1. Adding the preposition on before expressions like next Sunday, last Thursday, etcThe mistake: “I’ll see you in class on next Saturday.”
The correct way: “I’ll see you in class next Saturday.”
Explanation: If we use next or last plus a day of the week, we do not use the preposition on.
2. Adding an ‘s’ after thousand, million, etc. in expressions like thirteen thousand dollars, eight million people, etc.The mistake: “There are 21 millions residents in the state of Florida.”
The correct way: “There are 21 million residents in the state of Florida.”
Explanation: If we mention an exact number, we don’t add an ‘s’ after hundred, thousand, million, or billion.
However, we use an ‘s’ in these expressions is if we give a non-specific number (hundreds of dollars, thousands of people, millions of voters, etc.).
3. Not using the gerund after the expression look forward toThe mistake: “We always look forward to relax on the weekend.”
The correct way: “We always look forward to relaxing on the weekend.”
Explanation: We always use the gerund form of the verb after a preposition. In the expression look forward to, the word to is a preposition and not part of an infinitive verb. Therefore, we need to use the gerund. We can also use a noun after the expression look forward to.
4. Not using the second conditional to communicate that something is hypothetical or unlikelyThe mistake: “I would never choose to live in another country, but if I do move to another country, it will be Spain.”
The correct way: “I would never choose to live in another country, but if I did move to another country, it would be Spain.”
Explanation: We use the first conditional to communicate that a condition is possible. We use the second conditional to communicate that something is impossible, unlikely, or hypothetical.
5. Confusing to be supposed to and shouldThe mistake: “Today I should babysit my little brother. I told my mom I would.”
The correct way: “Today I’m supposed to babysit my little brother. I told my mom I would.”
Explanation: We use supposed to, not should, when we want to communicate that someone has an obligation to do something. The obligation could be because the person agreed to do something or because the person was told to do something.