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Common Errors in English- Adari Srinivas

English language is the business language and is quite popular among people. People nowadays need to know basic English to work and speak occasionally. However, for most Indians, it becomes difficult to talk in English, as it is not our native language. Sometimes a few common mistakes can damage a lot. It is why Mr. Adari discusses a few of the common mistakes that we make.

Improvise/ improvisation

We sometimes use a word without knowing its meaning. For example, the word 'improvise.' We use this term quite often in the sense of improving something from a previous state or form.

But it means:

1. "to make something from whatever is available, although it is not what you normally use."

2. To do something without preparation.

Many of us believe the word "improvisation" has something to do with the word improve , but it is wrong. Improvising means to make something with whatever is available in front of us.

Postpone and prepone

1.The opposite of POSTPONE is not preponed, but "Advance."

There is no such term as Prepone in British English, and in the word Postpone, 'Post' is not a prefix and it is one full word by itself.

For example:

a) The meeting is advanced by two days. So it will be held on the 15th of this month instead of the 17th.

b) The wedding is advanced to this week instead of next week.

In most cases, we consider 'post' and 'pre' as 'prefixes.' We hear words like a post-learning session, pre-learning session, post-wedding, or pro-learning. However, just changing the prefixes is not going to work. The opposite of 'postpone' is not 'prepone.' When we hear any word starting with "pre" or "post," we think replacing it with the opposite one will change the meaning. This is absolutely ridiculous. The word Postpone is not a compound word but a single word by itself. Therefore, the opposite of Postpone is not 'prepone' but 'Advance.'


When a person is introducing himself/herself, 'myself' must not be used. The sentence should start with' I am.'

1. Myself I'm Kumar Varma, a Computer Graduate from Bangalore University. ( Incorrect)

I'm Kumar Varma, a computer graduate from Bangalore University. (Correct)

2. Me, myself is Radha from Mangalore ( Incorrect)

I am Radha from Mangalore( Correct)

Starting a sentence with myself is wrong. While introducing, one must begin with 'I am' or 'My name is.'

Present participle of 'Have.'

'Having' is to be avoided as a participle of 'have' (in the meaning of possession)

1. I'm having 2 brothers and 3 sisters(Incorrect)

I have two brothers and three sisters (Correct)

2. He is having fever and headache ( incorrect)

He is suffering from fever and headache (Correct)

Avoid using 'having' while processing something or suffering something. 'Have' is not used in the present participle and also in any continuous tenses.

Past tense negative sentences

Avoid past form of the verb in negative sentences of Past Tense:

1. He didn't understood the theory (Incorrect)

He didn't understand the theory (Correct)

2. She didn't accepted the proposal (Incorrect)

She didn't accept the proposal (Correct)

This is because, after all the helping verbs, the main verb always remains in the present tense and never the past form.

Prepositional Errors

The right use of 'Cope'

1. He resigned because he couldn't cope up with the pressure (Incorrect)

He resigned because he couldn't cope with the pressure (Correct)

2. She can't cope up with the highly demanding job. (Incorrect)

She can't cope with the highly demanding job. ( Correct)

More preposition Errors

1. I'm suffering from fever since three days (Incorrect)

I'm suffering from fever for three days ( Correct)

'Since' is used to indicate the exact point of time, while 'for' is used to denote the period.

2. She has been working here since 2018.

I have been studying in this school since my 1st class.

'Since' and 'for' are to be used in Present Perfect Continuous Tense.

More prepositional Errors

1. I came to office by walk ( Incorrect)

I came to the office on foot (Correct)

Legs are not the mode of transportation, so the preposition 'by' is to avoid.

2. It is 9.35 in/from my watch (Incorrect)

It is 9.35 by my watch (Correct)

3. I prefer coffee than tea. (Incorrect)

I prefer coffee to tea. (Correct)

4. We discuss about the farmer protest in Delhi (Incorrect)

We discuss the Farmer Protest in Delhi (Correct)

No preposition is needed after the verb 'discuss.'

Improper word usages

1. I did a mistake by going there ( Incorrect)

I made a mistake by going there (Correct)

The changes are made, keeping in mind the sensibility. Many words though may seem grammatically right, may not sound good while placed side by side.

2. Please suggest me a good outlet for shirts ( Incorrect)

Please suggest a good outlet for shirts (Correct)

Here 'me' is not required because it is an example of redundancy.

3. I wish I was an artist ( Incorrect)

I wish I were an artist (Correct)

It would be best if you replaced was' with were with sentences or expressions explaining your unfulfilled wish.

4. Me and my friends went for a dinner ( Incorrect)

My friends and I went for dinner (Correct)

When you are telling someone who went out with you, the order in which you present them should be right. In the first sentence, the charge is wrong while in the second one, it is correct. 'I' should come only at last in the order.

Tutor Bio- Dr. Adari Srinivas has taught English Literature through the passing years. He has also done a diploma in journalism, mass communication, etc. He has taught English in Oman, Singapore, and a few other places for nearly fifteen years and then returned to Bangalore to work with various organizations. Adari teaches students B.A, M.A in English, and Spoken English courses. Here he has discussed a few of the common errors that we generally make while speaking English.


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