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July 29, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 49

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    • I am living in Bangalore.  (wrong)
    • I live in Bangalore.  (correct)
      • Explanation : This is a typical Indianism. Why unnecessarily use the present participle when a simple present tense can be more direct ?
    • She sang very well, isn't it ? (wrong)
    • She sang very well, didn't she ? (correct)
      • Explanation : The expression 'isn't it?' is often used indiscriminately. In all such sentences, the tense and person used in the main statement must be retained in the auxiliary as well. The auxiliary in this case 'didn't she' implies 'didn't she sing very well ?'
    • I have read an interesting book yesterday.  (wrong)
    • I read an interesting book yesterday.  (correct)
      • Explanation : If the action was completed in the past at a particular time ('yesterday'), we should use the simple past tense, not the present perfect. 
    • He saw the Taj at Agra.  (wrong)
    • He has seen the Taj at Agra.  (correct)
      • Explanation : When the accent is more on the result of a past action than on the action itself, use the present perfect tense.
    • Ansuya told me that she may proceed on leave.  (wrong)
    • Ansuya told me that she might proceed on leave.  (correct)
      • Explanation : A typical example of the wrong use of sequence of tenses. Verbs in the subordinate clauses must always agree with the verb in the principal clause. 
      • Similarly, say 'I thought I could help him', not 'I thought I can help him'. 
    • He walks as if the earth belongs to him. (wrong)
    • He walks as if the earth belonged to him.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Expressions like 'as if', 'as though', are always followed by the past tense. 
    • Kindly see my testimonials. (wrong)
    • Kindly look at (or examine) my testimonials.  (correct)
      • Explanation : 'Seeing' merely implies a simple faculty of vision, devoid of any critical attention. Isn't it possible to 'see' a thing, without 'looking at' it? Similarly, it is wrong to say 'I am seeing this great painting' (Right : 'I am looking at this great painting'). 
    • My sister always puts on a white saree.  (wrong)
    • My sister always wears a white saree.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Whereas 'to put on' implies a simple act, 'to wear' denotes 'putting on' something more habitually. 
    • He avenged himself for the injustice done to his father.  (wrong)
    • He revenged himself for the injustice done to his father.  (correct)
      • Explanation : The verbs 'avenged; and 'revenged' are often confused and misused. Whereas 'to revenge oneself' should be used for any wrong done to oneself, 'to avenge' means to inflict retribution (punishment) on behalf of somebody else. 
    • She revenged her father's murder.  (wrong)
    • She avenged her father's murder.  (correct)
      • Explanation : As explained in 9.
    • I slept rather late last night.  (wrong)
    • I went to bed rather late last night. (correct)
      •  Explanation : 'Going to bed' implies a simple act of getting into bed, for sleeping. But it is possible that one may go to bed at ten and not go to sleep until twelve o'clock. 
    Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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