Lisa's week

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Lisa's week: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

I often talk about my Top 10 typical mistakes and while there isn’t really any such thing as my Top 10, I try to keep a list of the most common mistakes. I thought I’d give a few of them to you here with how we should say them correctly.

These are in no particular order and this topic will come up again as my Top 10 is probably more like my Top 50!

1. Don’t say: Important is, that we work in this way.

  • Why: This is a typical German sentence structure with the verb in the second position, which is a rule we don’t have in English.
  • Do say: It is important that we work in this way.

2. Don’t say: I made lots of photos while I was in Munich at the weekend

  • Why: The German verb “machen” is translated to several different verbs in English.
  • Do say: I took lots of photos while I was in Munich at the weekend.

3. Don’t say: My job is very stressy.

  • Why: The adjective of stress is usually stressful and not stressy. Although this word is actually listed in the Cambridge dictionary, we would generally not use it.
  • Do say: My job is very stressful.

4. Don’t say: My holiday was great but the town was very touristic.

  • Why: Touristic is used to describe things that are designed for tourists e.g. touristic excursions by bus.  
  • Do say: My holiday was great but the town was very touristy.

5. Don’t say: The same to me.

  • Why: The preposition is incorrect.
  • Do say: The same for me.

6. Don’t say: I enjoy skiing. It makes fun.

  • Why: We describe the activity directly.
  • Do say: I enjoy skiing. It’s a lot of fun.

7. Don’t say: My colleague, she’s very good at her job.

  • Why: In normal language, we don’t need to repeat the subject of the sentence unless you are stressing this for some reason.
  • Do say: My colleague is very good at her job.

8. Don’t say: I spend a lot of money for presents at Christmas.

  • Why: The preposition is incorrect.
  • Do say: I spend a lot of money on presents at Christmas.

9. Don’t say: Today is terrible. It’s such a bad weather.

  • Why: Weather is uncountable and we can’t use “a” with it. It’s just weather.
  • Do say: Today is terrible. It’s such bad weather.

10. Don’t say: He’s lucky. He has an own office.

  • Why: We can’t use “an” with “own”. We use the personal pronoun instead.
  • Do say: He’s lucky. He has his own office.

No doubt, I’ll be back with this subject again soon as my list has already grown. In the meantime, try to remember these typical mistakes and how to correct them!

 


What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"

 

Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

06.10.2016