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The mistakes that Americans most often notice in our speech

Errors in the speech of Russian-speaking people studying English are not only due to confusion in grammar or insufficient vocabulary. It is also difficult for us because our speech apparatus was formed differently and “sharpened” under a different pronunciation. And besides, we perceive many ordinary things not as carriers of English.

Фото: Depositphotos

В systematized the mistakes that foreigners most often notice in the speech of Russian-speaking people learning English.

Literal translation errors


In Russian, the question “how are you?” To answer “normal” is normal. But the translated, that is, literal, translation of this phrase into English acquires undesirable overtones. The interviewee may think that we are talking about your mental health. Therefore, the question How are you? answer: I'm normal - not worth it. It is better to choose one of the sustainable options: I'm fine; All right; OK.

Errors of "understanding"


Verb to understand most often studied one of the first. We all remember that this verb is irregular, that its second form is not formed by the end -ed. Nevertheless, with the use of this verb there is often confusion because of the literal translation. In Russian, in the phrases “I understood this rule”, “I understood you”, “I understood that you feel good” the same verb. In English - no.

To understand used literally: I understand the rules (“I understand the rules”). If we are going to use a construct with a “what” union, it is better to choose a verb to realize: I realized that there were rules (“I understood that there are rules”).

If you need to say that we understood the interlocutor, then you can use any of the well-established structures: I see ("Clear"); I got it ("I understood"); Fair enough ("I agree"); It's clear ("All clear").

Errors in synonyms


English speakers don't usually talk about the food they ate: It was delicious / tasty - for them it's a bit too much. If a Russian speaker uses this phrase, he will certainly be understood, but it will sound slightly old-fashioned and florid. Easier and more natural to say: It was good. If you want to strengthen: Really good.

And adjectives delicious и tasty can be used, for example, for an abstract description of food: An artichoke is a very tasty / delicious vegetable (“Artichokes are very tasty vegetables”).

By the way, with synonymous really, very и pretty there are problems too. Really always put before the verb: I really like it. But the very, on the contrary, after: I like it very much. If you want to soften emotions, use pretty (this word means not only “cute”). It's pretty good - not that great, but pretty good, not bad.

Errors with prepositions


Native Russian speakers may seem that the English pretexts for и During in the context of the designation of the time period is absolutely synonymous, therefore, interchangeable. In fact, there is a clear rule of using them: if the preposition is followed by a time period (5 minutes, 9 and a half weeks, 1 000 years), is used for (I spoke to my mother for 5 minutes). If after the preposition is a noun, is used only During (I spoke to my mother during my lunch break).

Another problematic situation is the use of the verb "to depend", to depend. In Russian, he demands the preposition "from": to depend on someone or something. In English after to depend an excuse is used onAnd not from, literally - to depend "on", and not "from".

Here are a couple of situations in which prepositions are often forgotten (because they are not in Russian), but in vain:

To wait FOR smb ("To wait for someone").

To graduate FROM school ("Graduate School").

To listen to the music ("Listen to music").

To explain TO the rule ("Explain the rule").

Errors due to difference in perception

Some words from Russian and English, which seem to be a literal translation of each other, in fact have different meanings. So the word night rather, it can be translated as "evening", rather than "night", that is night in America comes earlier than the night in Russia. And if our English-speaking friend calls us for dinner summer night, this does not mean at all that he has romantic intentions, because it’s not about the night, but about the evening.

To sound in English as correctly as possible, first of all you should pay attention to the sounds R, V, T и D. So english R softer than the Russian "p", but V, on the contrary, harder than "in". English is also slightly softer. T и D. And, of course, do not forget about the peculiar pronunciation W и TH.

Slang errors


Most often, foreigners notice our mistakes in slang words formed with the help of reduction, that is, abbreviations. For example, the word bath formed from want totherefore, after it it requires a verb. Can not say I wanna apple; only true option: I wanna eat an apple (“I want to (eat) an apple”).

The same goes for the word gotta, reduced from got to. Acceptable usage: I gotta get home ("I must go home").

Savory mistakes


To ask an English-speaking guest to get undressed when entering the house, it is better not to use a distorted translation. get undressed. In English, this phrase has a very specific subtext: "undress completely", "take off all your clothes."

In this situation it is better to use the phrase take clothes off. And clarify exactly what items of clothing the guest needs to remove: take off your coat, take off your shoes ("Remove the coat and shoes"). Just like in Joe Cocker's song.


Another mistake associated with the desire to translate from Russian to English literally - design feel myself. Not only is such use excessive, it also has a very carnal implication. To tell in English about well-being is quite simple. repeat. Yes, yes, as in the song I feel good.

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