As every other nation, the English and the American sometimes have problems with their mother tongue. If you learn English, you may sometimes feel confused by the fact that your teacher corrected you, even though the form you used was picked up from that YouTube video. Today let us present five of the most common mistakes of that type.
You’re/your - when phonetics play jokes on you
When you read posts on different Internet fora or comments on YouTube you quickly notice the common mistake of confusing you’re (as in you are) with the possessive pronoun your. English learners usually quickly grasp the difference, even though the two forms sound identically. Some native speakers, though seem to have a problem here.
Don’t/doesn’t - how does it work?
When you listen to popular music or watch TV programmes for teenagers, you may get an impression that some people don’t really know doesn’t exist and use don’t for all the grammatical persons, including the 3rd person singular. It’s difficult to say where this tendency comes from but the fact is, that this is still considered incorrect.
“I speak English good” - are you sure?
Another mistake commonly made by native speakers of English is using an adjective instead of an adverb. This results in incorrect sentences, such as I know him good or They cook perfect. The reason for that might be analogy to verbs of perception (look, see, watch, taste) that should be followed by an adjective: She looks good. It tastes delicious.
“I can to swim” - headache with modal verbs
Another frequent mistake is adding to after a modal verb, which results in creating incorrect grammar structures. The only legitimate formula is modal verb + bare infinitive, without to, eg. She can swim. He may know. I should go.
“Me and my friend like dancing” - turning object into subject
Using the object pronoun instead of the subject pronoun when talking about doing something with somebody else is so common that some linguists argue it should be considered correct. To give you an example - have a look at the lyrics of Right there, by Nicol Scherzizger:
"Me like the way that you hold my body
Me like the way that you touch my body
Me like the way that you kiss my yeah yeah yeah yeah me like it [...]"
However, the only purely correct version of our heading is: My friend and I like dancing. :)
In that way we reached the end of the list of the most common language mistakes made by native speakers of English. Visit our blog for more interesting facts regarding English, English-speaking countries and their culture!