20 Common Mistakes In English Corrected 1

Dear English learner! My name is Michael and today we are correcting 20 common mistakes in the English language!

1. “The business would suit any one who enjoys bad health. (From an advertisement in a daily newspaper of New York.) Few persons who have bad health can be said to enjoy it. Use some other form of expression: as, one in delicate health, or, one whose health is bad.

2. “We have no corporeal punishment here,” said a schoolmaster. Corporeal is opposed to spiritual. Say, corporal punishment. Corporeal means having a body.

3. “She is a notable woman,” as was said of the wife of the Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, meaning careful, and pronounced as though divided not able. This word is no longer current, with this pronunciation or signification, except to a slight extent in England. It has become obsolete, and its use now is in bad taste.

4. “Insert the advertisement in the Weekly.” Emphasize vert, and not ise.

5. “He rose up, and left the room:” leave out up, as it is absurd to say rise down. The Irishman who was hoisted down the coal pit, did not observe this rule.

6 .”Set down and rest yourself:” say sit down setting is said of the sun in the west, but cannot be properly applied to a person taking a seat. “Sit down” is not improper, though “rise up” as in No. 5 should never be used. Sitting down expresses the act of appropriating a chair, while sitting up means sitting erect. Sitting up also refers to watching during the night with the sick.

7. “You have sown it very neatly,” said a seamstress to her apprentice: say sewed, and pronounce so as to rhyme with road. The pronunciation of sew, meaning “to use the needle,” violates its spelling it is the same as that of sow, meaning “to scatter seed.”

8. “This is a secret between you and I:” say, you and me. The construction requires the objective case in place of I, which is in the nominative. It is in still better taste to say, “This is a secret with you and me.”

9. “Let you and I take a walk:” say, Let you and me, or, Let us. Who would think of saying, Let I go? The expression “Let I and you” is frequently heard, which contains the additional impropriety of putting the first person before the second.

10. “He is going to learn his brother Alfred how to knit nets:” say, teach. The act of communicating instruction is expressed by “teaching,” the act of receiving it by “learning.” The distinction between these words was made as early as the time of Shakespeare, and cannot be violated without incurring censure.


11. “John and Henry both read well, but John is the best reader:” say, the better reader, as best can be properly used only when three or more persons, or objects, are compared.

12. “Thompson was there among the rest.” This mode of expression, which is very common, literally declares an impossibility. The signification of “the rest” is, those in addition to Thompson, and of which Thompson formed no part he could not therefore be among them. A more correct form would be, “Thompson was there with the rest.”

13. “The two first cows are the fattest,” said a farmer at an agricultural fair. He should have said, “the first two” there can be only one that is first – the other must necessarily be second.

14. “It is an error you are mistaken:” say, you mistake. Mistaken means misapprehended “you mistake,” means “you misapprehend.”

15. “Have you lit the fire, Bridget?” say, lighted lit is now obsolete.

16. “To be is an auxiliary verb:” pronounce auxiliary as though spelled awg-zil-ya-re.

17. February: this word is often incorrectly spelled by omitting the r.

18. The “Miscellany” was an interesting publication: pronounce miscellany with the accent on mis.

19. “Celery is a pleasant vegetable:” pronounce celery as it is written, and not and not salary.

20. “Are you at leisure?” pronounce lei in leisure the same as lee.


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