Common Mistakes of Non-native English Writers


The season that comes after summer is Autumn or Fall. Why two names? There is a funny opinion that Autumn is when the color of the leaves changes, and Fall is when the leaves fall to the ground.

But really, there is no difference - In the USA it is called "the Fall", in GB it is called "Autumn", it's just the same thing. In general, one and the same. Just like holiday - vacation, lift - elevator, trousers - pants, etc. Not everyone loves autumn, there is less time to go out, but it is a great opportunity to study English and learn something new.

So, let's take a look at the most problematic phrases of this week.

I like her very much

Mistranslated: She likes me very much.

In Russian and English, “like” is expressed differently. The English version of I LIKE HER - literally translated "I like (sympathize with) her." It is easy to confuse who and who likes. And if you also take into account that in English there are not so many cases as in Russian, then the “electronic translator” will translate the phrase I LIKE SHE to you exactly the opposite SHE LIKES ME . This is where you need to include logic and knowledge of grammar, translate with the right subject and, of course, we translate the word like as “I sympathize, love”.
The second mistake here is I very like her. Everyone knows VERY (very) easy to remember - “ very good, very nice ” (with adjectives), for example: It's a VERY good lesson . It remains only to make a note for yourself that VERY is never used BEFORE verbs, but only after, for example: She can sing VERY WELL or as in our phrase: I like her VERY MUCH . (continuation)

We get the correct option: I like her very much.

I should have known the password!

Mistranslated : I SHOULD get the password at once!

This is a typical mistake. Look carefully - if you translate this phrase, it will turn out: “I need to find out the password right away” (here and now), that is, just the very temporal aspect is lost - it was necessary , which is conveyed just by the phrase should have got .

We get the correct option: I should have got the password straight away!

Let's fight lazy excuses

Mistranslation: Let's fight with lazy excuses.

Very often, Russian prepositions do not coincide with English ones, for example: “speak TO” is translated as “to speak With someone”. Also in this case - after “fight”, the preposition is not needed, unlike Russian, but if nevertheless with the preposition, then you can “fight for” fight “for”, “fight against” fight “against”. And to make it easier to remember, there is a proverb "Fight fire with fire" (Fight fire with fire) - an analogue of the Russian proverb "The wedge is knocked out with a wedge."

We get the correct option: Let's fight the lazy excuses.