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  • Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • Do you make these common mistakes in English?

  • Let's talk about it.

  • Have you ever felt afraid to make a mistake when you're speaking in English?

  • What happens if you make a mistake?

  • Other people will say, "What?

  • What did you say?"

  • Maybe you will miss out on a friendship or you won't seem professional at work and your

  • heart will start beating.

  • You might start sweating.

  • It's a terrible feeling.

  • I think that because of school we are all brought up with the idea that mistakes should

  • be avoided at all costs.

  • Mistakes are terrible.

  • But do you know what?

  • The reality is, that when you learn anything new, a language, when you're learning English,

  • mistakes are inevitable.

  • Inevitable is a wonderful word that means unavoidable.

  • You will definitely make a mistake in English, because you're an English learner.

  • And a little secret, I make mistakes in English too.

  • So what I would like you to do, even though we are talking about common mistakes today,

  • I would like you to take a deep breath with me.

  • Because when you make a mistake in English, this means that you are getting out of your

  • comfort zone.

  • This is excellent.

  • It means that you are learning and progressing, and sometimes making a mistake is a great

  • way to learn.

  • So I hope that you will not fear making mistakes, but instead you will feel confident that making

  • mistakes means that you are trying something new that you've never done before, that you

  • are having courage to get outside your comfort zone.

  • So, congratulations, you are doing something challenging.

  • You're learning something new and making mistakes is part of that.

  • And to help you today, sometimes it's nice to learn from other people's mistakes.

  • I would like to share with you 11 common mistakes in English that my students often make.

  • These are some grammar mistakes, vocabulary mistakes, pronunciation mistakes, and maybe

  • you make these mistakes too.

  • Of course, it's not the end of the world, but you are here because you want to level

  • up your English.

  • So I hope that these mistakes and corrections will help you.

  • To help you with this lesson as well, I have created a free PDF worksheet.

  • In this worksheet, I will give you all of the mistakes, the corrections, sample sentences,

  • some tips and ideas about how to avoid them, and what happens if you accidentally make

  • those mistakes.

  • And also, at the end of the worksheet, you will answer Vanessa's Challenge Question to

  • help you use what you have learned in this lesson.

  • So don't forget to download the free PDF worksheet.

  • There is a link in the description just for you.

  • It is my gift.

  • All right, let's go on to learn these 11 common mistakes that I often hear my English students

  • make.

  • The first couple mistakes are grammar mistakes.

  • Then we'll talk about vocabulary mistakes, and finally some common pronunciation mistakes.

  • And you know what?

  • If you make these mistakes, even after this video, I want you to take a deep breath and

  • to realize that you are doing something amazing.

  • You are learning a new language.

  • You are getting outside of your comfort zone.

  • You're awesome.

  • All right.

  • Let's start by talking about some common grammar mistakes.

  • Mistake number one, "I went there by bus."

  • "I went there by car."

  • "I went there by plane."

  • Okay, so grammatically in a textbook, they would say this is okay.

  • But do you know what?

  • In daily conversation, we rarely use "by" plus transportation.

  • I went there by car, by bus, by plane, by taxi.

  • It feels a little bit like textbook English or classroom English.

  • Instead, we're more likely to use the verb "take".

  • "I took a bus."

  • "I took a train."

  • "I took a flight."

  • "I took the plane."

  • With driving, because you're the one who is in control, we often just say drive.

  • I drove to my friend's house.

  • We drove to the beach.

  • That's in the past tense, to drive, drove.

  • But here, we're more likely to use a verb instead of a by phrase.

  • So take a look at this sentence.

  • How can we change it to make it be a little bit more natural?

  • "We're going to Canada by plane next week."

  • You see that phrase "by plane".

  • And now you know it's not so natural, how can we change this up?

  • Well, we have two options.

  • We can use the verb "take".

  • "We are taking a flight to Canada."

  • Or you could just say, "We're flying to Canada."

  • It doesn't mean you're a bird and you are actually flying.

  • This implies that you are going into the airplane.

  • So you could say, "We're taking a flight," or, "We're flying."

  • Both of these are great options and you can see how we use the verb to describe the action

  • instead of a "by" phrase.

  • Yes, you will occasionally hear this, but I want to empower you to use the most natural

  • phrase possible.

  • All right, let's go to our second grammar mistake that is commonly made by English learners.

  • "I have 33 years."

  • Huh?

  • No.

  • When we're talking about age, we do not use "have".

  • instead we can say, "I am 33 years old."

  • "I am."

  • We use a "be" verb to talk about age.

  • This is something that I commonly see in my students who speak a romantic language like

  • Brazilian-Portuguese or Spanish or Italian or French.

  • I often hear, "I have 60 years."

  • "I have 55 years."

  • But instead we can have a little switch and just say "am".

  • "I am 66 years old."

  • "I am 40 years old."

  • Beautiful.

  • Common grammar mistake number three is, "We were five people at the party."

  • Huh?

  • This sounds very clunky and confusing in English.

  • It's like there were five people in your head.

  • What?

  • We were five people.

  • It's very confusing in English.

  • So instead, it's much more natural, and in fact, just better grammar to say, "There were

  • five people at the party."

  • Or you could say, "There were five of us at the party."

  • If you want to include yourself, the word "us" includes yourself.

  • So you could say, "There were five of us at the party," or, "There were five people at

  • the party."

  • Both of those are excellent and they use the word "there" instead of "we".

  • "We were five people."

  • No.

  • "There were five people."

  • Great.

  • Grammar mistake number four is, "Don't be scary."

  • Huh?

  • Is it Halloween?

  • Are you dressed up like a vampire?

  • Don't be scary there's children here.

  • No, this phrase means stop scaring people.

  • You're dressed up as something really scary.

  • Stop being scary.

  • Don't be scary.

  • No, instead, a much more common phrase is, "Don't be scared."

  • I find that when my English students want to say, "Don't be scared," they accidentally

  • say, "Don't be scary," which has a very different meaning.

  • You are dressed up as something scary for Halloween.

  • So when you're trying to comfort someone or soothe someone, you could say, "Don't be scared.

  • I know that speaking English can be a little bit difficult and maybe you feel nervous,

  • but don't be scared.

  • I'm nice.

  • I hope that you can speak with me and feel comfortable.

  • Don't be scared."

  • Let's go onto some common vocabulary mistakes that my English students make.

  • All of the words that I'm about to talk about are real English words, but they often get

  • mixed up in conversations by English learners, and you know what, sometimes English native

  • speakers too.

  • So let's start with the first common vocabulary mistake.

  • Definitely, defiantly.

  • Hmm.

  • Take a look at this sentence.

  • "I definitely do not want to jump into the cold water.

  • I definitely do not want to jump into the cold water."

  • But take a look at this sentence.

  • "He defiantly jumped into the cold water when I told him not to."

  • Hmm.

  • "He defiantly".

  • Look at the spelling difference between these two words.

  • For myself, I've found that as I'm writing sometimes I accidentally write the word defiantly.

  • What's this word mean?

  • This means that you're rebellious.

  • I told him not to jump into the cold water, and do you know what he did?

  • He looked at me and said, "Hm," and he jumped into the cold water anyway.

  • He did it defiantly.

  • He was being rebellious.

  • He defiantly jumped into the cold water even though I told him not to.

  • Hm.

  • Now, I'm definitely upset.

  • So make sure that when you're using these two words, whether it's spelling or speaking,

  • we use them in the correct way.

  • All right, let's go to our second vocabulary mistake.

  • Dessert, desert.

  • Ooh.

  • "When I was walking across the desert, all I could think about was eating some ice cream

  • for dessert."

  • First, let's take a quick look at the spelling differences between these two words.

  • When we talk about dessert, something sweet and tasty, ice cream, cake, cookies, there

  • are two Ss.

  • A good way to remember this is usually you want more dessert.

  • So we have two Ss.

  • And when we're talking about the hot, dry, sandy place, desert, there's only one S. That's

  • the spelling differences, but let's talk about the emphasis and the pronunciation differences.

  • "I want to eat some dessert.

  • I want to eat some desserts."

  • There is emphasis on the second syllable.

  • Can you say that with me?

  • I want to eat some dessert.

  • Dessert.

  • But what if I decide to go on vacation to visit that dry, sandy place?

  • We might say, "I'm going to the desert.

  • Desert."

  • There's emphasis at the beginning, de-, desert.

  • "I'm going to the desert.

  • Desert."

  • Wonderful.

  • So make sure that when you are spelling these words, they're correct.

  • And when you're emphasizing them, it's also correct.

  • I'm going to tell you a really silly story of when I was a kid.

  • I always wanted to ask my parents for some dessert, but I knew that if I just asked them,

  • "Mom, can I have some dessert?" they might say no.

  • So I had to come up with a creative way to ask them for some more dessert.

  • So me and my sister and my two neighbors, who we always spent time with, I remember

  • crawling down the hallway towards my parents and we said, "Oh, it's so hot in the desert.

  • Oh, it's so hot in the desert.

  • I need some dessert."

  • We were very silly.

  • So we were trying to get them to laugh and have a little bit of fun with the difference

  • between these two words so that they would give us dessert.

  • I hope this little story helps you to remember desert and desert.

  • Okay.

  • Let's go to our next common vocabulary mistake.

  • Quiet and quite.

  • This is another one that's easy to misspell when you're writing, because they're quite

  • similar, quite similar.

  • Let's a look at this sentence.

  • "I was very quiet when I walked up the stairs."

  • Take a look at the next sentence.

  • "He was quite noisy when he walked up the stairs."

  • We have an opposite meaning here.

  • "I was very quiet," this means I didn't make much noise.

  • I was very quiet when I walked up the stairs.

  • Or, "He was quite noisy."

  • We use the word quite as an emphasis.

  • "He was quite noisy."

  • He was very noisy when he walked up the stairs.

  • He was quite noisy.

  • Excellent.

  • So make sure that when you're writing and when you're speaking, you use quiet and quite

  • in the right way.

  • Before we go onto some common pronunciation mistakes, let's go to our final vocabulary

  • mistake that I commonly see with English learners, and maybe this is difficult for you too.

  • Take a look at these two words, recipe and receipt.

  • Let's talk about pronunciation first.

  • Recipe, usually, if there is an E at the end of a word, it's silent, like the previous

  • word we talked about, quite.

  • Quite, we don't say quite-y.

  • But in this word we say the final E, recipe.

  • Can you say it with me?

  • Recipe.

  • This is what you read that gives you instructions for cooking.

  • I found a great recipe for making chocolate chip cookies.

  • A recipe.

  • But that's second word, receipt.

  • So many letters that are cut out.

  • Receipt, re-, it sounds like R-U, receipt, seat.

  • So the P is cut out and the E-I is just an E sound, receipt, receipt.