6 mistakes in English words that are terribly enraging

Mistakes are an inevitable part of learning. Especially when you are learning a foreign language. The main thing is to understand in time that you made a mistake and correct it.

But some error errors are so common that they become classic. And it terribly enrages the native. In this article, we have collected common errors that annoy native speakers the most.

What is the problem? Why are some errors so common?

In fact, there are many reasons. But one of the main ones is homophones.

Homophones are a global problem for learners of English as a foreign language.

Homophones are words that sound the same or have minimal differences in sound, but are written differently and have different meanings.

Rod – mouth
I carry different things – awkward things
Campaign – Company
The fruit is a raft

In Russian, homophones can also be considered different forms of verbs with the suffixes “ts” and “ts”.

The thing is that in English there are a large number of sounds that are not in Russian. And in order to learn how to pronounce them correctly, you will have to train accurately.

For example, in Russian, sound [а] one. In English there are 6 of them: short [ʌ] (duck) long [a:] (garden), wide [æ] (family), diphthong [ai] (ice), diphthong [aʊ] (cloud) trifthongs [aiə] and [aʊə] (fire, flower).

If you do not work on articulation, the brain will try to use the usual sounds. And this often leads to errors. Because even minimal changes in the sound can lead to a change in the meaning of the word.

So pan (pan [pæn]) due to negligence turns into a pen [pen])

Moreover, the ability to pronounce sounds correctly does not correlate with the general level of the language. Even a student with a fluent level can articulate sounds horribly. This is a completely separate skill that needs to be trained separately.

Their, They’re and There

These three words are included in the dictionary of basic vocabulary – they are studied already at the Elementary level. The difficulty is that they are pronounced exactly the same – [ðer]. No ZAIR or ZAIR.

Let’s say more: the natives themselves make even more mistakes in this situation than those who learn English as a second.

Because students who have English as a foreign language, study each word separately and how to use it.

Let’s get an example right away. Each of these three words can be at the beginning of a sentence. But form and context make it possible to accurately determine which word is used.

  • Turnover “There is / There are” indicates the presence of someone or something in a particular place. It can also be used figuratively in the meaning of “Exists.” And the verbs “is / are” help to understand this.
    – There are many reasons to buy PS4. – There are many reasons to buy a PS4.
  • “They’re” – This is an abbreviated form from “they are”. The beginning of the most common sentence. The next word after it, according to the logic of things, should be a noun or an adjective that should characterize “them.”
    – They’re rich people. – They are rich people.
  • “Their” – it is a determinant or determinant that must necessarily precede a noun. But after the noun comes the verb.
    – Their dog is barking. – Their dog barks.

The exact same situation with the words “Your” and “You’re”. Therefore, we will not take them out as a separate example.

Why is it that the neutives are wrong here? Because they use all the basic rules of the language intuitively. Because of this, they may not know how exactly one or another word is written or used.

For example, do you yourself remember all the rules by which nouns bow? If you are not a philologist, then we are sure not. You just take and bow the noun. Neutives do the same. And because of this, mistakes happen.


Weird – strange, mysterious, bizarre

Many people make a mistake here in spelling this word, because they are knocked down by pronunciation. Often they write not “weird”, but “wierd”.

Weird – amer. [wɪrd]Brit. [wɪəd]

It is clearly audible that the sound comes first [ɪ]and after him – [ə] (or [r] – they are pretty similar). Therefore, on the machine I want to write the same way.

In Old English, the word “wyrd” existed, which meant “fate, fate.” Sometimes it was written exactly as “wierd”, but this did not take root.

Shakespeare in his play Macbeth used a different spelling: “Weyward Sisters”. But in the publications of the XIX century and modern, the phrase was replaced by the usual “weird Sisters”.

The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about:
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm’s wound up.

trans. M. Lozinsky

Sisters are prophetic everywhere
On land and on water
Around, around dance.
Three times – this, three times – that
Three times again, nine! Wait!
The magic is wound up.

In general, if you don’t want to go deep into linguistics and trace the etymology of the word “weird” right up to the Proto-Germanic, then it’s better to immediately remember how it is written.

Lose and Loose

Lose – abyss, lose, lose.
Loose – Loose, loose, loose.

Another case where the meaning of a word completely changes from one sound. In the case of “lose” and “loose” the situation is very unobvious. If you do not know the exact pronunciation, you can easily make a mistake.

Lose – [luːz]
Loose – [luːs]

As you can see, the point here is not even the length of the vowel – here they are identical. The thing is that the consonants in the endings are different.

Sounds [s] and [z] – paired. This means that their articulation completely coincides. The only difference is that [s] – deaf, that is, consists entirely of noise, and [z] – voiced, consists of noise and voice.

The word “Lose” is included in 1000 basic words, therefore absolutely everything that teaches English as a second language knows it. But “Loose” is not included, so the pronunciation of these two similar words is not compared. But in vain.

From here the extremely popular mistake follows – to pronounce “lose” with sound [s]. The reason is clear – no one checks the transcription of each word studied. And here is the letter “s”, so the student assumes that the sound here will also be [s].

But for the native, it’s like a sickle in a causal place. Because instead of “losing,” he hears “loose” every time.

It’s and Its

The apostrophe in the English language is a completely separate topic, because there can be many actual errors there. But the most rabid is “it’s” “its.”

Naturally, this is a written mistake, because the pronunciation of these words is completely identical.

  • It’s Is an abbreviation for “it is” or “it has”. That is, the third-person pronoun of the 3rd person singular and the verb.
  • Its Is the possessive form of the pronoun “it”. That is, it indicates that something belongs to something.

In fact, the mistake is extremely stupid, because the use of “it’s” and “its” pass at the elementary level. But when you quickly type on the keyboard or write text manually, it happens not so rarely.

This is a typical mistake of carelessness. With the same pronunciation of very similar words, the brain “wedges” for a split second and it automatically displays a more familiar one. However, the mistake is frequent and it is very annoying to the native. They simply cannot understand how to make mistakes in such simple things.


Definitely – definitely

Neutives never tire of repeating that the word “definitely” does not have the letter “a”. Because so many students make a mistake in this word.

And not only students, but not too literate inactive. The reason is that the word is pronounced as [ˈdefɪnətli]. The letter “i” transmits sound [ə] quite infrequently, so many who do not know how to spell the word, assume that there is the letter “a”.

The word “definately” has even been included in modern online dictionaries with the explanation that it is a spelling of the word “definitely”.

According to the results of a small Research Daily Record, the word “definitely” got the first place in the ranking of words, when writing which are most often mistaken.

The thing is that even with the origin of the word you can get confused. Definitely comes from the Latin “definitus” (defined, limited), which in turn comes from “finis” (border, end). By the way, the words “definitely” and “finish” are relatives.

Many people mistakenly assume that the final word for “definitely” is “final”. Hence the extra letter “a” grows.

Grammar-Nazi natives often say that a person who shoves the letter “a” in the word “definitely” is himself “A-holl”.

Then and Than

The only way to learn how to use “then” and “than” correctly is to memorize them. According to statistics EnglishDom Online Schools, this is one of the most common mistakes among Russian-speaking students. More than half of all English learners at Intermediate and below are confused about using “then” and “than”. Let’s clarify this once and for all.

Than – used for comparison
Then – used to display time

– First I stole panda bear, then we drunk beer together. “First I stole a panda, and then we had a beer together.”
– I’m much better in holding my beer than a panda bear. “I hold beer a lot better than a panda.”

But there is one mnemonic trick that will help once and for all remember how to use “than” and “then” correctly.

Than – comparison. “Than” is used in comparison, and both of these words have the letter “a”.
Then – time. “Then” is used for time, and in both of these words is the letter “e”.

In fact, all these errors can be avoided if you devote a little more time to such nuances. Learn English with pleasure and do not be mistaken in trifles!

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