A Little English Too


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A thread dedicated to common errors in English usage or say, correct use of English words and phrases.

Here we are not discussing about those mistakes in spelling and grammar which some times do happen while typing and go unnoticed/ignored during available edit time.

Topic here is about mistakes and wrong usage (without knowing the right word or usage) which convey a different meaning or message to readers than what is intended by the person posting it.

Emphasis here is not to be perfect in grammar but to make communication effective without any ambiguity and also provide a pleasant reading experience for members and guests.

So let us discuss; to improve our English and communication skills so as to make this forum better. This inturn will help as in our professional and social interactions

Some most common errors in TAI:

  • wrong usage of 'little'.
  • unnecessary usage of 'even'
  • "costed"
Little:- little, a little.

'little' without 'a' is normally used to denote negative.

Eg1: I got a little help from him (meaning I received some help from him)
I got little help from him (I have not received any help from him)

Eg2: We had little food from there and started driving again. (This means, we did not eat anything and started driving again)
We had a little food from there and started driving again. (This means we ate some food and started driving again)

Eg3: Some time ago, when a TAI member quoted a review about Safari Storme "..it was pulling smoothly with little turbo lag..", he rightly interpreted it as 'no turbo lag'. Then some other members started bashing him saying that "the review says 'little turbo lag' that means some turbo lag is there".

Similar is the case with 'few' and 'a few'

'few' is used to denote negative.

eg: I speak few foriegn languages (I don't speak any foreign langauge)
I speak a few foreign languages (I can speak some foreign languages)

I have few friends (means I don't have any friends)
I have a few friends (means I have some friends)

Even:-

Here in TAI, we can see 'even' in many posts even though such usage is unnecessary in that context and give a different impression.

There are several examples:

Even I got my car serviced.
(should have been "I too got my car serviced")

Even I went there. (I too went there)

Even my car got scratched. (My car got scratched too)

Even I am coming for the meet. (I am coming too or I am also coming)

Even I paid toll ("I too paid toll" unless I am a VVIP or its a Government vehicle on duty..)

Use of 'even' (we can see this in many posts) where it is not necessary and out of context give a negative impression about our intentions and about our personality too.

{We are not the ones who normally keep our car without servicing, we are not some one special who normally don't go out or go for a meeting, our car is not made of scratch resistant material}

Cost: Past tense of cost is also 'cost'.

Wrong: I purchased a music system. It costed me Rs 10000
Correct: I purchased a music system. It cost me Rs 10000


Some other mistakes which would make our English bad:

Wrong: He drives very well. Isn't it?
Correct: He drives very well. Doesn't he?

Wrong: You are hiding something. Isn't it?
Correct: You are hiding something. Aren't you?

Wrong: We had talked to him yesterday.
Correct: We talked to him yesterday.

Wrong: We entered into the hall.
Correct: We entered the hall.

Wrong: It would have been more better.
Correct: It would have been better.

Wrong: Myself xyz.
Correct: I am xyz.

Comma killed a man!!

=> "hang, not leave him"

=> "hang not, leave him"

or

=> "liberate not, kill"

=> "liberate, not kill"

Misplacing a comma can lose friends.

=> I detest liars like you, I believe that honesty is the best policy.

Intended to say => I detest liars; like you I believe that honesty is the best policy.
 
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350Z

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Topic here is about mistakes and wrong usage (without knowing the right word or usage) which convey a different meaning or message to readers than what is intended by the person posting it.
Nice initiative. The examples describing improper usage of comma are hilarious. A few other words that are often wrongly used: then, than / their, there / you’re, your and the list is long. :smile:

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Sujith, Thank you for your grammar lesson. We would be grateful to you if you continue giving us this lessons I know there are lot of people in this forum who have good command over English but, still we make small mistakes. Hence need the help of people like you in helping improve our Grammar/English. I am open to learning.

And let us take it sportively, after all we are humans and "TO ERR IS TO HUMAN AND TO FORGIVE IS TO DIVINE"
 
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I have long given up in trying to push the Queen's English.

Reminds me of a distinguished English Professor of Physics who has lectured around the world, in I think eight languages. He always started his first lecture in the US with "I find lecturing here the most difficult, since we do not speak the same language."
 

sethumurugan

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Very good initiative. May be this errors are could be due to how we learn english. if you take me even though I studied in a matriculation school till fifth standard, from 6th to 12th I studied in local medium school [Tamil Medium]. Even after finishing my graduation I was not much fluent in English.

After getting into job, out of my own interest I had learnt English by listening to others, watching movies etc. Luckily my first job was with travel agency where I had to move with lot of airlines and high commissions. You all must be know the people sitting in those office. and my second job was at 100 year old company called A.F.Fergusions where I had to move with lot of non-tamilians. This both working place gave me lot of opportunity to learn English and speak/write fluently.

And another one was, earlier days [in 90s] I used to watch star movies regularly to understand the Pronunciation.

Here I got one more opportunity to learn next level from TAIian. its great. Thanks a lot friend again for the initiative.
 
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Nice initiative. The examples describing improper usage of comma are hilarious.
Thanks Vibhor.

'Comma killed a man' is a famous one.
Heard this from our Social Science teacher when I was in 8th Std.
That was in 1984.

Sujith, Thank you for your grammar lesson. We would be grateful to you if you continue giving us this lessons I know there are lot of people in this forum who have good command over English but, still we make small mistakes. Hence need the help of people like you in helping improve our Grammar/English. I am open to learning.

And let us take it sportively, after all we are humans and "TO ERR IS TO HUMAN AND TO FORGIVE IS TO DIVINE"
Thanks Nasrk.

We shall discuss how to improve our English. Combined experience and knowledge of all TAI members put together is tremendous.

It is about making our communication effective and ensure that everybody understand clearly what we are posting in TAI.

Wrong usage create confusion and misunderstanding.

To make it simple, as I have mentioned in the first post,

"Here we are not discussing about those mistakes in spelling and grammer which some times do happen while typing and go unnoticed/ignored during available edit time."

Emphasis here is not to be perfect in grammer but to make communication effective without any ambiguity and also provide a pleasant reading experience for members and guests.


I have long given up in trying to push the Queen's English.

Reminds me of a distinguished English Professor of Physics who has lectured around the world, in I think eight languages. He always started his first lecture in the US with "I find lecturing here the most difficult, since we do not speak the same language."
Thanks for the input Sg sir.

As mentioned above, we shall attempt here to make communication proper and like you suggested, not make it complicated by discussing pure English and high level grammer.

This example of an English Professor in US is apt.
They say, England and US are two countries separated by English language.
 
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Hey Safari !!

Wow !! Nice initiative and I was really looking for something like this to improve my english.

Yes, after I became active on forum, I have learnt lot of new words here and some good english, but still you know, I am not that fluent when I write and still a learner.

Till some time back I was thinking that I am writing a very fluent english but you know one member took his time to help me about my improper english usage. He has pointed out my problem very clearly which was not known to me at all(surprised). I was doing a mistake which was so funny as whatever I am thinking in my mind in my mother tongue(telugu) I am trying to translate the same to english and writing and you know with that the other guys who are fluent english medium members were getting confused with my post where they take in a different meaning altogether. Oh God thanks to this member for correcting me. Then I realised and started to think before writing and posting. I am really thankful to that member and I would like to reveal his name here..he is none other than our member "Raja". Thank you Raja[:)]

I am sorry friends, my problem is I studied in my mother tongue till my bachelor of arts, so I was never a english medium student. Then later on when I started doing my dip.mech and AMIE & MBA I learnt english and with my long sales marketing career and travel across the country and few foreign countries made me to learn this english.

I am a continuous learner and I thank Autosafari once again for this thread and request you to point out my mistakes either on this thread or with PM regularly to help me to learn proper english. Yes friends if you confess you learn more and proper !!
 
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Good thread. I hope it becomes popular and lives long. Adding reps.

A very common error made by experts and novices alike- "I drive my motorcycle/ I took a test drive of XYZ motorcycle"

Now the thing to remember is, anything with two wheels or less is 'ridden' and anything with more than 2 wheels (no need to balance) is 'driven'.

So you always 'ride' a bike and you always 'drive' a car.
 
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Use of 'overtly' these days has become quite common.Also writing 'teh' in place of 'the' sometimes makes the reading little strange.Anyways,nice initiative by you auto.Hope we can all improve our English with the help of this noble thread.Cheers.
 
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Nice initiative autosafari

I think we all should follow the spell check function in our posts. Its fairly easy to notice a wrong red underlined word and right click to see the correct format. Following the spell check will eliminate most of the errors and leave the post readable to great extent.
 

sethumurugan

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Good thread. I hope it becomes popular and lives long. Adding reps.

A very common error made by experts and novices alike- "I drive my motorcycle/ I took a test drive of XYZ motorcycle"

Now the thing to remember is, anything with two wheels or less is 'ridden' and anything with more than 2 wheels (no need to balance) is 'driven'.

So you always 'ride' a bike and you always 'drive' a car
.
That was a classic one. Even some time I did that mistake. We will make ourselves better next time. Thanks Buddy.
 
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I usually crack up when some members of my team email or message me "Please bare with me" - I wouldnt go as to what is my response usually (depending on who says it offcourse! ).

I have noticed it on our forums too, it should be "Please bear with me" rather.
"bear" and "bare" have very different meanings [:)]
 
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I usually crack up when some members of my team email or message me "Please bare with me" - I wouldnt go as to what is my response usually (depending on who says it offcourse! ).

I have noticed it on our forums too, it should be "Please bear with me" rather.
"bear" and "bare" have very different meanings [:)]
IR

Thank you, I was also one of them doing this mistake[cry]

Oh, I have learnt one more good thing for the day[:)]
 
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