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  #61  
Old 19.06.2010, 18:27
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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No, you don't get it, if a "native" commits a mistake then that is deliberate colloquialism and a witty one at that, it is only when those dumb non-natives do it that they become mistakes
...
I find it sanctimonious, but one must remember that the Brits constitute the single largest nationality on this forum, and not all can be objective (LB and DB are generally exceptions), so it is OK. British is native, everything else is non-native
You must have a big chip on both shoulders, to stay so balanced...
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  #62  
Old 19.06.2010, 18:39
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Anyone who purports to be a fluent English speaker, who says, for example "Could of", should be shot through the lungs.


I've seen several posts noting modal contractions. Just in case anyone was interested in knowing why this is such a common mistake and how to write it correctly.

The modal verb "could" and auxiliary verb "have" can be contracted into "could've" which is very common speech. Unfortunately, people who don't understand this grammar rule sometimes repeat it erroneously as 'could of', which sounds the same but is incorrect.


My favorite common mistake is when the pronouns "he" and "she" are used instead of "it" to refer to inanimate objects. Example: When talking about a table in English one cannot call "it" a "he."

It does, however, help me to remember the gender of German words.
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  #63  
Old 19.06.2010, 19:01
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

I wish I remember the name of this particular book, but when I was reading about it at Amazon.com, a customer review pointed out that not once, but several times during the book "could of" was written instead of "could have." This meant that the author genuinely believed it to be correct, and the editor did not correct this before the book was printed. If this "mistake" keeps repeating in usage, it's possible that one day it won't be a mistake anymore but standard English.
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  #64  
Old 19.06.2010, 19:25
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

That's like saying that "ain't" will become the correct contraction for "is not" simply because it is so often incorrectly used in speech.

Ain't gonna happen.
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  #65  
Old 19.06.2010, 19:36
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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My favorite common mistake is when the pronouns "he" and "she" are used instead of "it" to refer to inanimate objects. Example: When talking about a table in English one cannot call "it" a "he."

It does, however, help me to remember the gender of German words.
Too bad they are not identical to the french ones, it would save me some work.
I read somewhere though, that a ship is a ''she''. Is it true, and are there over objets with a gender ?
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  #66  
Old 19.06.2010, 19:42
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Too bad they are not identical to the french ones, it would save me some work.
I read somewhere though, that a ship is a ''she''. Is it true, and are there over objets with a gender ?
A ship, and sometimes a car, can be referred to as "she" or "her", but that usage is a bit archaic - most often, she/her can be used as a personal pronoun (instead of the name), but it doesn't need to be.

I think it sounds a bit pretentious - for example, when talking about a ferry, you'd use "it".
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  #67  
Old 19.06.2010, 19:46
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

My partner is a non-native English speaker who loves to use phrasal verbs, but sometimes he gets them mixed up:

He (in a lot of pain after a sports injury): I really need to get laid!
She: Are you sure? Doesn't your leg hurt too much?
He: Yes, get off the sofa! I need to get laid! You're taking all the space!
She: Ahhhhhh, you want to 'lie down'...

Another very cute mistake I hear a lot at school: I feel myself better today (instead of 'I feel better' today).
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Old 19.06.2010, 19:48
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Too bad they are not identical to the french ones, it would save me some work.
I read somewhere though, that a ship is a ''she''. Is it true, and are there over objects with a gender ?

(don' know how to put the thanks button)

Last edited by jrspet; 19.06.2010 at 19:52. Reason: Happy to oblige there :)
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  #69  
Old 19.06.2010, 19:59
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I read somewhere though, that a ship is a ''she''?


As already pointed out when an object is named such as a ship, car, airplane, hurricane, etc. the person speaking may use the gender of the name. This is more about the relationship the owner has to the object. It is a friendly way of playing with the language. However, it is still an object and "it" is the correct formal pronoun.

Since in Switzerland, I often hear that ships and nations are feminine but never heard such a thing in any of my education including certification as an English instructor.
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  #70  
Old 19.06.2010, 19:59
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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As already pointed out when an object is named such as a ship, car, airplane, hurricane, etc. the person speaking may use the gender of the name. This is more about the relationship the owner has to the object. It is a friendly way of playing with the language. However, it is still an object and "it" is the correct formal pronoun.

Since in Switzerland, I often hear that ships and nations are feminine but never heard such a thing in any of my education including certification as an English instructor.
how about animals/insects/plants?
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  #71  
Old 19.06.2010, 20:03
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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As already pointed out when an object is named such as a ship, car, airplane, hurricane, etc. the person speaking may use the gender of the name. This is more about the relationship the owner has to the object. It is a friendly way of playing with the language. However, it is still an object and "it" is the correct formal pronoun.

Since in Switzerland, I often hear that ships and nations are feminine but never heard such a thing in any of my education including certification as an English instructor.
Yeah, ship is feminine, moon too, if I am not mistaken. It all comes from literature. Inanimate objects should be neutral, but some historically and culturally aren't.
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  #72  
Old 19.06.2010, 20:04
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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how about animals/insects/plants?
It is the same situation. If you have a relationship with your cat, name it, refer to the name, and call it a "she" then it is correct.

Example:

Personalized: My cat, Raja, is 14 years old. "She" is aging well and still behaves like a kitten.

Object: A cat ran under the car. Be careful when you start the engine so that "it" isn't harmed.
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  #73  
Old 19.06.2010, 21:43
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

I remember my english teacher telling us that "don't agree" is wrong. we must use "disagree". So was he right?
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  #74  
Old 19.06.2010, 22:02
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

"She" can be only used for ships, cars and sometimes aeroplanes, otherwise, unless you know the gender, it's "it".
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  #75  
Old 19.06.2010, 22:08
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I remember my english teacher telling us that "don't agree" is wrong. we must use "disagree". So was he right?
I disagree (clean, clear, active, well written, well spoken, professional)

I don't agree (informal, spoken language, passive voice)
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  #76  
Old 19.06.2010, 22:09
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

Incorrect: Hey porsch1909, how's you doing!

Correct: Hey porsch1909, how are you?
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  #77  
Old 19.06.2010, 22:26
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I disagree (clean, clear, active, well written, well spoken, professional)

I don't agree (informal, spoken language, passive voice)

The word with regard to "agree" and all it's forms that used to annoy me (partially because I did not care for the individual who used it) was "agreeance"** which was often uttered by the female who they brought in to "clean up" our store staffing issues as apparently she was some sort of fantastic troubleshooter / cleanup artist.



Note to those in charge of hiring such individuals:
Really, it is important to hire someone who comes across as at least as intelligent as the people s/he is sent to be fire and it's also a good idea if they don't come to work dressed like street walkers. It really helps with credibility.


**agreeance is not actually a word by the way.
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  #78  
Old 19.06.2010, 22:28
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Too bad they are not identical to the french ones, it would save me some work.
I read somewhere though, that a ship is a ''she''. Is it true, and are there over objets with a gender ?
as a former seadog, here's some insight into why, in particular, a ship is a "she"
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  #79  
Old 19.06.2010, 22:47
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

I have heard the word "learn" and "teach" used incorrectly several times.

"That will learn them" instead of "That will teach them". And the same word " He learned me" instead of "He taught me".

On another note, a lot of Swiss refer to people as "special" but it took me a while to realise that they actually meant that they were in fact a complete pain!! I have come across this several times and it always makes me smile
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  #80  
Old 19.06.2010, 22:56
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

hmmm.. It would be interesting to know if there is "frenchforum.co.uk" and a parallel thread like common mistakes made by native english speakers. Unfortunately, I don't understand french.

I will not be surprised to receive a reply saying that my hmmm is wrongly spelt.
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