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Most Common Grammatical/Spelling Mistakes:
- Seven most misspelt words:
- Incorrect: Accomodation, Recieve, Definately, Calender, Seperate, Occassion, Embarass.
- Correct: Accommodation, Receive, Definitely, Calendar, Separate, Occasion, Embarrass.
- Use of Stationary versus Stationery: 'Stationary' means 'not moving'. 'Stationery' is writing/office supplies.
- Using 'Loose' versus 'Lose': Loose is opposite of tight. Lose is opposite of win.
- 'Than' and 'Then':
- 'Than' is used to compare things. Example: Anil is smarter than most other people.
- 'Then' refers to 'a point in time'. Example: I did my homework first, then I went to play.
- 'Weather' and 'Whether':
- 'Weather' refers to climate (hot, cold, snow etc).
- 'Whether' expresses doubt or choices. Example: He is thinking whether to go on a vacation.
- Use of 'I/Me/Myself':
- 'I' is used as the subject and 'me' as the object. Example: 'I' am a good learner. She loves 'me'.
- 'Myself' is used to emphasize when 'subject' and object' are the same. Example: I have got these mangoes for myself.
- Incorrect: 'Please contact myself with questions.' Correct: 'Please contact me with questions.'
- Incorrect: 'Hello, myself Pooja.' Correct: 'Hello, I am Pooja.'
- 'Its' and It's:
- It’s is the contraction of It is. Example: It's a very old monument, we must take its picture.
- Incorrect: 'I can’t remember it’s name.' Correct: 'I can't remember its name.'
- 'Except' and 'Accept':
- Accept is to take something. Example: 'I accept your gift.'
- Except means not including. Example: 'I exercise every day except on Sundays.'
- 'Could/Would/Should': Click here for details on these words.
- 'Principal' and 'Principle':
- Principle refers to a law or standard while principal refers to a higher rank person. Example:
- Incorrect: 'School principle.' Correct: 'School principal.'
- Example: He did not want to compromise on his principles of honesty by accepting bribe.
- 'May' and 'Might':
- 'May' implies a possibility of happening. Example: I may go to my friend's house tomorrow.
- 'Might' implies far more uncertainty. Example: He might come to my party as he is sick.
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10 More Most Common Incorrectly Used Words:
- 'For' and 'Since':
- 'For' indicates a period of time. Example: I have been working here for last 3 years.
- 'Since' indicates a point in time. Example: I have been working here since 2010.
- 'Affect' and 'Effect':
- 'Affect' is the impact or cause something to happen. Example: Bad food will affect his health.
- 'Effect' is the result of having happened. Example: The effect of training improved his results.
- 'Fewer' and 'Less':
- If you can count it use 'Fewer'. Example: He got fewer number of books.
- If you can't count, use 'Less'. Example: She has less incentive to go out in the hot weather.
- 'Complement' and 'Compliment':
- Complement adds to something else. Example: That shirt complements your skirt.
- Compliment is something nice said to a person. Example: He gave her a nice compliment.
- 'Elicit' and 'Solicit':
- 'Elicit' is to draw out information following a process. Example: Cops tried to elicit a confession from the thief by enquiring him in detail.
- 'Solicit' means to ask for something directly. Example: He solicited a response from his client.
- 'Inquiry' and 'Enquiry':
- 'Inquiry' denotes 'an investigation'. Example: He ordered an inquiry into the illegal betting case.
- 'Enquiry' denotes 'a question'. Example: He enquired about his sister's health after a long time.
- 'Your' and You're:
- Your means 'belonging to you'. You're means 'You are'.
- Example: Pick up the toys from your room as you're a big boy now.
- 'Bought' and 'Brought':
- Bought relates to buying something. Example: I bought fresh vegetables in the morning.
- Brought relates to bringing something. Example: My sister brought a nice watch from London.
- 'Site' and 'Sight':
- 'Site' is a location or place. Example: Police paid a visit to the site after a bomb blast.
- 'Sight' refers to sense of vision. Example: Snowfall is a beautiful sight to look at.
- 'Councillor' and 'Counsellor':
- Councillor is an elected local government member. Example: He was elected as a councillor.
- Counsellor is someone who listens to people and gives advice on their problems.
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- Many people join school lessons at learning centres , no matter their age.
- There are hundreds of English coaching centres giving English training classes in India but one needs to be very careful while choosing one, as only a few offer good coaching.
- If you are wondering where to learn English from, here are a few which you may consider:
- Click here for British Council.
- Click here for English language teaching institute of Symbiosis University.
- Click here for Russell's English Training Institute.
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- Make use of the internet where there are many websites, that can help learners.
- The advantage of this medium is you can learn at your own pace and time convenience.
- Some good free sites are available for users. You may refer to the following:
- Click here for learning english website 1.
- Click here for learning english website 2.
- Click here for learning english website 3.
- Click here for english grammar tests.
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- Many people learn English on their own than in a group of people with a class teacher.
- One of the simplest and economical ways to learn English is to subscribe to "Actve English" DTH channel. It is an on-demand Tata Sky TV Channel. Just spend 15 minutes daily and you will soon be speaking English with a new confidence. It is available 24 hours a day and has basic/intermediate levels.
- In basic level, you learn the basic principles of english grammar along with learning new words, understanding their pronunciation, practicing their spellings and exercises. In intermediate level, you learn how to speak and make conversation through simple exercises.
- Click here for details.
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Watch English Movies and Songs:
- Even if you do not understand the movie fully, watching english movies or television programmes will gradually improve your listening ability and your spoken English.
- When you read an article or watch a movie, it is important to pay attention as to how sentences are constructed.
- Listen to English Songs: The words of songs or lyrics can be found online. Listen to your favorite songs while reading the lyrics to improve listening of English language.
- Click here for most popular/viewed English songs.
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Make handy paper slips:
- Take few paper sheets(both sides blank) and make slips of about 2 inch by 2 inch size.
- To avoid making paper slips, you may take readymade 'post-it' paper slips also.
- Number of slips depend upon you but 300 to 500 slips is a good start.
- Once blank slips are ready, then write a word on one side and its meaning on the other side.
- You may refer to 'GRE' words list to select words for each alphabet from this site: Click here
- After the slips are filled in, learn 5 words a day with their meanings. Keep revisiting the slips done in the past. Try it! It wil do wonders to your speaking and vocabulary skills within 3 months. This exercise helps immensely in the long run.
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Help from best friend/relative:
- Every day for 30 minutes, try having discussions in English with your best friend/relative. Do not worry even if you make mistakes. Since he/she is your best friends, they will most probably understand your problem and help improve your English speaking skills.
- Play Scrabble game: Learn new English words everyday in a fun way. Play scrabble board game to see how many words you can make. Click here for free online scrabble/crossword.
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Speaking Tongue Twisters:
- A tongue-twister is a sequence of words that is difficult to pronounce quickly and correctly. Try to say some english tongue-twisters, as fast as possible, but correctly.
- Tongue Twisters are hard to say because the repetition of the same phonetic sound creates issues with pronunciation and clarity of words.
- Practicing tongue twisters allows people to strengthen their speech skills. The faster a person can say the tongue twister, the finer their speaking skills become over time.
- Quickly, try speaking each of these tongue twisters 10 times:
- I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream.
- Red lorry, yellow lorry.
- Red leather yellow leather.
- If two witches were watching two watches, which witch would watch which watch?
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
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- Do not confuse pronunciation of words with their spelling. Learn to practice what you hear, not what you see.
- In English, many words are there which:
- have the same spellings but are pronounced differently.
- have the same pronunciation but are written differently with different meanings.
- Use Google to hear how a word is pronounced. Type word with meaning in search. Example: 'Accommodation meaning' and click on small speaker icon to hear the pronunciation of the word.
- Pronunciation in English: 500 common words. Click here for beginners video.
- For basic pronunciation rules: For effective communication, it is important to pronounce words clearly. Click here for details.
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Some key points to remember:
- Do not translate: When you want to create an English sentence, do not translate the words from your mother tongue. The order of words is probably completely different.
- Practice: Developing advanced communication skills begins with simple interactions.
- Make eye contact: Whether you are speaking or listening, looking into the eyes (without staring) of the person with whom you are talking helps in confidence building.
- Use gestures: These include gestures with your hands and face. Make your whole body talk.
- Participate in English conversations: Listen, talk and learn. You may begin by just 'listening' and observing people speaking English.
- Slowly, have the courage to say what you think: Be confident in knowing that you can make worthwhile contributions to conversation.