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August 01, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 50

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  • He has left painting. (wrong)
  • He has given up painting. (correct)
    • Explanation : It is wrong to use the verb 'to leave' in the sense of 'giving up' something. 'Leave off' may be used, however.
  • Leave my arm, please. (wrong)
  • Let go my arm, please. (correct)
    • Explanation : The verb 'leave' cannot be used in sense of 'giving up one's hold'.
  • He asked me where was I going. (wrong)
  • He asked me where I was going. (correct)
    • Explanation : Once a statement is made in the reported speech ('he asked where...'), it is wrong to retain the question form ('where was I going ?').
  • I should feel happy if you will come to tea tomorrow. (wrong)
  • I should feel happy if you would come to tea tomorrow. (correct)
    • Explanation : Verbs in both these clauses should agree with each other, e.g., should, would, not should, will. Even if the first sentence is permissible, it is still a less polite form of saying the same thing.
  • I should like to forward myself as a candidate for this post. (wrong)
  • I should like to offer myself as a candidate for this post. (correct)
    • Explanation : Forward means to send on or 'to dispatch' an object. How can, therefore, one 'forward' oneself ?
  • Hundreds of people died by the earthquake. (wrong)
  • Hundreds of people were killed by the earthquake. (correct)
    • Explanation : We 'die' of natural causes ('illness', 'heart failure', etc.), but in the case of unexpected calamities ('fire', 'war' etc.) we must use theverb 'kill'.
  • Will you kindly open this knot ? (wrong)
  • Will you kindly untie this knot ? (correct)
    • Explanation : A very common error. One 'opens' a door of a window, but not a 'knot'.
  • I have to give another examination next year. (wrong)
  • I have to take another examination next year. (correct)
    • Explanation : An examiner gives an examination or a test, a candidate takes an examination or a test.
  • Where have you kept the pencil I gave you a few minutes ago ? (wrong)
  • Where have you put (placed) the pencil I gave you a few minutes ago ?
    • Explanation : The verb 'to keep' implies a certain duration, e.g., 'He always keeps his diaries under lock and key'. But 'putting' something implies 'placing' it temperarily somewhere.
  • Better revise this essay. (wrong)
  • You had better revise this essay. (correct)
    • Explanation : The correct structural pattern is 'You had better do this first', 'You had better sleep now', etc.
  • Don't hold this dirty insect in your hand; throw it. (wrong)
  • Don't hold this dirty insect in your hand; throw it away. (correct)
    • Explanation : 'To throw something away' is the correct (and complete) expression. 'To throw' means 'to throw a ball, etc. 'To throw something away' means 'to throw it aside'.

    Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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