50 MOST COMMON MISTAKES in English Grammar – Error Identification & Correction

50 MOST COMMON MISTAKES in English Grammar – Error Identification & Correction

Hello there. This lesson will help you to speak and write
correct English. We will look at 50 of the most common mistakes
made by learners of English and how to avoid them. We are going to cover errors in subject-verb
agreement, question formation, irregular verbs, the very important tenses, modal verbs, conditionals,
adjectives, prepositions, articles, and more. We have a lot to learn, so let’s get started. Alright let’s begin with subject-verb agreement. Here’s our first sentence: “He have two
sisters.” Is that correct? No, it should be “He has two sisters.” The rule is that if the subject is ‘I’,
‘You’, ‘We’, ‘They’, or any other plural noun, then we use the verb in its present
tense form form, and we don’t add –s to the verb. But if the subject is ‘He’, ‘She’,
‘It’ or any singular noun, then we add –s to the verb. So what about this sentence? “Many people likes to go on vacation in
the summer.” Here, we should say “Many people like to
go on vacation in the summer.” We have a plural subject – ‘many people’
so the verb should not have an –s. Next one: “Jacob and Sophie lives in Los
Angeles.” The correct sentence is “Jacob and Sophie
live in Los Angeles.” Even though Jacob is an individual and Sophie
is also one individual, together, Jacob and Sophie are a plural subject – so we don’t
add–s to the verb. Sentence number four is “There is ten apples
in the basket.” It should be “There are ten apples in the
basket.” – The subject of this sentence is not ‘there’
(that’s just a dummy subject). The real subject is the phrase ‘ten apples’. So the verb should be ‘are’. If there was only apple, you would say “There
is an apple in the basket.” Number five: “Everyone know that the sun
rises in the east.” So, what’s the correction? “Everyone knows that the sun rises in the
east.” This is because ‘everyone’ is actually
a singular subject. Now, you might be thinking – wait a minute
– everyone refers to all the people, so it’s a plural. But, it’s not. In English grammar, the pronouns that you
see on the screen are all singular – they are not plural – keep that in mind. Let’s move on now to our next topic – question
formation. Here’s the first one: “You went to the
beach yesterday?” That’s a common mistake. You should ask, “Did you go to the beach
yesterday?” In questions, we put the helping or auxiliary
verb first. This can be a verb like – be, have, can,
will, would etc. If there is no helping verb we add ‘do’. I’ve said ‘did’ here because this sentence
talks about the past (yesterday). After the auxiliary verb comes the subject
(you), then the main verb in its base form – ‘go’. So “Did you go to the beach yesterday?”
is correct. Next sentence: “Where I can buy a cell phone
charger?” Same mistake. The correct question is “Where can I buy
a cell phone charger?” This is just like the previous question but
it has a question word. So we put that at the beginning. Sentence number eight is “Do you know who
is that woman?” WRONG. It should be “Do you know who that woman
is?” If you start a question with “Do you know”,
“May I ask”, “Can you tell me” etc. then we call it an indirect question (which
is more polite). For this type of question, we don’t change
the word order. We first put the question word, then the subject,
and then an auxiliary verb if we have one and then the main verb. Alright, let’s now turn to errors in the
tenses. Our first sentence is “I am working as a
teacher.” This is wrong. “I work as a teacher.” is correct. Use the present simple tense to talk about
your occupation or other permanent situation. For example: “Shobha lives in New Delhi.” You only use the present continuous tense
(that is an –ing form) for actions that are happening right now: “I am talking.” “They’re walking in the park.” “He is eating a sandwich” etc. Here’s a similar error: “I am having a
large family.” You should say: “I have a large family.” Because, again, this expresses a general situation,
not an action that I’m doing right now. What about this sentence: “I don’t think
she is recognizing me.” It should be: I don’t think she recognizes
me.” Even though this might be happening at the
moment of speaking, with some verbs we don’t use –ing forms. Instead, we prefer to use the present simple
tense with these because they are not physical actions. Such verbs are called ‘state verbs’ because
they express a state or situation – you see some of the common ones on the screen
– remember that we use them in the present simple tense. Next sentence: “Lucas is working here for
three years.” The correct form is “Lucas has been working
here for three years.” If an action or a situation started in the
past, and it’s still continuing, you need to use the present perfect continuous tense
(with have been or has been plus the verb in –ing form). So how about this? “We’ve been waiting for you since two
hours.” Well, it looks like it’s a correct sentence
– it’s in the present perfect continuous tense. But can you spot the error? It should be “We’ve been waiting for you
for two hours.” You use ‘since’ if you mention the exact
time that the action started – “We’ve been waiting for you since 5 o’clock.” But if you say the duration (that is, the
amount of time), you use ‘for’. Here’s sentence number fourteen: “Uma
went to the market and buy a lot of groceries yesterday.” How do you correct it? “Uma went to the market and bought a lot
of groceries yesterday.” There are two separate actions (went to the
market and bought groceries) and both of them happened in the past. So don’t forget to apply the correct tense
to all the verbs in a sentence. Number fifteen: “I have graduated from college
in 2014.” Common mistake. You should say “I graduated from college
in 2014.” If you mention the time when something happened
(like ‘in 2014’), you should use the past simple tense and not the present perfect. I’ve also heard people say: “I have sent
you an email yesterday.” – you’re saying ‘yesterday’, so you
should say “I sent you an email yesterday.” Or you can just say “I have sent you an
email.” and I will understand that you sent it recently. Alright, next sentence: “We didn’t receive
the package yet.” This should be “We haven’t received the
package yet.” because ‘yet’ means until now – we are
not mentioning any specific time here. So you should use the present perfect and
not the past simple. Next one: “I come and see you in your office
tomorrow.” Obviously, this is a future tense sentence
and it’s a promise to do something, so “I’ll come and see you in your office tomorrow.” is correct. Sentence number eighteen is “We will get
married on the 8th of September.” Very common error. Can you correct it? It should be “We’re getting married on
the 8th of September.” or “We’re going to get married…” This is because for fixed arrangements in
the future, we don’t use ‘will’ – we either use the present continuous tense (that’s
the more common form) or we can use ‘going to’. Let’s now move on and talk about verb forms. Here’s the first one: “When Abdul took
out his wallet, his keys fallen out.” The correction is “When Abdul took out his
wallet, his keys fell out.” In the past simple tense, you should use the
past simple form (the second form) of the verb (also called V2 by some teachers). Next sentence: “Have you ever went to see
a movie by yourself?” The tense is correct but verb form is wrong. “Have you ever gone to see a movie by yourself?”
is correct. In the present perfect tense, the past participle,
or third form (V3) should be used. Number twenty-one is “I didn’t ate anything
at the restaurant because I wasn’t hungry.” You should say, “I didn’t eat anything
at the restaurant.” I see this mistake a lot. In negative sentences in the present simple,
past simple, or future simple that is, after don’t, didn’t or won’t, we must use
the base form of the verb, not the past tense form. Number twenty-two: “Vicki spended all her
money within a week.” Not spended, spent. The verb ‘spend’ is irregular, meaning
that the past form does not have an –ed ending. There are many irregular verbs in English
like buy, eat, speak, think and so on. You can only learn them through experience,
so you should memorize as many as you can. Alright, our next topic is modal verbs. The first sentence is: “He could running
fast when he was younger.” You should say “He could run fast when he
was younger.” After any modal verb, you should use a verb
in its base form. Next one: “Smoking is prohibited in this
building. That means you don’t have to smoke here.” The correction is “Smoking is prohibited
in this building. That means you mustn’t smoke here” or
‘you cannot smoke here’. ‘To say that something is not allowed, you
need to use ‘mustn’t’ or ‘cannot’. Next, we look at an area where errors are
very common: conditionals. “If I will hear about any job openings,
I will let you know.” Did you spot the error? It should be “If I hear about any job openings,
I will let you know.” The first clause, “If I hear about any job
openings” is the condition – here, we don’t use ‘will’. We use it in the result – “I will let
you know.” – that’s correct. What about this: “If I have wings, I will
fly all over the world.” It should be “If I had wings, I would fly
all over the world.” The first conditional – with the present
simple tense in the condition and ‘will’ in the result is used only for real situations. This situation is not real – I cannot have
wings. So it’s imaginary or unreal. For this, we use the past tense throughout
the sentence to show that it’s just imagination (notice that we’ve said ‘If I had wings’
in the condition and ‘I would fly’ in the result). Next one: “If I knew it was your birthday
yesterday, I would have bought you a present.” Well, this is mostly correct but there’s
a problem in the condition. We need to say “If I had known it was your
birthday yesterday, I would have bought you a present.” This is the correct structure for past conditionals
– ‘had’ plus past participle verb in the condition and ‘would have’ in the
result. Our next topic is errors in adjectives. Here’s a common mistake: “I am really
interesting in sports cars.” You should say “I am really interested in
sports cars.” When you need to decide between the –ed
and –ing forms of an adjective, remember this: the –ing adjective shows the reason
or cause. The –ed adjective shows the result or the
effect. So “Sports cars are interesting, and I am
interested in sports cars.” In the same way, “The lecture was boring,
so the students were bored.” Here’s number twenty-nine: “Your English
is more better than mine.” The correction is “Your English is better
than mine.” The word ‘better’ is the comparative form
of ‘good’ – it already means ‘more good’, so don’t say ‘more better’,
‘more bigger’ etc. Now, some adjectives like ‘beautiful’
don’t have –er comparative forms. So you would say ‘more beautiful’ or ‘more
important’. It’s a good idea for you to memorize the
correct comparative and superlative forms of common adjectives. Alright, what about this sentence: “Neeraj
is more tall than Pradeep.” Here, we need to say “Neeraj is taller than
Pradeep.” because the adjective ‘tall’ has a comparative form that is made by adding
–er: ‘taller’. Next one: “There are less libraries today
compared to ten years ago.” This error is made even by native speakers
of English. This should be “There are fewer libraries
today compared to ten years ago.” The word ‘less’ is used with uncountable
nouns – so you can say ‘less milk’, ‘less sugar’, ‘less money’, ‘less
information’ etc. but with countable nouns, you need to use ‘fewer’: ‘fewer chairs’,
‘fewer students’, ‘fewer buildings’, ‘fewer jobs’ and so on. OK, let’s now turn to errors in the use
of prepositions. “The concert had already started when we
arrived in the venue.” This should be “The concert had already
started when we arrived at the venue.” One reason that prepositions are so tricky
for people learning English is that there can be different rules different verbs for
which prepositions to use. With the verb ‘arrive’, we use ‘at’
to talk about reaching a place. But if we’re talking about a city or a country,
then we use ‘in’ – as in “The team arrived in England a few hours ago.” Next sentence: “You are not listening me.” What’s the mistake here? Well, we need to say “You are not listening
to me.” After the verb ‘listen’, remember to put
‘to’. Next one: “Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan live at
New York.” This is wrong because it needs to be ‘live
in New York.’ For permanent situations like living, working
or studying in a city or country, we use the preposition ‘in’. But we use ‘at’ when we talk about living
at an address – “Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan live at 25, Dexter Avenue, Queens, New York.” for example. If you are a student, you study at a university. If you work, you can work at or for a specific
company – both prepositions are OK. Here’s a similar mistake: “I was born
on 1985.” It should be “I was born in 1985.” because
we say ‘in’ with months and years. You might say for example: “It rains a lot
here in August.” But if you mention a specific date, then say
‘on’: “I was born on October 8, 1985.” What about this sentence: “Don’t go out
in the night. It’s not very safe.” This is wrong because we have to say ‘at
night’. Now, we say ‘in the morning’, ‘in the
afternoon’ and ‘in the evening’ but ‘at night.’ Next: “Keith is married with a math teacher.” It should be “Keith is married to a math
teacher.” With the verb ‘marry’, we always use ‘to’
and not ‘with’. Let’s move on and talk about errors with
plurals. “The childrens are playing outside.” What’s the mistake? It’s ‘children’, not ‘childrens’. We say ‘child’ if there’s only one,
and ‘children’ if there’s more than one child. This type of plural is called an irregular
plural because you can’t just add ‘s’ to the singular form. You see some other common ones on the screen. You should memorize these and other common
irregular plurals to avoid mistakes. Next sentence: “Passengers must check in
their luggages at the airport.” Here’s the correction: “Passengers must
check in their luggage at the airport.” The reason is that ‘luggage’ is an uncountable
noun, so you cannot say ‘one luggage’, ‘two luggages’ etc. But you can say ‘one piece of luggage’,
‘two pieces of luggage’ and so on. Similarly: “The factory has all the latest
equipments.” Common mistake: it should be ‘equipment’
not ‘equipments’ because equipment is an uncountable noun. But, again, you can say ‘one piece of equipment’,
‘two pieces of equipment’ etc. And now we turn to another area that gives
English learners a lot of problems: articles. Here’s the first sentence: “I am programmer
specializing in website development.” Is something missing here? Well we need to say “I am a programmer.” The noun ‘programmer’ is a common noun
– it refers to a category or type of person. If you have a singular common noun, you should
always put ‘a’ or ‘an’ before it. Next one: “Hannah studies at an university.” This sentence looks correct but it’s not. Here’s the correction: Hannah studies at
a university. But, hold on, you might be thinking – ‘university’
starts with ‘u’ which is a vowel, so we should put ‘an’ before it, right? Well, no. The rule is that you put ‘an’ before a
vowel sound, not a vowel letter. The word ‘university’ starts with a /y/
sound. We don’t say ‘ooniversity.’ We say ‘university’. The /y/ sound is a consonant sound, so no
‘an’ before ‘university’. OK, what about this sentence: “Frank Sinatra
is best singer I have ever heard.” This needs to be “Frank Sinatra is the best
singer I have ever heard.” Any superlative form – ‘the best’, ‘the
worst’, ‘the hottest’, ‘the coldest’, ‘the most expensive’, ‘the least important’
etc. needs to have ‘the’ before it. Remember that. Here’s another extremely common error: “I
need an advice from you about buying a guitar.” Here, we need to say “I need some advice
from you” or, we can just say “I need your advice about buying a guitar.” ‘Advice’ is an uncountable noun and we
don’t use a or an before uncountable nouns. Now, English can be a crazy language sometimes
– ‘idea’ is considered countable but ‘advice’ is considered uncountable. So you can say ‘an idea’ but you cannot
say ‘an advice’. OK, sentence number forty-five is “The teachers
should be friendly to their students.” The correct sentence is: “Teachers should
be friendly to their students.” This is because we are making a general statement
here, and to generalize with plurals such as ‘teachers’ we don’t use ‘the’. And finally, our last topic is errors in vocabulary
– that is, in word choice. Here’s the first one: “He said me that
he needed some money.” This can be either “He told me that he needed
some money.” or “He said that he needed some money.” The verb ‘say’ does not take an indirect
object – that means, you cannot say ‘said me’, ‘said him’ and so on. So what about this next sentence: “Cara
told that she had applied for the manager’s job.” Well, this should be “Cara said that”
or “Cara told me that she had applied for the manager’s job.” The verb ‘tell’ usually needs an indirect
object like ‘me’, ‘him’, ‘her’ etc. Alright, here’s the next one: “According
to me, this is the best restaurant in town.” You should say: “In my opinion, this is
the best restaurant in town.” You can say ‘according to’ when you want
to give someone else’s opinion; it’s wrong to use it to give your own opinion. Number forty-nine: “I met Scott for the
first time in Geneva ten years before.” Common error. It should be ‘ten years ago’. When we mention an amount of time in the past,
we use ‘ago’ and not ‘before’ – you can say ‘ten years ago’, ‘two months
ago’, ‘a few weeks ago’, ‘five minutes ago’ etc. And here’s the last sentence in our lesson:
“Most of people have a computer at home these days.” Can you identify the error? Well, the error is saying ‘most of’. Just say “Most people have a computer at
home these days.” When we are talking generally, we always say
‘most people’, ‘most students’, ‘most homeowners’ etc. If you are talking about a specific group,
then you can say ‘most of the’: “Most of the students in my class passed the exam.”
or as the teacher, I would say “Most of my students passed the exam with flying colors.” OK, how many of these 50 mistakes did you
identify and correct? Let me know in the comments section below. If you liked this lesson, give it a thumbs
up by hitting the like button. If you’re new to my channel, remember to
subscribe by clicking the subscribe button to get my latest lessons right here on YouTube. Happy learning and I will see you in another
lesson soon.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Hey there, I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Let me know if you have any questions. Also check out:
    ➜ 1 Simple Trick to Become FLUENT in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0qT4cK-wtk&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
    50 Words You are Pronouncing WRONG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdtUjWb0O9w&list=PLmwr9polMHwtOrZVwGuiN8xLup5elPE6f
    POWER Writing – Write ANYTHING in English Easily (Essays, Emails, Letters Etc.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT_D68RJ5T8&list=PLmwr9polMHwtPulG3q4SrSNIZzlJl2gXf
    100 English Sentences You Can Use in Conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dRuy1VLCiQ&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
    ➜ Learn TELEPHONE English – 100 Sentences You Can Use on the Phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkppeSjRj0E&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
    ➜ Speak English FLUENTLY like a NATIVE SPEAKER with just 10 words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KU2eobDMqs&list=PLmwr9polMHwsI6vWZkm3W_VE7cWtYVjix
    ➜ All GRAMMAR lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsR35rD9spEhjFUFa7QblF9
    ➜ All MODAL VERBS Lessons (Could, Would, Should, May, Might, Must etc.): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwvGTssgSU9KWEm2T4WiWaTj
    ➜ All PARTS OF SPEECH lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsQmAjoAxtFvwk_PaqQeS68
    ➜ All ARTICLES (a, an, the) lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsbkqz6kU5e6MgpvaYrpKfX
    ➜ All PRONUNCIATION lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwtOrZVwGuiN8xLup5elPE6f
    ➜ All TENSES lessons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmwr9polMHwsRNZW607CtVZhg_SzsbiJw

  2. You're a great teacher,but even the illiterate can speak as well as understand,l learned english Just by wtching TED and without subtitles, them l learning to read, write and speak is the hardest part, need a lot effort and time, l am from Brasil,tank you!

  3. Hello…
    Would like to ask one question…
    We use 2 3 1 sequence in pronouns. But when we have to say they and we.. What would be the sequence?
    Example we and they are in the same team or they and we are in the same team.
    Please suggest

  4. Great teacher
    Where are u from
    U have a perfect pronunciation congratulations…
    I'm improving my pronunciation by watching your videos

  5. Wow…! Thanks a lot sir. Can you clarify, is there any thing wrong with this sentence, "stop looking at me", since the verb 'look' should not be used in -ing form in present tense, as explained in this lecture.

  6. I am really excited to keep coment after viewing this vedio…bt am afraid of my English …coz u ll easily find an error in my English…😂… anyway your ascent is awesome

  7. You said we have to use the before musical instruments
    For example the guitar
    But you didn't use in top 5p grammar mistakes
    I need some advice from you about buying a guitar..

  8. This video truly added a deep understanding in my knowledge of english.Your videos are excellent.The accent you use and the words you speak and the way you explain are really splendid.Please keep making such videos and help students and passionists of english language to gain a deeper understanding.Thank you.

  9. Sir… Thank you for your most valuable knowledge…. Can you pls post a video for teachers…about the sentences used in classrooms

  10. Your teachings are really awesome Sir, thank you Sir for your valuable lessons…i do keep watching your channel..

  11. Very helpful video, appreciated. Please also make a video how to correct English speaking accent. I found you don't have the typical Indian accent in your speaking and I'm wondering how did you fix that?

  12. Dear teacher, this is a amazing video. Congratulations. I am waiting for the next lesson. Enjoy the rest of your day. Marie-Chantal

  13. I am preparing for competitive exams and I should say this lesson is going to help me in spotting the error section. This lesson proved most of my ideas wrong. Pretty solid content, slides were very nice just like your other videos. I couldn't thank you enough. Thank you so very much sir!!

  14. I have identified only punctuation and spelling mistakes but sir it is more helpful to me to gain confidence while OET writing module

  15. It was the most interesting lecture that I have ever heard.
    sir have any mistakes or common error in this sentence ? please tell me.

  16. Finally, i found my kind of videos on your channel, I'm really happy that i discover your videos about grammar mistakes thanks a lot !

  17. Hello sir. Could you explain that I would have bought you a present? I think that I would have bought present for you instead.

  18. Hii sir this is kavyashree , please do videos on reading comprehension for banking and other competitive exams so it will be helpful

  19. Its really useful..I hv been finding this long time..finally my doubts are cleared..thnk u sir…looking forward to more such videos 😊

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