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September 23, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 77

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  • He went to school to know arithmetic.  (wrong)
  • He went to school to learn arithmetic.  (correct)
    • Explanation : We 'learn' before we 'know'. 'Know' is used when learning is finished. 
  • He knows to swim.  (wrong)
  • He knows how to swim.  (correct)
    • Explanation : He knows the technique or art of swimming rather than what the verb indicates. 
  • Later on he knew his mistake.  (wrong)
  • Later on he realized his mistake.  (correct)
    • Explanation : To realize means 'to' become fully aware of whereas to know means 'to have knowledge or information'.
  • He cut his pencil.   (wrong)
  • He sharpened his pencil.   (correct)
    • Explanation : Sharpen means 'to make something sharp' whereas to cut means, 'to make an opening' or 'to remove'. 
  • Shall I cut this word ?  (wrong)
  • Shall I scratch out this word ?  (correct)
    • Explanation : Explanation : To cut means 'to abridge' or 'remove' whereas to scratch means 'to strike out'. 
  • They cut Charles I's head.   (wrong)
  • They cut off Charles I's head.   (correct)
    • Cut means 'to make an opening' or 'to remove' but cut off means 'to remove completely by cutting'. 
  • I asked my servant to bring water.  (wrong)
  • I told my servant to bring water.   (correct)
    • Explanation : It is advisable to use 'I told him to...' only towards a person to whom you have a right to give an order, and 'I asked him to...' towards a person of whom you can or want to make a request only. 
  • He is troubling his subjects.   (wrong)
  • He is oppressing his subjects.   (correct)
  • He is ill-treating his subjects.   (correct)
    • Explanation : To trouble means 'to cause distress or anxiety'. It is not an appropriate word in this context. 
  • He is troubling me.  (wrong)
  • He is giving me trouble.  (correct)
  • He is treating me badly.  (correct)
  • He is bullying me.  (correct)
    • Explanation : To use trouble as a verb is not wrong but to give trouble is more idiomatic. To bully is a stranger term, it means 'to use strength to intimidate someone'. 
  • My foot is paining.   (wrong)
  • I have a pain in my foot.  (correct)
  • My foot is hurting.  (correct)
    • Explanation : 'To pain (verb) should be used transitively only. 
  • All day I was putting on a sweater.  (wrong)
  • He came putting on a smart turban.  (correct)
  • All day I was wearing a sweater.   (correct)
  • He was wearing a smart turban.  (correct)
    • Explanation : 'To put on clothes' refers to the act of dressing, e.g. 'he is in his room putting on his shoes'. Once the act of dressing is over, 'to wear' is used to express the act of carrying clothes on the body.

Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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