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September 17, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 71

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  • Much efforts bring their rewards. (wrong)
  • Much effort brings its reward. (correct)
    • Explanation : Much indicates quantity and cannot be used with a plural noun. Efforts can be used as a countable as well as mass noun (e.g., many efforts were made). 
  • Many villagers cannot write his own name. (wrong)
  • Many villagers cannot write their own name. (correct)
    • Explanation : 'Many' is a plural word and can occur with a countable noun (e.g villagers). The plural, noun phrase will take pronouns such as 'their', 'them', 'these' etc.
  • Each and every person wore a hat. (wrong)
  • Each person wore a hat. (correct)
  • Everybody wore a hat. (correct)
    • Explanation : 'Each and every' can be used together correctly only to convey very strong emphasis. Indian students are too fond of using both together even when only one of the two adjectives is required. 
  • We want a sifting inquiry. (wrong)
  • We want a through inquiry.  (correct)
    • Explanation : Sift as verb means 'to examine thoroughly'. Sifting is a noun, it is not used as an adjective. 'Exhaustive' is an alternative to 'thorough'. 
  • The horse is laming. (wrong)
  • The horse is lame. (correct)
    • Explanation : 'Limping' is correct but 'laming' is not an English adjective. 
    • Limping = Walking slowly and with difficulty because of having an injured or painful leg or foot
  • He asked that what are you doing. (wrong)
  • He asked what we were doing. (correct)
    • Explanation : In the reported (or indirect) speech the verb changes to the past tense. If the verb of the main clause is in the past tense and if the embedded clause begins with a wh word, that is obligatorily deleted. The verb 'are' which is the present tense changes to 'were' denoting past tense.
  • She asked had we taken our food. (wrong)
  • She asked if we had taken our food. (correct)
    • Explanation : In the reported speech, the word order of an interrogative sentence is changed into that of an assertive sentence. If it was a yes or no question, the embedded clause would begin with if or whether. 
  • Rita said can she go home. (wrong)
  • Rita asked if she could go home. (correct)
    • Explanation : As the main verb is in the past tense, the reported speech has to have the verb in the past tense. The word order is changed because it is a yes / no question and the clause begins with if or whether. 
  • He does not care for my words.  (wrong)
  • He pays no attention to what I say. (correct)
    • Explanation : To care for means 'to look after' or 'to provide for the needs of someone' whereas to pay attention to means 'to notice someone or something'. In the given context, care for is inappropriate. 
  • Jack does not care for money. (wrong)
  • Jack does not take care of his money. (correct)
    • Explanation : The word 'care' is different and general. 
  • He said that he saw him last year. (wrong)
  • He said that he had seen him the previous year.  (correct)
    • Explanation : These are examples of the common failure to use the past perfect tense form in the reported speech if the main verb of the main clause is in the past tense.

Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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