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August 17, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 62

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  • Some of my servant tells me.  (wrong)
  • Some of my servants tell me. (correct)
    • Explanation : Some means at least more than one and needs a plural verb. 
  • The front / back side of the house. (wrong)
  • The front / back of the house.  (correct)
    • Explanation : The terms 'front' and 'back' refer to different sides; noun, the word side is redundant here. 
  • I have hurt a foot-finger.  (wrong)
  • I have hurt a toe. (correct)
    • Explanation : The five digits at the end of the human foot are called toes, and not foot fingers. 
  • He is a tall gentleman.  (wrong)
  • He is a tall man.  (correct)
    • Explanation : 'Gentleman' is a difficult word to use correctly in colloquial English. It seems to be best to use 'gentleman' when you are referring to a man's character (e.g. he is a real gentleman, while praising him; he is not a gentleman, while criticizing him), and to use 'man' to denote an adult of the male sex. 
  • I saw two females.  (wrong)
  • I saw two women. (correct)
    • Explanation : Similarly, don't be self-conscious over the use of 'lady' and 'woman'. The latter is the usual word and is quite polite. 'She is a lady' means that she is a woman of particularly good birth, breeding and taste. 
  • He took insult at this.  (wrong)
  • He took offense at this.  (correct)
    • Explanation : Offense means 'annoyance' or resentment brought about by a perceived insult. Hence is the expression 'take offense'
  • The box contains pens, papers and others.  (wrong)
  • The box contains pens, papers and such things.  (correct)
    • Explanation : Other as a pronoun is used to refer to things different from which is already mentioned. Such things refer to similar things. 
  • In India there are many poors.  (wrong)
  • In India there are many poor (people). (correct)
    • Explanation : When the adjective poor is used in place of a noun, it has no plural form. 
  • He provided the blinds with food.  (wrong)
  • He provided the blind with food.  (correct)
    • Explanation : When the adjective blind is used as a noun, it does not have a plural form. 
  • He bought a pair of half hose.  (wrong)
  • He bought a pair of socks.  (correct)
    • Explanation : The term 'half hose' is not used in modern English.
  • Give him some blotting.  (wrong)
  • Give him some blotting paper.  (correct)
    • Explanation : Blotting is the present participle of the verb blot which means to dry (a wet surface) using an absorbent material, e.g., a blotting paper.

Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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