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Tag «common mistake»

“How to spell?” or “How do you spell it?”

Students often use the wrong grammar when asking direct “how” questions: WRONG RIGHT PRONUNCIATION Use the weak (schwa) sound Ə for “do you” and “it” How to pronounce? How do you pronounce it? HOW dƏ yƏ prƏNOUNCE Ət? click to listen How to say? How do you say it? HOW dƏ yƏ SAY Ət? click …

Have it done, or do it yourself?

A common grammar mistake made by students is to say things like: Sorry I couldn’t answer your phone call. I was doing acupuncture. (針灸) Assuming that the doctor was performing the procedure, you could say: Sorry I couldn’t answer your phone call. I was having acupuncture done. The second way means that the doctor was performing acupuncture on …

常見錯誤 Common mistake: a fifty dollars note

A simple but common error is to use a number and the plural form of a noun to form a compound adjective: We took a two weeks holiday. ✗ Let’s take a ten minutes break. ✗ I found a fifty dollars note. ✗ These must use the singular forms of the nouns (week, minute, dollar): We took a two-week holiday. ✓ Let’s take a ten-minute break. ✓ I found a fifty-dollar note. ✓ Note: hyphens (-) are needed.

Learn one simple rule to cover three grammar structures

By upper intermediate level, students have normally learnt the following three grammar structures involving past participle verbs (eaten, given, seen, known, taken, …): “present perfect” – e.g. I have seen that movie already. “past perfect” – e.g. Before I moved to Japan, I had studied Japanese for 2 years. “3rd conditional” – e.g. If you had told me it …

Can you find these grammatical errors? It’s important that you can!

The following answers were given by one of my intermediate-level students today during a practice IELTS speaking test. Can you correct the errors in both answers? Question: What is the weather like in your country? Answer: In my country, during the winter is quite cold, and during the summer is quite hot. Question: Would you prefer to live …

常見發音錯誤 Common pronunciation errors: consonant clusters

A group of two or more consonant sounds before or after a vowel sound is called a consonant cluster. For example: /b/ + /l/ in ‘black’ /d/ + /r/ and /ŋ/ + /k/ in ‘drink’ Many HK Chinese candidates mispronounce them (often dropping the second sound of the cluster) because Cantonese does not have them. So, ‘black’ …

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