Common Mistakes in English

G1

Introduction

1. No educative process is ever the end. It is always the beginning of more education, more learning and more living. In other words, it is a life-long process. Knowledge is power. Ignorance of law or any other thing is no excuse. So, guided by these words of wisdom, I am still learning, in spite of my old age, which is only four years away from being at age ninety. In fact, I am an oldie with a step to the grave. But, believe me, I am still learning.

2. In this article, I would like to, once again, make a positive critical assessment, not from an academician’s point of view but from a layman’s point of view. This is my third humble and honest article in alphabetical order.

B. (Commencement)
Believe in, not to.
Don’t say: We believe to God.
Say: We believe in God.
Note: To believe in means to have faith in. To believe (without the in) means to regard something as true: I believe everything he says.
Boast of or about, not for;
Don’t say: James boasted for his strength.
Say: James boasted of (or about) his strength.

Careful of, with or about, not for.
Don’t say: Elke’s very careful for her health.
Say: Elke’s very careful of/about her health.
Or. You should be more careful with your money.
Note: Take care of it. He takes care of his money.

Travel by train, etc., not with the train, etc.
Don’t say: He travelled with the train yesterday.
Say: He travelled by train yesterday.
Note: We say by train, by boat, by plane, by bike: also, by land, by sea, by air, by bus or on a bus; by car or in a car, by taxi or in a taxi, on horse-back, on a donkey, on a bicycle; on foot

Complain about, not for.
Don’t say: Annette complained for the weather.
Say: Annette complained about the weather.
Note: When talking about illness, we complain. We say: She complained of a sore throat.

Composed of, not from.
Don’t say: Our class is composed from thirty students.
Say: Our class is composed of thirty students.

Confidence in, not to.
Don’t say: I have great confidence to you.
Say: I have great confidence in you.
Note: In confidence: Let me tell you something in confidence ( = as a secret).

Conform to, not with.
Don’t say: We must conform with the rules.
Say: We must conform to the rules.
Note: comply takes with: We’ll comply with your request.

Congratulate on, not for.
Don’t say: I congratulate you for your success.
Say: I congratulate you on your success.

Consist of, not from.
Don’t say: A year consists from twelve months.
Say: A year consists of twelve months.
Note: Take great care never to use consists in the passive form.

Covered with, not by.
Don’t say: The Mountains are covered by snow.
Say: The Mountains are covered with/in snow.

Cure of, not from.
Don’t say: The man was cured from his illness.
Say: The man was cured of his illness.
Note: The noun cure takes for: There is no cure for that disease.

Depend on or upon, not from.
Don’t say: It depends from her.
Say: It depends on (or upon) her.
Note: Rely on or upon: I can’t rely on (or upon) him.

Deprive of, not from.
Don’t say: Nelson Mandela was deprived from his freedom.
Say: Nelson Mandela was deprived of his freedom.

Die of an illness, not from an illness.
Don’t say: Many people have died from malaria.
Say: Many people have died of malaria.
Note: people die of illness, of hunger, of thirst, of or from wounds; from overwork; by violence, by the sword, by pestilence; in battle, for their country, for a cause; through neglect; on the scaffold; at the stake.

Different from, not than.
Don’t say: My book is different than yours.
Say: My book is different from yours.

Reference:
(1) A book of essential quotations.
(2) Common mistakes in English (new edition)
By T J FITIKIDES. (BA E LI)

 

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