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Common Errors by Indian

Speakers of English
By
Ms. CAROLINE BENJAMIN

Subject- verb agreement


Concord
The verb should agree with the
subject in number.
For e.g. This book is mine.
These books are mine.
The verb should agree with the person.
For e.g. I/ We / You / They like sweets.
He / She likes sweets.

Identifying- subject is singular or


plural
Both Raja and Ram are good friends.
Ram, along with his parents is going to Pune.
Neither Shylu nor her friends are present.
Neither Shylu nor her sister is present.
When subject refers to one general thing
Bread and butter is a wholesome food.
Slow and steady wins the race.
One of my friends is coming tomorrow.
One of my students works at NASA.

Use of Indefinite Pronouns


Indefinite pronouns someone, everyone,
anyone, no one, nothing, anything, something,
everything, either and neither - take singular
verb.
Everyone is present today.
Either of you give me a book.
Neither of you has submitted the
assignment.
Something is bothering you.

Use of Collective Nouns


Collective nouns take singular verb.

The jury was unanimous in its decision.


The committee is present here now.
The bunch of keys is missing.
The Indian Cricket team has arrived.

Overuse of the -ing form


There is a tendency to overuse the -ing form of the
verb. [ having means eating]
Incorrect : Are you having a pen?
Correct : Do you have a pen?
Incorrect : He is having my pen.
Correct : He has my pen.
Incorrect : Rain is coming.
Correct : It is raining.
Incorrect : Rain will come.
Correct : It will rain.
It is about to rain.

Overuse of the -ing form


Incorrect : He is thinking that he is a great
man.
Correct : He thinks that he is a great man.
Incorrect : Vomit is coming
Incorrect : Im having a fever.
Correct : I feel like Vomiting
Incorrect : Im having a fever.
Correct : I have fever.
Incorrect : Sleep is coming.
Correct : I feel sleepy.

Incorrect use of reflexive pronouns


Many Indians tend to use reflexive
pronouns, especially myself, incorrectly.
Myself can be used in a sentence only if
the pronoun I has been used earlier.
For e.g.
I built this house myself.
I have done this project myself.
He made this model himself.
We planned this strategy ourselves.

Incorrect use of Reflexive Pronouns


Incorrect: Myself, Rahul Verma; this is my
colleague, Sheena.
Correct: I am Rahul Verma; this is my colleague,
Sheena.
Incorrect: He suicided himself.
Correct
: He committed suicide.

Redundant Vocabulary
1. Incorrect: "It was a blunder mistake."
Correction: The word 'blunder' means mistake,
so we could say:
Correct: "It was a blunder," or
"It was a big mistake.
."
2. Incorrect: "It would have been more better.
Correct: "It would have been better.
3. Incorrect: This is the real fact.
Correct: This is the fact.

Redundant Vocabulary
Incorrect:

Please return my book back.

Return back soon.

Could you repeat that last line again?


Correct:

Please return my book.

Return soon./ Come back soon.

Could you repeat that last line?

Framing Questions
Pattern of a question: Wh- word+verb+subject
When are you coming home?
Are you coming with me?
Can you help me?
Incorrect : Why you are playing in the class?
Correct : Why are you playing in the class?
Incorrect :Did you went to the temple?
Correct : Did you go to the temple?
correct : Did you finish your work?
Correct : Have you finished your work?

Framing Tag Questions


Incorrect: He knows the answer, no?
Correct : He knows the answer, doesnt he?
Incorrect : You want the ticket, anh?
Correct: You want the ticket, dont you?
Correct : They will come, wont they?
Incorrect: You are not coming, isnt it?
Correct: You are not coming, are you?
They shouldnt sit, should they?
I am correct, arent I?

'Discuss about'
Incorrect
What shall we discuss about today?
Lets discuss about politics.
We don't "discuss about" something; we just discuss
things.
The word "discuss" means to "talk about".
Correct
We like to discuss politics.

'Order for'
Incorrect : "Hey, lets order for a pizza.
Correct : Hey, lets order a pizza.
When we order something, we "order" it, we do not
"order for" it.
Incorrect : I have ordered for three coffees.
Correct : I have ordered three cups of coffee.

'Do one thing'


When someone approaches us with a query, we
begin our reply with the phrase "do one thing,
It does not make sense.
Any person who starts a sentence with "do one
thing" invariably ends up giving you at least five
things to do.
For e.g.
Where is the S & H staff room?
Do one thing. Go straight. Turn to your right.
Climb up the stairs. Reach the third floor. Turn to
your left. Go straight.

Counting non-countables
Saying hairs, luggages, fishes, furnitures, staffs
and peoples none of which are grammatically
correct. The plural form of these words is the
same as the singular.
Data, phenomena, criteria, bacteria and cilia are
the plural forms of datum, phenomenon,
criterion, bacterium and cilium.

Incorrect use of may and can


Student: Maam, can I go to play now?
English Teacher: You can but you may not.
Can implies ability while may indicates
permission / possibility.
May I go to drink water?
May I get in?

Pronunciation Errors
Pronunciation of r
r is silent
when it is followed by a consonant sound.
when it is at the end of a sentence.
For e.g.
They are coming tomorrow.
She is my English teacher.
In words
marks, part, car, first, shirt, purse, church,
burst, research, birthday, third, birds, thirst

Pronunciation Errors
Pronunciation of r
r is pronounced only when it is followed by a
vowel sound.

For e.g.
My teacher is very strict but kind.

In words
thread, bright, write, crude, fry,
browse, frown, shrink, brake etc.

Pronunciation Errors
Pronunciation of the
the when used before a consonant sound.
the sun, the moon, the stars etc.
thi when pronounced before a vowel sound.
the airport, the earth, the attendance register
etc.

thee when indicates the best of anything


Avatar is the movie to be seen.

ANY QUERIES?