Common English Speaking Mistakes (20 Phrases You Say WRONG)

Lesson summary

In this English lesson you will learn 20 phrases you may be saying wrong, why they are wrong and how to say the phrases correctly.

Video transcript

If you think any of these phrases are correct, then you need to watch this video. In today’s English lesson, I am going to show you 20 English phrases that you may be saying incorrectly. I am going to show you why each phrase is incorrect and how you can say the phrase correctly like a native speaker. Make sure you watch until the end of the video because many of these phrases you might be saying incorrectly and you don’t even know it. Alright, let’s look at the first phrase.

 

Phrase #1

The first incorrect phrase is ‘I have a 12 years-old child.’ This phrase is incorrect because we are using the phrase ’12 years-old’ to describe the child. It’s like ’12 years-old’ is an adjective and it’s describing the child. When we use a phrase like this to describe a noun, we don’t need S. I understand that 12 is more than one and normally when you have more than one of something, you need an S, right? But when we’re using a phrase like this to describe a noun, we don’t need S. To correct this sentence, you need to say ‘I have a 12 year-old child.’ No S.

 

Phrase #2

The second incorrect phrase is ‘I looked at me in the mirror.’ This sentence is incorrect because the subject and the object are the same person. When we have a sentence where the person doing the action is also receiving the action, we need to use a reflexive pronoun. Reflexive pronouns are words like ‘myself’, ‘yourself’ and ‘themselves’. The reflexive pronoun for ‘me’ is ‘myself’. To correct this sentence, we need to say ‘I looked at myself in the mirror.’ In simple words, use the word ‘myself’ when you are doing something to you.

 

Phrase #3

The third incorrect sentence is ‘Tell me what is the matter.’ This sentence is incorrect because we have a statement and we have a question in one sentence. ‘Tell me’ is a statement. ‘What is the matter’ is a question. Normally when we have a question and a statement in the same sentence, it doesn’t go together. It’s like this. So to correct this sentence, we need to say ‘Tell me what the matter is.’ ‘Tell me’ is a statement and ‘what the matter is’ is also a statement. These two phrases go together.

 

Phrase #4

The next incorrect sentence is ‘Do you like the basketball?’ Which basketball? Normally when we you use the word ‘the’ it means you are talking about something specific. Normally when you use the word ‘the’, it means you know which one and I know which one. But there is only one basketball. There is only one tennis. There is only one soccer. That’s why when we’re talking about sports we normally don’t use the word ‘the’. To correct this sentence, you can say ‘Do you like basketball?’ No ‘the’.

 

Phrase #5

The fifth incorrect phrase is ‘Give me the informations.’ This sentence is incorrect because ‘information’ is an uncountable noun. An uncountable noun is something that we cannot count in English. For example, we cannot say ‘One information’. Two informations. Three informations. This is incorrect. With uncountable nouns, we don’t put an S at the end of the word even if there is more than one. To correct this sentence, we need to say ‘Give the information.’ No S. Another way you could say this is by saying ‘Give me the pieces of information.’

 

Phrase #6

The next incorrect phrase is ‘Are you live in England?’ This phrase is incorrect because ‘are’ is a form of the verb ‘to be’. Normally when we use the verb ‘to be’, we use it with nouns, adjectives or verb INGs. But in this sentence, we have used ‘are’ with ‘live’ which is a verb 1. Normally when we ask a question with verb 1 we need to use the words ‘do’ or ‘does’. To correct this sentence, you need to say ‘Do you live in England?’

 

Phrase #7

The next incorrect sentence is ‘I don’t have.’ If you say ‘I don’t have’ to a native speaker, they will think ‘Don’t have what?’ This is because ‘have’ is a transitive verb. A transitive verb is a verb which needs to be used with an object. You need to say what you don’t have. For example, ‘I don’t have it.’ I don’t have a dog. I don’t have any time. These sentences are all correct because we have used an object with the word ‘have’. We have said what we don’t have.

 

Phrase #8

The next incorrect sentence is ‘It’s a three-years course.’ This sentence is incorrect because we are using the phrase ‘three-years’ to describe the course. When we use a phrase like this to describe a noun, we don’t use S. Even if the number is plural, there is more than one, we still don’t use S. To correct this sentence, you can say ‘It’s a three-year course.’ No S.

 

Phrase #9

The next incorrect phrase is ‘I speak English good.’ It’s funny because if someone says this, it shows that they don’t speak English well because this sentence is incorrect. This sentence is incorrect because the word ‘speak’ is a verb and the word ‘good’ is an adjective. When we want to use a word to describe a verb, normally we need to use an adverb. Normally we cannot use adjectives to describe verbs. So what is the adverb for the word ‘good’? It’s ‘well’. To correct this sentence, you need to say ‘I speak English well.’ I speak English well.

 

Phrase #10

The next incorrect sentence is ‘I eat already.’ This sentence is incorrect because ‘eat’ is present and ‘already’ is past. Present and past normally do not go together. To correct this sentence, there are several different ways. You could say ‘I’ve eaten already’ or you could say ‘I already ate.’

 

Phrase #11

The next incorrect phrase is ‘I don’t have nothing to do.’ This sentence is incorrect because ‘don’t’ is a negative and ‘nothing’ is a negative. ‘Nothing’ means zero. Nothing means you don’t have anything. So this sentence is saying ‘I don’t have zero.’ If you have more than zero, that means you have something, right? That means you have something that you can do. If you want to say that you don’t have any activities to do, you can say ‘I don’t have anything to do’ or you can say ‘I have nothing to do.’

 

Phrase #12

The next incorrect sentence is ‘He is so loudly.’ What part of speech is ‘loudly’? Is it a noun? Is it a verb? Is it an adverb? It’s an adverb. This sentence is incorrect because we are using an adverb to describe ‘he’. ‘He’ is a pronoun. ‘He’ is a thing. When we want to describe a thing, we normally need to use an adjective. To correct this sentence, you can say ‘He is so loud.’ Not ‘loudly’.

 

Phrase #13

The next incorrect sentence is ‘I’m come from England.’ This sentence is incorrect because after ‘I’m’, we don’t use verb 1. I’m come. No. I’m eat. No. I’m sleep. No. To correct this sentence, you could say ‘I come from England.’ But a more native-like way to say this would be to just say ‘I’m from England.’

 

Phrase #14

The next incorrect sentence is ‘I want.’ If you say ‘I want’ to a native speaker, he will think ‘Want what?’ That’s because ‘want’ is a transitive verb. That means you need to use the word ‘want’ with an object. To correct this sentence, you need to say what you want. For example, ‘I want it.’ I want a mobile phone. I want a new car. These sentences are all correct because we have said what we want.

 

Phrase #15

The next incorrect sentence is ‘I am so boring.’ This sentence could be correct but it’s very unlikely that you would say this about yourself. That’s because the word ‘boring’ means not exciting and not interesting. So if you think that you are not exciting and not interesting, then you can say this about yourself. But if you are trying to say that you are not happy because you have no activities to do, you have nothing to do, then you need to use the word ‘bored’. There is a big difference between ‘bored’ and ‘boring’. To correct this sentence, you need to say ‘I am so bored.’ This means you have nothing to do.

 

Phrase #16

The next incorrect sentence is ‘I am waiting you.’ This sentence is incorrect because we don’t have a word to connect the ‘waiting’ and ‘you’. We need a preposition to connect these two words. To correct this sentence, you can say ‘I am waiting for you.’

 

Phrase #17

The next incorrect sentence is ‘I enjoy.’ If you say ‘I enjoy’ to a native speaker, he will think ‘Enjoy what?’ That’s because ‘enjoy’ is a transitive verb. That means you need to use ‘enjoy’ with an object. You need to say what you enjoy. For example, ‘I enjoy learning English.’ I enjoy going to school. I enjoy eating cakes. These three sentence are all correct because we have said what we enjoy.

 

Phrase #18

The next incorrect sentence is ‘Are you speak English?’ This is incorrect because the word ‘are’ is a form of the verb ‘to be’. We normally use the verb ‘to be’ with nouns, adjectives and verb INGs. But in this sentence, we have used ‘are’ with ‘speak’ and ‘speak’ is a verb 1. When we make a question with verb 1, we normally need to use ‘do’ or ‘does’. To correct this sentence, you can say ‘Do you speak English’ or you can also say ‘Can you speak English?’ Both are correct.

 

Phrase #19

The next incorrect phrase is ‘I want to learning English.’ This sentence is incorrect because after ‘to’ we normally don’t use a verb ING. Easy, right? To correct this sentence, you need to say ‘I want to learn English.’ No ING.

 

Phrase #20

The next incorrect phrase is ‘It’s not enough spicy.’ This sentence is incorrect because we are using the word ‘enough’ to change an adjective. And when we use the word ‘enough’ to change an adjective, we normally need to put ‘enough’ after the adjective. To correct this sentence, you can say ‘It’s not spicy enough.’

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