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7 traps in English, from which no one is safe

Learning English is not an easy job. But sometimes, when it seems to us that we already know a lot, we make mistakes that could easily be avoided. To do this, it was only a little to understand the meaning of the word. On the blog “How I learned English” on Yandex.Zen The author describes 7 situations that often happen with non-native speakers.

Фото: Depositphotos

1. Normal

Wrong: How are you? - I'm normal, thanks.

Correctly: How are you? - I'm fine, thanks.

It’s not customary to say “normal” in English when it comes to mood or the past day. Say fine or okay. “Normal” is more likely to be understood as “average, ordinary” or literally “normal”.

If someone asks you, “How are you?” And you answer: “I'm normal,” it translates as “I'm normal,” and it sounds ridiculous. Perhaps it's time to tell the world about your normalcy, but that's not what you are about.

2. Prepositions

Wrong: I was waiting Anna on the theater.

Correctly: I was waiting for Anna at the theater.

It seems to us that prepositions in English sentences should be used in the same way as in Russian. And here it is. To avoid confusion, just learn the most common expressions:

  • Depends on - Depends on.
  • Tired of - tired of.
  • Divide into - divide by.
  • To wait for someone - wait for someone.
  • To graduate from school - finish school.
  • To listen to someone / music - listen to someone / music.
  • To be afraid of someone / something - to be afraid of someone / something.
  • To explain to someone - explain to someone.
  • To answer a question - answer a question (without an excuse, but with an article).

Prepositions are divided into several categories. So you will quickly understand which one to use:

Coatings (desktop, wall, floor, roof): on.

  • on the roof, on the table.

Technology (computer, TV, radio, screen): on.

  • On this DVD.

Public transport: (train, bus, tram, plane, ship): on.

  • On the bus, on the ship.

Inside a physical object / structure (book, pocket, box, number): in.

  • In his pocket, in a boxes.

Seats: (office, stadium, shop, supermarket, theater) at / in.

  • In the street, at the station.

On the subject: 30 new slang English words gaining popularity

3. How and what

Wrong: How do you call this in English?
Correct: What do you call this in English?
We are trying to start the phrase with the usual “how” - “how”. But in English they use exactly what. This must be remembered.

4. Possibility and Opportunity

Wrong: I will have the possibility to go to the conference next year.

Correctly: I will have the opportunity to go to the conference next year.

Which word to use depends on the context.

"Possibility" - This is something hypothetical that can happen.

"Opportunity" - these are the circumstances that allow us to do something.

  • There is a possibility that it will rain tomorrow, so you will have an opportunity to use your new umbrella.
  • There is a possibility that we will have enough funding for another research assistant position. If so, you will have an opportunity to apply for this position.

5. Say and tell

Wrong: Can you say me how to tell this in English?

Correctly: Can you tell me how to say this in English?

"Say" They say when they want to retell the words of another person. "Tell" - when they want to ask for something, ask or inform someone about something.

The verb “tell” is accompanied by a direct complement: tell us / him / her / the audience.

  • At lunch, he told his coworkers about his business trip to China.
  • John said that he was very well.

Remember these phrases:

  • Say yes or no, a few words, something.
  • Tell a story, a lie, a secret, a joke, the truth.

On the subject: 10 typical mistakes in learning English and how to avoid them: tips from professionals

6. Learn and Teach

Wrong: Can you learn me to speak English better?

Correctly: Can you teach me to speak English better?

"Learn" - learn by yourself.

"Teach" - educate someone.

7. Free

Wrong: I want to speak English freely.

Correctly: I want to speak English fluently.

If a person wants to say that he is fluent in a foreign language, he uses the word "fluent". Yes, “free” means “free,” but its other meaning is “free.” And if “free” is after the noun (smoke-free, car-free, alcohol-free), this means that the action is prohibited.

  • This is the smoke-free bar.
Miscellaneous English Educational program learning English language English words

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