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September 18, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 72

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  • He got angry before I said a word. (wrong)
  • He got angry before I had said a word. (correct)
    • Explanation : If an event occurred or was to occur before another event in the past and was mentioned earlier, the other event will be mentioned in the past perfect. 
  • This was going on since a long time.  (wrong)
  • This was going on for a long time.  (correct)
    • Explanation : If a period of time is mentioned without a starting point, it is indicated by for (and not since).
  • I had been for walking yesterday. (wrong)
  • I went for a walk yesterday. (correct)
    • Explanation : We go for a walk rather than for walking. Secondly, the main verb should be in the past tense and not in past perfect. 
  • If I did this I shall be wrong. (wrong)
  • If I shall do this I shall be wrong. (correct)
  • If I do this I shall be wrong.  (correct)
    • Explanation : In the conditional sentences, if the verb of the conditional clause is in the past, the verb of the consequent clause should have the past tense form. If the consequent clause is in the future tense, the conditional clause must be in the present tense. 
  • When I shall go to Baghdad, I shall see him. (wrong)
  • When I got to Baghdad, I shall see him. (correct)
    • Explanation : For the reasons given above, the conditional clause must be in the present tense. 
  • I have left smoking. (wrong)
  • I have given up smoking. (correct)
    • Explanation : To give up means to stop doing or consuming something whereas to leave means 'to go away from'. 
  • I left playing. (wrong)
  • I stopped playing. (correct)
    • We can stop (i.e., cause something to come to an end) playing but we cannot go away from it. 
  • I take my food.  (wrong)
  • I have my food. (correct)
    • Explanation : We can use have in the sense of to have but not take, which basically means to gain possession of.
  • He went to school to know English. (wrong)
  • He went to school to learn English. (correct)
    • Explanation : To learn means 'to gain knowledge of' whereas to know means 'to have knowledge of'. 
  • She knows to swim. (wrong)
  • She knows how to swim. (correct)
    • Explanation : She has the knowledge of how to swim rather than of the concept of swimming. 
  • We should not cut jokes in class. (wrong)
  • We should not make jokes in class.  (correct)
    • Explanation : 'To make jokes' is an idiomatic expression; 'to cut jokes' is not.

Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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