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  #101  
Old 20.06.2010, 02:35
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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"I've been here since two years"
I've been here for two years.
I've been here since 2008.
"Let us meet each other for lunch"
Let's meet for lunch.
"We are going to meet today evening" (Indian's say this too).
We will (we'll) meet this evening (Indians say this too).
"Be careful how you criticise him. He's very sensible."
...... He's very sensitive.

"We are in Des Artes. Come over and enjoy us."

We are in Des Artes. Come over and join us.
"Come to the party, it will be funny"
when they really mean:
"Come to the party, it will be fun"
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  #102  
Old 20.06.2010, 06:18
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

One of the many points, where I struggle in English: Sure, safe, secure; they all translate into my native German as "sicher", so I never really know for sure, which one to choose. Always unsure, if I am unsafe or insecure
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  #103  
Old 20.06.2010, 07:58
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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No names, no pack-drill; no-one gets shot through the lungs but just a selection...

"Not a big dent in his wallet....they should of taken the car!! "
"Perhaps i should of queried it".


All the quotes come from different members and I checked that all had 'English' as their mother tongue. I've a feeling this mistake is far more common than we like to think. To be fair though, that's the way the phrase sounds when I say it too. I just don't write it like that.
Good point! Yes I've seen lots of mistakes like that by native English speakers too! LOL! That is how it sounds but it's not how it's supposed to be written.

Last edited by PaperMoon2; 20.06.2010 at 08:31.
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  #104  
Old 20.06.2010, 08:16
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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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".
Yeah it is interesting how in English if you refer to non living things as "he" or "she" it seems to imply that you think inanimate objects are somehow alive and makes you sound crazy to call a table or chair as "he" or "she" but in German and some other languages things do have genders.

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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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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
Living things do have genders, cats are he or she not "it" or things. Yeah I always hear native English speakers say learn them instead of teach them. And the use of the word "special" has a different meaning and is used to refer to mentally or physically disabled people as in "special olympics". So the word special has many different meanings to it. You have to look at the context. Special can be good or bad. LOL!
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Last edited by PaperMoon2; 20.06.2010 at 08:32.
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  #105  
Old 20.06.2010, 08:18
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

LOL! Check this guy out, I can understand some non native English speakers much better than this native English speaker!

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  #106  
Old 20.06.2010, 11:24
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

LOL, "I got bear dawgs and hog dawgs....."
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LOL! Check this guy out, I can understand some non native English speakers much better than this native English speaker!

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  #107  
Old 20.06.2010, 11:34
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I am a non-native English speaker and beside the fact that my accent is absolutely lovely I can see my german husband's mistake like to mix V and W when talking.

Wacation,

wictim, etc

Yes, mine too. When we first met I made him keep saying wigwam (I'm nice like that).

He also pronounces 'quicker' as 'qvicker' which I actually find quite endearing
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  #108  
Old 20.06.2010, 11:34
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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of course will also ask for un bouteilla svp. (for the non-French speakers : si vous pouvez ! ) .....
svp means "s'il vous plaît"
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  #109  
Old 20.06.2010, 11:46
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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According to wikipedia, "ain't" is a contraction, but for "am not", not "is not".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_of_am_not
How about "you ain't seen nothing yet" ? You am-not seen nothing ...
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  #110  
Old 20.06.2010, 11:52
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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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
"Er isch speziell" (He's special) is often used as a nice way to tell that somebody is a little weird, difficult to deal with or even a total PITA. It doesn't translate well into English though.
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  #111  
Old 20.06.2010, 12:17
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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and 'I could of gone if I'd known' instead of 'I could have gone if I'd known'.
this is more of a native mistake coming from contraction of "could have" to "could've". i guess it's now mutating into written language as "could of".

in the same way, some sayings are also mutating such as "blessing in disguise" into "blessings in da skies".

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I humbly submit that it is either "the German version" or "German". Non colloquial use of English suggests that names of languages and nationalities don't take the article unless referring to the population of the nation.
the German is correct, here it refers to the implied phrase/expression, that is, "the German (phrase)" or "the German (expression)" etc.

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

I don't agree (informal, spoken language, passive voice)
both are fine. "i don't agree" or "i can't agree" is softer. it's almost like you create a thirds state between agreement and disagreement. ok, you don't agree, but you didn't say that you actively disagree! :P you can imagine hugh grant saying something like "i'm terribly sorry, old chap, but i find myself unable to agree wholly with your assertion".

what i've discovered is that the english are pretty skilled when it comes down to softening language and i've been told it is one element that makes them especially good in certain diplomatic situations.

germans seem to be a lot more blunt.

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I am NOT a native speaker and I have to admit... I had to bit my tongue!
I had to bite my tongue!

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"Come to the party, it will be funny"
when they really mean:
"Come to the party, it will be fun"
yes, i hear this one a lot and have started adopting it too
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  #112  
Old 20.06.2010, 12:39
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

I can't believe no one has mentioned "I became a baby" and "I got a baby" yet. And adults in relatively formal situations saying "bye bye".
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  #113  
Old 20.06.2010, 12:50
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I can't believe no one has mentioned "I became a baby" and "I got a baby" yet. And adults in relatively formal situations saying "bye bye".
Oh my yes! This one is rather funny but sweet at the same time.

Some correct English options:
- My wife had a baby.
- Our baby arrived yesterday....
- As of today, I am a father.
- We have a new baby.
- The baby arrived.
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  #114  
Old 20.06.2010, 12:51
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

A guy asked me if he could become a beer once, I waited patiently but nothing happened.
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  #115  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:08
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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a mistake indeed ... but you made it even worse ! as the idea is NOT we will see each other tomorrow but rather see you tomorrow


°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° °°°°°



Sorry Wolli, but I have to defend my original comment here: you can say "we will see each other tomorrow", "I will see you tomorrow" or "you will see me tomorrow" - they are more or less synonymous but differ in emphasis.
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  #116  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:23
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

I've lost my box of stones. Has anyone seen my box of stones?

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  #117  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:25
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

Why does this thread not have the thanking option?
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  #118  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:30
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

Well Mr. Niranjan, that is because it is under General Off Topic, where one does not have the privilege to Thank / Groan as well as increase the post count.
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  #119  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:39
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Well Mr. Niranjan, that is because it is under General Off Topic, where one does not have the privilege to Thank / Groan as well as increase the post count.
Of course I know that, the question was not literally a "question"

Anyway I was quite irritated by the opening post, the subsequent development of this thread has soothed my sensitive skin
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  #120  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:41
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Sorry Wolli, but I have to defend my original comment here: you can say "we will see each other tomorrow", "I will see you tomorrow" or "you will see me tomorrow" - they are more or less synonymous but differ in emphasis.


It may be technically correct as English is a very flexible language but it will sound foreign to a native for two reasons. First, because of the emphasis it implies only seeing and not interacting. Secondly, I hear "one another" more often than "each other."

But English language norms can vary significantly from region to region and with education levels. My formal standard is USA English, Style:Chicago Manual.
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