Tag «common mistake»

常見誤解
 Common mistake – On the other hand

On the other hand

另一方面 (Cantonese: ling6 jat1 fong1 min6; Mandarin: Lìng yī fāngmiàn) directly translates to “On the other hand”. But be careful when saying “On the other hand” in English because the meaning is very different! In Chinese, 另一方面 means “Additionally” or “Not only that, (but) …”. You use it to add another point to support your earlier comment(s) or …

常見誤解
 Common mistake – would like

Hong Kong misunderstanding - would like = want

“Would like” is a polite way of saying “want” (either in a question or in a statement). I’ve noticed that some Hong Kong Chinese people misunderstand the meaning of “would like”. They think “would like” means “used to like” because they know that “would” can mean the past tense of ‘will’. However, “would” means “used …

常見錯誤 Common mistake – habit vs hobbit

Common mistake - habit vs hobbit

I sometimes hear people say hobbit when they mean habit. The mistake is more common with those who score below band 6. Habits are behaviours or actions that you do automatically from doing them repeatedly. I usually sleep late due to my bad habit of playing on my mobile phone at night. I’m trying to …

常見錯誤 Common mistake – borrow vs lend

Common mistake in Hong Kong - borrow versus lend

Many Hong Kong people say ‘borrow’ when they mean ‘lend’. Wrong: I often borrow money to my friend because she always pays me back quickly. Right: I often lend money to my friend because she always pays me back quickly. Borrow means take temporarily. Lend means give temporarily. Why is this mistake so common? Because, …

“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’ …