The advantages of sounding as clear as possible when speaking in English are huge. Whether it’s for business, social or educational reasons we always want to communicate as clearly as possible so we can succeed in our goals and come across as the best possible version of ourselves.
So we thought it would be useful to highlight some of the most frequent mistakes which are, generally, quite easy to avoid.
- The use of the word that instead of who
I have just spoken to my sister that lives in London
I have just spoken to my sister who lives in London
- Using the future instead of the present tense when something is conditional
If I will see him later, I will give him the news (incorrect)
If I see him later, I will give him the news (correct)
- Using the pronoun that after the verb want
Do you want that I come to the meeting? (incorrect)
Do you want me to come to the meeting? (correct)
In English, the pronoun that is never used after the verb want.
The correct construction is to use the verb in the infinitive
with to after want
- Use of the adverb much
I like very much going to the cinema (incorrect)
I like going to the cinema very much (correct)
The adverb much never goes between the verb and the object, but always goes at the end.
Even better, to sound like a native English speaker, use the phrase really to reinforce the concept of liking something a lot, as in: I really like going to the cinema.
- In many languages, the word everybody is plural. In English, everybody is a singular nun and, for that reason, takes the singular verb: Is everybody happy to come?
- After the verb want the pronoun that is never used. It’s incorrect to say Do you want that I make dinner? And correct to say Do you want me to make dinner. Other verbs included in this are order, tell, invite, persuade, ask, prefer and intend.
- The use of do/does/did in reported speech (when you are telling someone what happened.)
He asked me where do I live (incorrect)
He asked me where I live (correct)
In reported speech, English uses the direct verb rather than do/does/did
Those are just a few of the simple errors to avoid. As a competent speaker of the language, try to eliminate them. Then work on your pronunciation so that you can speak clearly and confidently and achieve the life goals you want, whether they are in business, education or social.
At veebsy, whatever your aims are in improving your English, we’re here to help you on that journey, and with a five-minute daily practice session that’s practical and easy to fit into your schedule, you’re on your way to put over your very best self.
So, avoid the obvious, simple mistakes that are often easy to cut out, and practice your pronunciation so you can speak clearly and confidently.
veebsy is a startup established in London. Our vision is to helps learners communicate to the very best of their potential in English. The app implements eight key features to enable learners to speak English.
- Pronunciation Exercises – Pre-prepared English exercises combine pronunciation improvement with real-world contextual expressions.
- Speech Recognition AI – Artificial Intelligence speech recognition technology gives real-time feedback to know how you are doing and improve via mouth-shape videos of every word.
- Mouth-shape videos – Videos accurately model the correct mouth shape so learners can work on specific areas for improvement.
- Speech Duet – Practice pronunciation of each word using mouth-shape videos and mirror technology.
- Live Pronunciation workshops – exclusive live sessions with British tutors, delivering tailored and bespoke content.
- Expressions – Useful expressions are introduced and explained by British coaches.
- Your Content – Users can choose to work on their material: a presentation, preparation for a meeting, speech or call.
- Dictionary – An in-built dictionary, powered by Oxford English Dictionary content, references every word in the English language, with audio modelling of pronunciation and intonation.