Sue needs her own room. (NOT Sue needs an own room.)
I’d like a phone line of my own. (NOT … an own phone line.)
2. Use or rather to correct yourself.
She’s German – or rather, Austrian. (NOT She’s German – or better, Austrian.)
I’ll see you on Friday – or rather, Saturday.
3. Use the simple present – play(s), rain(s) etc – to talk about habits andrepeated actions.
I play tennis every Saturday. (NOT I am playing tennis every Saturday.)
It usually rains a lot in November.
4. Use will …, not the present, for offers and promises.
I’ll cook you supper this evening. (NOT I cook you supper this evening.)
I promise I’ll phone you tomorrow. (NOT I promise I phone you tomorrow.)
5. Don’t drop prepositions with passive verbs.
I don’tlike to be shouted at. (NOT I don’t like to be shouted.)
This needs to be thought about some more. (NOT This needs to be thought some more.)
6. Don’t use a present tense after It’s time.
It’s time you went home. (NOT It’s time you go home.)
It’s time we invited Bill and Sonia. (NOT It’s time we invite Bill and Sonia.)
7. Use was/were born to give dates of birth.
I was born in1975. (NOT I am born in 1975.)
Shakespeare was born in 1564.
8. Police is a plural noun.
The police are looking for him. (NOT The police is looking for him.)
I called the police, but they were too busy to come.
9. Don't use the to talk about things in general.
Books are expensive. (NOT The books are expensive.)
I love music. (NOT I love the music.)
10. Use had better, nothave better.
I think you’d better see the doctor. (NOT I think you have better see the doctor.)
We’d better ask John to help us.
11. Use the present progressive - am playing, is raining etc - to talk about things that are continuing at the time of speaking.
I’m playing very badly today. (NOT I play very badly today.)
Look! It's raining! (NOT Look! It rains!)
12. Use forwith a period of time. Use since with the beginning of the period.
for the last two hours = since 9 o'clock
for three days = since Monday
for five years = since I left school
I’ve been learning English for five years. (NOT I’ve been learning English since three years.)
We’ve been waiting for ages, since eight o’clock.
13. Don't separate the verb from the object.
| |VERB|OBJECT | |
|She |speaks |English |very well . (NOT She speaks very well English.) |
|Andy |likes |skiing |very much. (NOT Andy likes very much skiing.) |
14. Don't use the present perfect - have/has seen, have/has gone etc - with wordsthat name a finished time.
I saw him yesterday. (NOT I have seen him yesterday.)
They went to Greece last summer. (NOT They have gone … last summer.)
15. English (the language) normally has no article.
You speak very good English. (NOT You speak a very good English.)
16. After look forward to, we use -ing, not an infinitive.
I look forward to seeing you. (NOT I look forward tosee you.)
We’re looking forward to going on holiday. (NOT … to go on holiday.)
17. Information is an uncountable noun.
Can you give me some information? (NOT Can you give me an information?)
I got a lot of information from the Internet. (NOT I got a lot of informations from the Internet.)
18. Use -ing forms after prepositions.
I drove there without stopping. (NOT I drove therewithout to stop.)
Wash your hands before eating. (NOT Wash your hands before to eat.)
19. Use this, not that, for things that are close.
Come here and look at this paper. (NOT Come here and look at that paper.)
How long have you been in this country? (NOT How long have you been in that country?)
20. Use a plural noun after one and a half.
We waited one and a half hours. (NOT We...