Grammar Galore

Common Mistakes

Did you know that you are not the only person who makes grammar mistakes?
Infact there are many common mistakes that language learners make.
This page covers some of the more common mistakes made in English by ESL learners.
Take some time to look at the grammar and take note of how you can avoid some of these common mistakes.

THE

Can you guess which sentence is correct?

In the UK most people speak English.
In UK most people speak English.

The diagram shows the number of people who applied for their drivers licence in 1999.
The diagram shows number of people who applied for their drivers licence in 1999.

My father was the first person to swim from Brittian to Australia.
(in the pool of an ocean liner)
My father was first person to swim from Brittian to Australia.

Use the information below to check your answers.

WE USE THE…

  • when there is only one in the world: the moon, the atmosphere, the universe
  • with places or countries where the name refers to a group of islands or states: the UK, the United States, the Soviet Union
  • in some set phrases such as 'the same as'
  • with cardinal numbers: the first, the second, the third
  • with superlatives: the biggest, the fastest, the longest
  • to identify one specific example

WE DON'T USE THE…

  • with plurals
  • with a single country or place
  • with people's names

Putting your knowledge to the test.

My father has swum in …………… all over Australia. (pool)

Students think that they don't neet text books when they can access ………………. (internet)

My brother is always ………. in line. (last)

What is life like in ……………. (Soviet Union)

In grade five I had ………………. hair in the class. (long)

My friend's car is ………… as mine. (same)

Countable and Non Countable

Can you guess which sentence is correct?

The number of women becoming builders increased last year.
the number of woman becoming builders increased last year.

There are several problems with your essay.
There are several problem with your essay.

Many bus drivers suffer from sore backs.
Many bus driver suffer from sore back.

Use the information below to check your answers.

  • When we use a plural noun we must use a plural verb. The verb and the noun must agree with each other.

Putting your knowledge to the test.

My children play/plays a lot of computor games.

The number of man/men with long hair has decreased since the 1960's.

There were alot of friend/ friends at my party.

The newspaper is/are full of interesting stories.

Everday there are four lesson/ lessons.

A person/ people who enjoys watching monster movies is Julian.

Uncountable Nouns

Not all nouns have a plural form.
Can you select the correct sentence from the options below?
a. I don’t have many money to spend on clothes.
b. I don’t have much money to spend on clothes.

a. During the drought I could only put a little water on my garden.
b. During the drought I could only put a few waters on my garden.

Words such as information, advice, knowledge, food, rubbish, time, money, patience, food or furniture … are all examples of uncountable words in English.
With these words you must use;
The singular form
A little / amount of / much / some:
There is a little milk left.
The amount of noise in the class is ridiculous.
I have too much furniture.
There is some money in my pocket.

Common mistakes in English are when the:
Plural form is used with these words such as: foods, advices, patiences or informations.
A /an is used with the words: a money, an information or an advice.
A few/ many/ number of: many knowledge, a few time, a number of money.
A number: three informations, six knowldges or eleven airs.
A plural verb: There were a little water in the bath.
(Some of the above sentences can be made using the words, a piece of information, three pieces of food, a few moments of time)

Correct the sentences below.
1. The furnitures in my house were unfashionable and uncomfortable.
2. My music teacher was unhelpful; she gave me no good advices about music.
3. My mother does a few shopping on her way home from work.
4. You must have many patiences to be a teacher.
5. There were so many traffics on the road that it took me a few time to get home.
6. The advices given by our English teacher were excellent.
7. When I got home I was upset to see many messes in the kitchen.
8. In the holidays my teacher always gives me many homeworks.

Get your claws into grammatical clause (ACELA 1534)

If you were asked to explain what a subordinate clause was could you do it?
The truth is we use complex grammar and sentences all the time even if we don’t know what the grammatical names for these sentences are. The challenge for us is to learn to identify the grammar we use and to create it when needed.
You can read more about clauses on the following web site http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/subordinateclause.htm

Use subordination to combine ideas effectively.

Writers use subordination to combine two ideas in a single sentence. Read these two simple sentences:

Rhonda gasped. A six-foot snake slithered across the sidewalk.
Since the two simple sentences are related, you can combine them to express the action more effectively:

Rhonda gasped when a six-foot snake slithered across the sidewalk.
If the two ideas have unequal importance, save the most important one for the end of the sentence so that your reader remembers it best. If we rewrite the example above so that the two ideas are flipped, the wrong point gets emphasized:

When a six-foot snake slithered across the side walk, Rhonda gasped.
A reader is less concerned with Rhonda's reaction than the presence of a giant snake on the sidewalk!
(from above website)

Using the information above as a guide create 5 sentences of your own using subordinate clauses that directly relate to the book.

1

2

3

4

5

The great thing about these sentences is that they help us to develop and express ideas in our writing. It is sentences like these that add detail and interest to our writing. Later on in this unit, when you are required to do some writing you should make sure you add some subordinate clauses to your work.

Topic Sentences (ACELA 1763)

Do you know what a topic sentence is?
If you look this phrase up you will probably find something like this:
TOPIC SENTENCE
Noun
A sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph in which it occurs.

Ask your teacher to assign each of you one chapter each from the book and make a list of 10 topic sentences from your chapter.
Make sure you record the name and page of the chapter you are using.

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