, you won't believe how many native speakers don't know the difference between "it's" and "its". It seems so simple; "it's" has no meaning other than "it is". Every other place you would use that word, don't sneak the apostrophe in there.

Yes, I see that error frequently.  There are quite a few native English speakers who have trouble with the use of the apostrophe in general, not just with "its" and "it's." 

For instance when people try to make a noun plural, but they add an unnecessary apostrophe.  Someone might say, "I talked to the boy's yesterday" or "We saw the letter's that were on the desk."

Another error I see frequently is the confusion of "there" and "their" and "they're."  People don't know which one to use so they wind up writing something like:  "We took a look at they're new house yesterday.  It was the one that is out their on the corner lot.  We talked to there neighbors, too."

It should be:  "We took a look at their new house yesterday.  It was the one that is out there on the corner lot.  We talked to their neighbors, too."

There are many common errors, unfortunately, but these come to mind as I do see them so often. 

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These are all common mistakes among native and second-language speakers:

  • there/their/they're
  • your/you're
  • its/it's
  • good/well (and other adjective/adverb pairs)

There are certain mistakes I see among ESL learners, but I'm having trouble thinking of any except "Explain me (something)" instead of "Explain something TO me"

e.g. "Can you explain me the process of naturalization?"

In fact, I came across a funny image relating to this today :)

1374086_10151669946057204_330486788_n.jpg

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These are all common mistakes among native and second-language speakers:

  • there/their/they're
  • your/you're
  • its/it's
  • good/well (and other adjective/adverb pairs)

There are certain mistakes I see among ESL learners, but I'm having trouble thinking of any except "Explain me (something)" instead of "Explain something TO me"

e.g. "Can you explain me the process of naturalization?"

In fact, I came across a funny image relating to this today :)

1374086_10151669946057204_330486788_n.jpg

This. So many people learning English gets mixed up with this.

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Oh man, the your/you're thing really gets on my nerves when people don't use the correct form. It doesn't even look right, I don't know how they could actually think that's the right way to say it. You're = You are, you can tell by the letters! Oh well, I usually don't correct people on it because then I'll come off as a jerk, but I can't help laughing when someone spells it wrong, especially if it's in an essay.

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I think most of the time the common mistakes are with the grammar, pronunciation and spellings. I admit that there are time that I make mistakes even by just speaking my own native language. There are words that I can't even understand.

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In Polish there are two words that look kinda similar: "przynajmniej" and "bynajmniej". They mean completely different things, though. "Przynajmniej" is "at least", "bynajmniej" is "not in the least, far from it".

Many people use "bynajmniej" when they mean "przynajmniej". I guess it's because "bynajmniej" sounds more sophisticated.

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In English, few use the subjunctive "were" anymore. No one knows how or when to use "whom," and your/you're and their/there/they're makes me angry on a daily basis. :)

In Spanish, conjugations are sometimes difficult for non-natives, seeing as they can be quite complicated. For native speakers, I find that many of them don't have a very extensive vocabulary. For example, I have yet to find a native Spanish speaker who knows how to say "drawbridge" (it's "puente levadizo").

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In mine it's a bit more grammatical. There is a preposition in Malay / Indonesian meaning "in" or "at" which is "di". I could say "di Malaysia" meaning "in Malaysia" or "di Amerika" meaning "in America".

There is also another :"di-" which is a prefix to show the passive. So "dimakan" means "it's being eaten", "ditolak" means "it's being pushed" and "ditulis" means "it is being written". The "di" shows that the verb is in the passive. The problem is that the preposition meaning "in" is always written separately from the main word while the one used as passive is always written together.

A lot of people confuse them in writing and do not know when to put a space and when to join the words.

This. Another thing I notice is the letter 'i' or 'e' which confuse them. In my language, 'i' is pronounce like 'e' in English. while 'e' can be pronounce like 'a'. So when they see the word 'sinar' ,they read it as 'senar' . Having to be able to roll their tongue with rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr is also another problem or any word with 'c' since a lot of foreigners use 'c' as 'k' or 'ch' they'd read the word 'cantik' as 'khantik'.

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I've found when listening to almost-fluent speakers of English that what gives them away is the misuse of prepositions and stressing the wrong part of a word. They'll say "on" something, when it should've been "in", or they'll say con-VER-sa-tion or sub-STI-tute. Other than these mistakes, I would have mistook them for native born Americans.

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  • 6 months later...

My native language, Creole is a very unique language. It would be difficult to make an error since the language is not a formal one. I find that within the country, people from each parish also have a distinct way of using some words so a person from one parish could think that someone else from another parish had made a mistake when it was simply a difference in the way a word is being used.

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I speak and write mostly in English, and the one mistake I always see is using "then" in place of "than". I always see writings saying better then instead of better than, and I have to admit that I kind of get irked whenever I see it, but at the same time, I understand that some people just make those types of mistakes and it isn't such a big thing anyway since people can still understand what they are trying to communicate.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In Portuguese there's an error a lot of people make, even native speakers. Probably mostly native speakers :shy: It's the diference between "Há" which means "it exists", and "À" which means "To" (Eg: Go to the store: Ir à loja). Since both soud exactly the same even native speakers will stop for a second to substitute the word with "exists" in their heads and see if it makes any sense. I know I do! And I never make this mistake :angel:

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I believe the most common mistakes made in my country when using  English language would be when using the tenses and spelling. Because English language is our second language but gets used whenever we write or speak formally it can be a challenge for many. When writing it is much easier to to realize the error made with tense but spelling is more of a challenge for some people.

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