English with Nab

25 common mistakes in English

Even after years of education, there are some things that some people still mess up. For me, it’s algebra. For others, maybe languages or science. And for many, it’s grammar.

It’s not easy.

You made an English mistake, and you’re feeling so embarrassed!

Your face feels hot and you’d like to disappear.

That’s okay. Embarrassment is universal, and everyone makes mistakes when learning a new language. But you need to make mistakes in order to learn better!

Like I always say: you best teacher is your last mistake!

English, like many other languages, has its own set of tricky rules. But with a little bit of practice and help from guides and videos like this one, you can become a grammar master.

Are you guys ready?

Let’s get the ball rolling!

We gonna start with this one, and believe me this it’s very very common, when I’m traveling people usually ask me these questions:

  1. Take a picture:
  • Could/Can you take me a picture please? ❌
  • Could/Can you take us a picture please? ❌

There’s nothing deeply wrong with the structure of ‘Take me a picture’, it just sounds slightly off for two reasons. First of all, ‘take’ is not commonly used with an indirect object.

The other problem is that (as a favor to me, as per requested by me, in order to help me, etc), but doesn’t say that the picture is to be taken OF me.

It sounds more like I just wanted a picture of something else taken for me. For example: ‘I’m so sad I can’t be there, take me a picture!’ Still a bit awkward because of the indirect object, but the meaning is more clear.

So the right sentences are:


  • Could you take my picture?
  • Could you take a picture for me?
  • Could you take a picture of me?

Plural :

  • Could you take our picture?
  • Could you take a picture for us?
  • Could you take a picture of us?

Here is another example:

  • Excuse me, could you take a picture for me please?

2) Everyone/Everybody:

  • Everyone / Everybody are coming to the party tonight. ❌
  • Everyone / Everybody know that I’m coming ❌
  • Everyone/Everybody were looking at her.❌

Indefinite pronouns that end in -one or -body like Everyone and Everybody are always singular. These words include anyone, everyone, someone, anybody, somebody, nobody and of course Everyone and Everybody.

  • Everyone / Everybody is coming to the party tonight. ✅
  • Everyone / Everybody knows that I’m coming ✅
  • Everyone/Everybody was looking at her.✅


  • Everyone and everybody mean the same.
  • Everyone is a little more formal than everybody.
  • Everyone is used more in writing than everybody.
  • She knew everybody in the room.
  • Could everyone listen for a minute?

3) Age

  • I have 30 years old.❌
  • She has 25 years old.❌

In English “have” cannot be used to talk about one’s age, moreover we use it when we own something, and when we ask about age, we use the verb TO BE. How old are you? So, the answer must be with the verb TO BE: I AM 30 years old.

  • I am 30 years old.✅
  • She is 25 years old.✅
  • I am 30 years old” and “My brother is 27 years old.✅

4) Some advices

  • His advices were very helpful.❌
  • I didn’t receive many advices.❌
  • This was a good advice.❌

Well, “advice” is an uncountable noun in English (like “water” or “sand”), and as such, it has no plural form:

  • His advices were very helpful.❌
  • His advice was very helpful.✅

Thus, we speak about the amount of advice, not the “number of advices” 🙂

  • I didn’t receive many advices.❌
  • I didn’t receive much advice.✅

Since it is uncountable, we cannot say “an advice”. We would usually say just “advice” (without an article), or, if it is necessary to emphasize that we think about it as about one piece of information, we use “piece of advice”

  • This was a good advice.❌
  • This was good advice..✅
  • This was a good piece of advice..✅

5) Question Formation

  • You went to the party last night?❌
  • He likes english?❌

In questions, we always put the auxiliary verb first, that can be verb like TO BE, CAN, WILL, HAVE , and if there is no helping verb we put the verb DO.

You should ask:

  • Did you go to the party last night?✅
  • Does he like English?✅

Remember we should put the Auxiliary verb in this case (Do/Did) + the subject (YOU) + the main verb (GO)…. like the example :

  • Did you go to the party last night?✅

6) Where I can learn English ?

“Must, should, can, may, might, could, would, will” are words that come before the subject in the questions (auxiliary verbs like the previous example).

When asking a question, the subject should be followed by an auxiliary verb. So, the structure in general should be question word like: Where/What/How/Which etc. + auxiliary verb + subject + main verb.

So, instead of:

  • Where I can learn English ?❌

you should say:

  • Where can I learn English?✅

7) Do you know who is that man?

That isn’t correct. The right way to ask this question is:

  • Do you know who that man is?✅

If you start a question with: “Do you know”, “would you like”, “could you tell me” … ETC we call it indirect questions, and we don’t change the order of the words.

In this case:

Do you know + question word (WHO) + subject (That man) + main verb (IS).

  • Do you know who that man is?✅

8) Me” as the first word in a sentence.

  • Me and my brother went to the mall ❌
  • My brother and I went to the mall ✅

When you talk about yourself in the subject of the sentence, you use the subject Pronoun, “I went to the mall” ✅ NOT “me went to the mall” ❌

And if you have two people in the subject, it is polite to put the other person first. 

  • My brother and I went to the mall✅.

But then if you talk about yourself in the subject of the sentence, you have to use ME.

For example: My mom called me✅ NOT my mom called I ❌ . 

But then when we have two people in the subject, some people say my mother called my brother and I ❌ ,

That’s not correct! The right way is “My mom called my brother and me”✅ because me is the object pronoun.

And if you are not sure here is a trick. For example:

  • My mother called my brother and I❌

Let’s take out my brother, see if it sounds right: 

  • My mother called I ❌, 

It doesn’t, so:

  • My mother called me✅.

Remember: other person always goes first. (People say to remember it, think of the other person before yourself to be polite).

9) The past

  • He didn’t took the test last week.❌
  • He doesn’t likes her.❌

The right answer is:

  • He didn’t take the test last week.✅
  • He doesn’t like her.✅

The verb which comes after the auxiliary verb, in this case (DID or DOES), always will be the base for “infinitive” form. In other words In English, negatives are made by putting (NOT) after an auxiliary verb, for example: 

Be, have, do, etc, followed by the infinitive of the verb, but without (TO).

10) By car, by bus, by train, NOT by walk

  • I came to office by walk.❌

You should say:

  • I came to office on foot.✅

‘By’ is used only if you use a vehicle for transport. We can say “by car”, “by bike”, “by bus”, “by train” and “by flight”. However, we cannot say “by walk”, as it is the “foot” which is being used to travel and not “walk”. ‘On foot’: supported by a part of the body.

  • “He was lying on his back.” 
  • “He stood on his feet”. 
  • “He doesn’t own a car. He goes everywhere on foot.”

11) Prefer to

  • I prefer tea than coffee.❌
  • I prefer tea to coffee.✅

Prefer is always followed by TO. We use “prefer” to say we like one thing or activity more than another. So that’s why we can use a prepositional phrase with to when we compare two things or actions:

  • I prefer tea to coffee.✅
  • We prefer going by ferry to flying.✅

We don’t use than after prefer:

  • She prefers books than magazines.❌
  • She prefers books to magazines.✅

NOTE: We can use a to-infinitive or an -ing form after prefer.

A to-infinitive is more common. For example:

  • She’s not keen on coffee. She prefers to drink tea. 


  • She prefers drinking tea to coffee.

12) Than that

  • The price of this smartphone is higher than yours.❌
  • The price of this smartphone is higher than that of yours.✅

The first sentence is not clear as yours could indicate the price paid for the mobile phone or the actual value of the mobile phone.

The second sentence specifies that the person is comparing the prices of the two mobile phones. Hence the second sentence is correct.

“yours” means “your”

“that of yours” means “the price of your smartphone”

‘that of’ and ‘those of’ are used for replacing singular and plural nouns, respectively.

13) According to me

  • According to me, this is the best option we have.❌
  • From my point of view, this is the best option we have.✅

We cannot use it when you give your own opinion. We use “according to” when we want to give someone else’s opinion. In other words, we only use “according to” when we refer to an opinion from someone else or somewhere else. 

When we talk about our opinion, we use phrases such as ‘in my opinion’ or ‘in our view’:

  • In my opinion…
  • Personally, I think…
  • As far as I’m concerned…

14) Tenses

  • I am working as a teacher.❌
  • I work as a teacher.✅

We use the present simple to talk about permanent facts and general truths. In this example we don’t expect the situation to change.

And, we use present continuous (the ING form) for actions that are happening now, or to talk about something temporary.

In this example we do expect the situation to change.

  • They speak English in England.> A general and permanent fact.
  • They’re speaking English. > It’s happening now. I can hear it.

Like what I am doing now: I am teaching you English, while you read this article 😉

Nevertheless, with some verbs we don’t use the ING form, we just use the present simple, because they aren’t physical actions. Some of them are called state verbs because they express a state or situation, we just use them in present simple tense.

Here are some examples:

  • agree, believe, hate, like, love, prefer, want, wish

15) YET

  • I didn’t receive the item yet.❌

You should say:

  • I haven’t received the item yet.✅

So, “I haven’t received the item yet” sounds like you’re still expecting it to show up. When you use yet in a sentence, it implies that the event is still continuing in the present. Hence, did should be replaced by have.

Therefore, “yet” means still; until the present time or until now. For example:

  • I haven’t spoken to her yet.✅
  • He hasn’t finished yet.✅

“Are you ready?” “Not yet – wait a minute.”✅

16) Interested VS Interesting:

  • They are interesting in buying the house.❌

you should say:

  • They are interested in buying the house.✅

To be interested is not the same as being interesting. 

The same applies to other English phrases such as bored and boring, or excited and exciting.  

Here is a general rule to help you remember the difference: 

When talking about yourself or your feelings, use the –ed ending.  

  • “I am interested in music.” remember! (ED form) shows result or effect.

When talking about others or something outside yourself, use the –ing ending.  

  • “That music is interesting.” here (ING form) shows reason or cause.
  • “She’s excited by travel.” VS “Travel is exciting.”
  • “They’re bored by soccer.” VS “Soccer is boring.”

17) Arrive at / in/ to

  • The children arrived to school quite late.❌

you should say:

  • The children arrived at school quite late.✅

One of the typical mistakes my students make is using the preposition “to” with the verb “arrive”.

For example: We arrived to New york.

The preposition “to” can never follow the verb “arrive”, because it is a preposition of movement and the verb is not. Instead of “to”, we can use “at” or “in”.

But, when should we use one or the other? The answer is easy:

We use “at” when we get to a small place such as an airport, station or village.

  • Ex.: The children arrived at school quite late.✅

We use “in” when we get to a large place such as a country or a city.

  • Ex.: He arrived in London…✅

(arrive in because London is a city)

Be careful – we use arrive without a preposition in the following cases:

  • arrive at home❌
  • arrive home✅ 

arrive today, arrive yesterday, etc.

arrive early, arrive late,

18) Explain me

  • Teacher, can you explain me this please?❌

you should say:

  • Teacher, can you explain this to me please?✅

The verb explain is not followed by object pronoun. It can’t be followed by a pronoun like me, him, her, you or us that is the object of the verb, or the pronoun that receives the action of the verb.

We don’t use the indirect + direct object construction with “explain”: 

  • Would you please explain these numbers to me?✅


  • Would you please explain me these numbers?❌

That’s why “Can you explain me …?” is wrong.

The verb explain has a very specific sentence pattern. Remember this when you want to use explain in a sentence.

  • You explain something TO someone.


  • You explain TO someone something.


  • I explained the problem to my friends.
  • Can you please explain the difference between borrow and lend?
  • The teacher explained the game to the children.
  • I understand now. She explained it to me very clearly.

19) Marry with

  • Anna is married with an English teacher.❌

You should say:

  • Anna is married to an English teacher.✅

With the verb marry we always use TO and NOT with.

20) Double Negatives

  • I didn’t buy nothing at the store.❌

You should say:

  • I didn’t buy anything at the store.✅
  • Don’t worry, he won’t tell nobody your secret.❌

You should say:

  • Don’t worry, he won’t tell anybody your secret.✅

In English, we can’t have a “double negative” (not + no) in the phrase. Use any- instead:

  • They didn’t travel anywhere during their vacation.✅


  • They didn’t travel nowhere during their vacation.❌
  • You shouldn’t buy any of those shoes – they’re overpriced.✅


  • You shouldn’t buy none of those shoes – they’re overpriced.❌

We also use any- in questions:

  • Do you know anyone at this party?
  • Are you doing anything at the moment?
  • Did they travel anywhere during their vacation?
  • Should I buy any of these shoes?
  • Has the teacher given any homework this week?

21) Plural

  • I bought all the equipments. ❌

You should say:

  • I bought all the equipment. ✅

Equipment is an uncountable noun, so you cannot say one equipment or two equipments,

22) Plural (2)

  • Passengers should check in their luggages at the airport.❌

You should say:

  • Passengers should check in their luggage at the airport.✅

Like the previous mistake, “luggage” is an uncountable noun, that being said, you cannot say one luggage, two luggages etc, but you can say one piece of luggage, two pieces of luggage.

23) A vs AN

  • Anna studies at an university❌

You should say:

  • Anna studies at a university.✅

The rule isn’t “an” before a vowel LETTER, it’s “an” before a vowel SOUND. The word university starts with the consonant /j/, the “y” sound like yellow. 

So, that’s why we say University. yoo·nuh·vuh·suh·tee.

24) Said Me

  • He said me that he needed my help❌

The correct one is:

  • He told me that / He said that heed needed my help✅

The verb say never takes an indirect object: said me, Said her, said you…

say something (to somebody)

25) TELL that

  • He told that the film was not very good.❌

That’s isn’t correct. The right sentences:

  • He said that the film was not very good. ✅
  • He told me that the film was not very good.✅

The verb “tell” usually needs to take an indirect object, for example told me, tell her…

tell somebody something..

Which one do you think is the most common one?

Please share it with all your friends and family!

luv y’all

1 thought on “25 common mistakes in English”

  1. Thank you for sharing!
    The information presented is easy to understand and apply in real context.
    I appreciated tons.

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