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September 22, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 76

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  • When I went there I found that the lion was disappeared.  (wrong)
  • When I went there I found that the lion had disappeared.  (correct)
    • Explanation : The second clause needs past perfect tense, and not the passive voice.
  • I did not stop because he went out before I arrived.  (wrong)
  • I did not stop because he had gone out before I arrived. (correct)
    • Explanation : If the past action occurred prior to another past action and is mentioned, it must be in the past perfect tense. 
  • I met a man who was my tutor 20 years ago. (wrong)
  • I met a man who was my tutor twenty years ago. (correct)
    • Explanation : Cardinal numbers from 1-9 are written in numerical forms, whereas, ordinal numbers are written in words.
  • If I would have done this, I would have done wrong. (wrong)
  • If I had done this, I should have done wrong. (correct)
    • Explanation : The conditional clause cannot be in the future (or the past form of the future) tense. 
  • Leave the horse's reins. (wrong)
  • Let go the horse's reins. (correct)
    • Explanation : Leave means 'go away from' and let go means allow someone to escape or go free.
  • He had to leave his rights.  (wrong)
  • He had to abandon (or relinquish) his rights.(correct)
    • Explanation : To leave means 'to go away from'. One cannot go away from one's rights but one can abandon (i.e. give up) one's rights. 'To leave' is a verb often misused. Correct uses are : 
      • to leave a place,
      • to leave something at some place, 
      • to leave someone to do something.
  • I take my food (wrong)
  • I have my food. (correct)
    • Explanation : 'Take my food' is not wrong, but in English, we rarely use this expression.
  • I take your leave. (wrong)
  • I must say goodbye. (correct)
    • Explanation : 'I take your leave' is not wrong, but is suitable only for a formal occasion. 
  • In the noon I took rest. (wrong)
  • I had a rest in the middle of the day. (correct)
    • Explanation : To have a rest is more colloquial than to take rest. Noon refers to twelve o'clock in the day, it is a point (rather than period of time).
  • I came to know as to how he did this. (wrong)
  • I learnt how he did this. (correct)
    • Explanation : The use of as to is superfluous. To learn (to gain knowledge of) is a conscious process, to come to know is accidental. 
  • I came to know why he was sad.  (wrong)
  • I found out why he was sad.  (correct)
    • Explanation : 'Came to know' is a difficult phrase to use correctly and is better avoided.

Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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