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Tag «grammar»

Common mistake – “There have a 7-11”

Very often, I hear HK Chinese IELTS candidates say “There have”.  For example: “There have a supermarket below my place”. The correct way is “There is a supermarket below my place”. In spoken English, this often shortened to “There’s a supermarket below my place”. I guess the reason for the error is that in Chinese, …

“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 …

Do you apply the job or apply for the job?

Correct expression: Apply for the job The word ‘apply’ has the following two main meanings: “apply” + object = put on / use  …E.g. Apply sunscreen (to your skin) “apply for/to” + object = request  …E.g. Apply for job Note: “Apply sunscreen” sounds a little too formal for casual spoken situations.  It is more common to say “put …

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 Are you a Hong Kong People?

“I’m a Hong Kong people” is bad English because the word ‘people’ is a plural noun – it can’t be used with ‘a’. Correcting the grammar to “a Hong Kong person” still sounds incorrect, in the same way “a UK person” does. As Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, you could say: …

常見錯誤 Do you like dog or dogs?

If you like to eat the meat from dogs, then you like dog. If you like to play with/take care of/pat them, then you like dogs. This is the same for other animals which are countable (have a plural form), such as cats, rabbits, chickens, lambs (baby sheep), etc. For example: Whale isn’t sold in most countries because whales are an …

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