We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human! When it comes to language, for example, there are some popular mistakes in English that turn up (happen) again and again-even among native speakers.
This week we thought we’d take a look at some of these popular mistakes and set the record straight on (correct) them, so you can get speaking English with more confidence.
There‘s some (shirts over there).
This is one of the more irritatingly popular mistakes in English that I hear all the time…especially from native speakers! People love shortening words and speaking more casually, and this is where this mistake comes into play (takes place, happens).
If you take apart the contraction “there’s”, you can see the mistake more easily.
“There is some shirts over there.”
This is a question of noun-verb agreement. The verb conjugation needs to agree with shirts. Shirts is plural, so the verb should also be plural! But because we do say “there’s” in general pretty often, it’s very common to start every sentence with it.
This is what it should look like:
- “There are some shirts over there.”
And if you’re from the South like I am and love contractions (even unconventional ones), it may look like this:
- There’re some shirts over there.
Here are a few correct examples:
- There are a lot of people in line.
- There is a bunch of books in my house.
- There are tons of mosquitoes around!
I remember my elementary school teachers always telling us that “ain’t ain’t a word.” If you’re from the South, ain’t probably is a word for you, but for everyone else, ain’t is something to steer clear of.
Ain’t is a contraction of are not or even is not, and you’ll usually hear it in Southern dialects in the United States. For example, you might hear things like:
- He ain’t coming.
- We ain’t going.
Here’s how to say these sentences correctly:
- He isn’t coming.
- We aren’t going.
Just remember that “ain’t ain’t a word”!
Could of / Would of / Should of
This is a big one that I see on social media all the time. It’s a very popular mistake in English writing since that’s where it’s most obvious. People tend to write things like:
He could of come if he wanted to.
You should of called her!
I would of gone if I knew about it.
The correct terms to use are: could have, should have, and would have.
People tend to say things like should of because the contraction form, should’ve, sounds extremely similar to “should of” when spoken out loud.
Here are the correct forms to use:
- He could have (could’ve) come if he wanted to.
- You should have (should’ve) called her!
- I would have (would’ve) gone if I had known about it.
Are there some popular mistakes in English that you wish you would’ve known about before? Have you ever made any of these mistakes? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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Check out these other popular blogs: TV English Vocabulary, Banking English Vocabulary, English Comma: Basic Rules, or these Commonly Confused Words used in English!
Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and is sometimes sad that ain’t ain’t a word.
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