Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Don't Make These 7 English Mistakes Ever Again!

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 @ 10:04 AM

common English mistakes quizAre you frustrated??

No matter how hard you try or how many hours you study, there are still some pesky mistakes that you keep making!

Today's lesson is a video quiz that you can take during your 3-minute coffee break.

I want to show you 7 common mistakes that you are probably making all of the time and how to correct them.

Ready? Go!


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Mistake #1: "I met him for lunch on that time."


What's the problem?

The correct sentence is "I met him for lunch at that time."


We always say "at" a specific time, not "on" a specific time. For example, we can say, "I'll meet you for lunch at 3pm."

Remember, "at" is used to talk about specific times.




Mistake #2: "I take breakfast every day at 9am."


What's the problem? The correct answer is "I have breakfast every day at 9am."

Why? If you are using "take" in this sentence, you are probably translating from your native language of French, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian.

You can also say, "I eat breakfast every morning at 9am" but you cannot use "take" when you are talking about consuming food or drinks.



Mistake #3: "I eat lunch on my desk."


What's the problem? This means that you physically sit on top of your desk and eat. Do you do that? If not, the correct sentence is "I eat lunch at my desk."

Why? We use "at" to talk about location. You want to say that you are located at your desk when you eat lunch so use "at."



Mistake #4: "I live in the Upper East Side of New York."


English common mistakesWhat's the problem?

The correct sentence is "I live on the Upper East Side of New York."


When you talk about the side of the city that you live on, you want to use the preposition "on", not "in."

You can also say "I live on the west side of Boston" or "I live on the south side of Los Angeles."




Mistake #5: "I need to take care about my dog."


What's the problem? The correct sentence is, "I need to take care of my dog."

Why? These two sentences are different and should not be confused:

  • To take care of something or someone
  • To care about something or someone

Be careful! Students mix these up all of the time!



Mistake #6: "We could be catch without money."


 mistakeWhat's the problem?

Correct sentence is, "We could be caught without money."


When you talk about something being done to you (someone else or a situation is catching you without money), you need to use the passive form of the verb (the 3rd form) which is "caught."





Mistake #7: "I'm usually on the office by 10am."


What's the problem? The correct sentence is, "I'm usually at the office by 10am."

Why? This is similar to mistake #3- you are talking about location (place). When you talk about location, you should use "at"



Want to read about more common mistakes and how to correct them? Try these posts:



If there are any mistakes that you make all of the time, send me an email ( and let me know. I will write a blog post just for you! Thanks for reading and good luck with your English this week.



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Photo credit: kjarret, Cirofono, Georgio Montercino, maximalideal

Topics: common mistakes, English Lessons, English grammar

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