10 MOST COMMON Grammar Mistakes English Learners Make


Hello I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

Oh my goodness, thank you so much for celebrating

with me last week.

It was so much fun!

I was thinking that I don't really want to

stop celebrating just yet.

So I've got something super special

to share with you today.

During May, this month,

mmmEnglish subscribers will be able to join

the mmmEnglish grammar challenge.

And I'm inviting you to join the challenge

to improve your English with me

and give you the chance to win some really

fun mmmEnglish prizes including

mmmEnglish t-shirts, mmmEnglish courses

and a chance to win

some conversation practice with me.

It's super easy to join

and a really good idea because just by participating,

you'll be improving your English skills.

So make sure you subscribe, that's the first step

just down there and then keep watching this video

to find out how you can join the challenge.

In this video I'm going to share

the ten most common grammar mistakes

that English learners make.

When I'm reading your comments below my videos

and I'm replying to your emails,

I always notice the same mistakes

that you consistently make.

And through years of teaching English

at language schools and at university,

these are the same mistakes that a whole range

of English learners make

from beginners right through to even

advanced level students.

They're just really common mistakes

that you keep making again and again

sometimes because, you know,

the grammar is difficult to understand but sometimes

because these mistakes have never been

properly corrected for you

so they become bad habits.

They keep happening without you even realising it.

And if you don't recognise them,

if you don't see the mistakes that you're making,

then you can't fix them, can you?

So I want to help you to do that.

I want you to start seeing the mistakes

that you're making.

I want you to see it in your writing

so that you can correct yourself.

And then when you start doing that you'll naturally

be correcting yourself when you speak.

The mmmEnglish grammar challenge

will help you to practise

and improve all of these mistakes,

the ones that you sometimes make.

So once you watch this lesson, make sure you sign up,

join the challenge, get your friends to join too!

A little friendly competition is a good thing

so that we can all have some fun together and

improve your English skills while we're doing it.

So what are the 10 most common grammar mistakes

that English learners make?

Number one,

uncountable nouns.

So you probably know that there are

two types of nouns in English

countable and uncountable nouns.

Countable nouns are easy!

You can count them.

And when there's more than one,

the noun becomes plural, we add an S.

One apple,

three cars,

a million subscribers.

The noun becomes plural when there's more than one

and we can use the singular articles a and an

when we're talking about just one of them.

But uncountable nouns are different.

They don't usually have a plural form.

You can't use a singular article with them

and you need to use quantifiers to help explain

how much of the noun there is.

The way that you use uncountable nouns

in English sentences is completely different

to countable nouns.

Let's just compare apple,

a countable noun,

and advice, an uncountable noun.

Now I have an apple for you.

I have a piece of advice for you.

How many apples do you have?

How much advice do you have?

I have a few apples for you.

I have a little advice for you.

It's not just the noun that's important,

the type of noun affects many other words

in your sentence.

So using the wrong words with the uncountable noun

in an English sentence

is a really, really common mistake.

And it's easy to do without realising that you're doing it.

Perhaps you don't realise that a noun is uncountable.

Mistake number, two irregular verbs.

Now these are also really common English mistakes.

Difficult to master because there are no rules

that you can learn to logically explain why one verb

is regular and the other is not.

Even though there are fewer irregular verbs

than regular verbs,

many irregular verbs are really, really common verbs.

You can't escape them, you need to learn them.

Number three,

subject-verb agreement.

Subject-verb agreement is as simple as it sounds.

The subject and the verb in English sentences

must agree, they must match.

So why is it such a common mistake in English?

Even my advanced English students

sometimes make these mistakes as well.

And it's simply because

they've got into some bad habits.

They don't realise that they're making these mistakes.

That car looks expensive.

Those cars look expensive.

Paul is looking out the window.

John and Tim are looking out the window.

Do those students like to eat bananas?

Does this student like to eat bananas?

These mistakes are very easy to fix.

Bad habits can be fixed but you need to see them.

So I'll explain more about this in detail

during the mmmEnglish grammar challenge.

Common mistake number four, auxiliary verbs.

Yes, the three main auxiliary verbs in English:

do, be and have.

They're very important and learning

a little more about them is going to help you improve

your English grammar a lot

because the relationship between an auxilary verb

and the main verb in an English sentence

is very clear and simple.

The auxiliary verb do appears in the simple tenses.

The auxiliary verb be appears in the continuous tenses

and also in the passive voice.

And the auxiliary verb have

appears in the perfect tenses.

This is one part of English that is really consistent.

So if you're making any of these mistakes,

we can fix them easily.

So join me for the challenge

and learn more about auxiliary verbs

and fix these common grammar mistakes.

Mistake number five, articles.

Which one should you use?

When and why?

Articles must cause the most headaches

for English learners.

The is the definite article,

a and an are indefinite articles.

The difference between definite and indefinite articles

is the difference between talking about

a specific noun and a general noun.

If you asked me "Can you pass me a pen?"

That means any of these pens, not a specific one.

But if you asked me "Can you pass me the blue pen?"

that only means this pen, none of the others.

But sometimes you don't need to use an article at all.

So it's easy to see why articles are some of the most

common mistakes that English learners make.

The good news is that there are some simple rules

that you can follow to choose the right article.

And I've got a few tips that I want to share with you

during the challenge

to help you learn a little bit more about articles

and how to use them.

Number six,


words like in, on, at, by, with,

for - you get my point.

These words, they help to give information about time,

location and direction in English.

Just like articles may also cause a few headaches,

sometimes the same preposition

can have different meanings depending on the context.

If your keys are in the car, the meaning is different to

at the car.

But if you're in school, the meaning is pretty much

the same as at school.

I had a coffee at Helen's.

That means at her house

or I had a coffee with Helen.

That means we had a coffee together

but it could have been anywhere.

These tiny little words can influence

the meaning of your English sentence significantly.

But they are a challenge because the rules and reasons

for using them are not always clear.

Plus, you could be thinking about the correct preposition

that's used in your own native language

but they don't translate directly into English

and this can be a problem too.

Anyway, to get them right you need to practise

and that's exactly what we'll do during the challenge.

Number seven,

we're going to talk about word order in questions.

So asking questions, giving answers.

It's the basics of a great conversation in English,

in any language, really.

But one common mistake is using the wrong word order

when you're asking questions.

We can go shopping this afternoon?

What you are cooking for dinner?

Word order in English questions is a common

grammar mistake.

I see it a lot and I hear even more often

and another thing,

different types of questions in English

use different intonation

so getting the structure and the intonation right

is important if you want to sound natural

like a native English speaker.

The good news is that English questions

are really consistent,

they follow a clear structure.

Question word, auxiliary verb,

subject and your main verb.

If you remember these words in this order,

your questions should always be correct.

Mistake number eight, lucky eight.

The present perfect tense.

Now, this tense is a challenging one.

There's the present perfect simple

and the present perfect continuous.

You can also use the words for and since

with these tenses to help you express information

about time.

Now, the structure of a present perfect sentence

is probably not the difficult part.

You probably know that there's the subject,

the auxiliary verb have

and the main verb in past participle form.

But in the present perfect continuous,

your past participle verb is been

and it's followed by a verb in -ing.

Don't forget to conjugate that auxiliary verb,

depending on the subject.

So it's confusing because this tense is about the past

and the present at the same time.

It connects something that happened in the past

to the present moment

and there are a few different ways

that this can happen in English.

So although it's complicated,

it is a really commonly used tense in English

so you need to understand it.

If you join the mmmEnglish challenge,

I'm going to explain how to use this tense in more detail

and help you to practise using it as well.

Another mistake, this is number nine,

the difference between the past simple

and the present perfect tense.

The present perfect is also about the past

which is confusing in itself, right?

So why not just use the past simple

to talk about the past?

To understand when to use the past simple

and when to use the present perfect tense

you need to think about time.

Finished time and unfinished time.

Last week is a good example of finished time,

it's complete, it's over.

But this week is unfinished,

it's an example of unfinished time,

there's still more of this week to come,

it's not finished yet.

So expressions of time are really important when you're

using these two different tenses.

Yesterday, last week, last month, 1991.

These are all examples of finished time.

Time that's complete.

So you would use the past simple.

But when you're thinking about a time period that

is unfinished

like today, this week, this month,

my life,

use the present perfect.

Again, I'll go over this with you during the challenge.

Lastly, mistake number ten.

And I wonder if this is a mistake

that you sometimes make

not all the time but sometimes.

When do you use adjectives that end in -ed and -ing?

There is a big difference between "He looks bored."

and "He looks boring."

"I am interested."

or "I am interesting."

There doesn't seem to be much difference

between these adjectives

but using them incorrectly in your sentence

completely changes the meaning.

Luckily, there are some simple rules to help you

remember which one is the right one to use.

Now I want to help you improve your English

and fixing these ten common mistakes

is a really good place to start.

So come and take the mmmEnglish challenge with me.

I'll explain all of these important

English grammar points

so that you can understand them

and then you'll be able to take a short quiz

to check what you've learned.

Joining the mmmEnglish challenge is really easy.

Step one, just subscribe to this channel.

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Step two, go to this website.

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Also really easy!

Step three,

complete the ten lessons.

Yeah there are ten lessons about the ten

most common mistakes that English learners make.

I want you to fix these mistakes in your English,

so I'll explain each of the grammar points

and give you lots of examples

and then you'll check your knowledge with a short quiz

at the end of each lesson.

So you'll study with me and improve your grammar skills

and test your skills.

It's going to be super fun, get your friends

to join in as well

and make sure that you complete all of the lessons

by the end of May.

If you do that, you could win one of the many

mmmEnglish prizes.

We're giving away t-shirts, English courses

and even conversation practice with me.

So head over to the website to sign up - let's do this!

Do it now!

I'll be back here next week on YouTube

with another lesson for you.

Bye for now!