The Elementary level is enough to travel to a foreign country and talk to people a little bit. But if you want to take your communication to the next level, you need to work on weak points. Let’s learn why it’s incorrect to say “I am agree with you,” how not to turn a “ship” into a “sheep,” and when “like” doesn’t mean what you enjoy. 

Mistake 1. Adding unnecessary words

❌ I am agree with you. 

✔️ I agree with you. 

“Agree” is a verb, and it doesn’t need “be” before it. 

Mistake 2. Missing necessary words

I looking for a bus to the city center. 

✔️I am looking for a bus to the city center. 

When you talk about what is happening right now, use the Present Continuous. To do this, place the auxiliary verb “am,” “is,” or “are” before the verb and add the suffix “-ing.”

Mistake 3. Forgetting the “-s” ending

❌ She work in a big company. 

✔️ She works in a big company. 

After nouns in the third person, singular (anything that can be replaced with “he,” “she,” “it”), you need to add the “-s” or “-es” ending to the verb. 

Mistake 4. Saying incorrect negative sentences

❌ Sorry, I’m not understand.  

✔️ Sorry, I don’t understand. 

To form a negative sentence in the Present Simple, you need to place “don’t” or “doesn’t” before the verb. And remember that after “he,” “she,” “it,” you should use “doesn’t” and remove the “-s” ending from the verb.

❌ He don’t live with me.   

❌ He don’t lives with me.   

✔️ He doesn’t live with me. 

Mistake 5. Using the wrong word order in questions

❌ What you are doing now?  

✔️ What are you doing now?

Word order is very important in English. In questions, follow this pattern: question word (what) + auxiliary verb (are) + the one performing the action (you) + the action (doing) + complement, time, place (now).

Mistake 6. Pronouncing long and short vowel sounds the same

❌ I want to order four /fɔː/ tea /ti/, two coffee. 

✔️  I want to order four /fɔː/ tea /ti:/, two coffee. 

If you pronounce the word “tea” shortly, it sounds blended with the number, resulting in 40 /’fɔːti/. In English, there are six vowels that can express 20 vowel sounds: short, long, and diphthongs. The duration of the pronounced sound often determines the meaning of the word. Compare: ship [ʃɪp] vs. sheep [ʃi:p]. To avoid misunderstandings, pronounce all long vowels clearly. 

Mistake 7. Confusing “say” and “tell”

❌ I said him about the LinguaTrip blog. 

✔️ I told him about the LinguaTrip blog. 

“Te;;” and “say” have similar meanings. But use “tell” when you’re talking about a large amount of information (story, joke, fairytale), and “say” for short statements. There is another important difference: after “say,” you need to use a noun indicating what you’re saying, e.g., say + (what to say?) goodbye. After “tell,” specify who you’re talking to, e.g., tell + (whom to tell?) him goodbye.  

Mistake 8. Confusing “excuse me” and “sorry”

Excuse me, I’m late. 

✔️ Sorry, I’m late. 

Both “sorry” and “excuse” can be translated similarly, but they are used in different situations. If you have already done something wrong, say “sorry,” but if you’re about to do something, say “excuse me.” 

Mistake 9. Saying “very” before verbs

❌ I very like it. 

✔️ I like it very much. 

“Very” can only be used with adjectives, such as “very beautiful,” or with adverbs, like “very well.” It doesn’t go before verbs. You can say the phrase “very much” after them.  

Mistake 10. Not using adverbs

❌ I very like it. 

✔️ I like it very much. 

“Good” is an adjective. It can only be used before nouns, so you can say “I speak good English.” After verbs, you need to use an adverb. Most adverbs are formed by adding the suffix “-ly” (slow → slowly, careful → carefully). But there are a few exceptions, for example, “good” becomes “well,” and “fast” remains unchanged.  

It’s ok to make mistakes, especially when you just begin to learn a new language. They help us understand what we need to study better. Just don’t give up! We believe in you!