Common non-native english mistakes phrases


We decided to make the last analysis of phrases this year optimistic: there are fewer mistakes, and those that do happen are not so critical. The bulk of inaccuracies is the choice of the wrong word or the omission of the right part of speech. This is what we decided to dedicate today's review.

He should have retired a long time ago

Mistranslated: It was high time him to retire

At the end of the year, some fatigue accumulates from correcting the same type of errors.

Those who regularly follow our reviews know that we are fiercely struggling with literal translation. The first example, sorry for the tautology, is a clear example of this. At the beginning is the pronoun "him", which is correctly translated as him . Our user quite correctly translated the beginning of the phrase - It was high time ... (It was time to ...) But its end was confused, because the desire to translate the phrase literally burst in and insert it into him . However, if the phrase it's high time... were checked in a dictionary or on the Internet, then the correct continuation would definitely be found for it - It's high time FOR somebody to do something . And this means that you need to put the preposition for before him .

In a word, it should have turned out like this: It was high time for him to retire.

He really shouldn't be hungry.

Mistranslated: He is not must be hungry

The error in this sentence is what is called, "button accordion". It is related to the modal verb must. Three things can be said about the modal verb:

  • It is always an auxiliary verb.
  • It does not change over time.
  • After it, the second verb comes without to and any endings.

Pay attention to point 1. What other auxiliary verbs do you know? Is , was , will , have etc. Now form a negative shape from the bottom. It should be is not , was not , have not , etc. Accordingly, from must , the negative form should sound like must not .

Also, point 1 means that other auxiliary verbs are not applied to must itself, that is, is is clearly superfluous. Therefore, given the above, we should get:

He must not be hungry.

PS But we also added "in fact" - in fact , for example. In fact, he must not be hungry.

He doesn't love her, he has his eye on her money

Mistranslation: He does not love her he loves money

But with this phrase we are at war for a long time and so far unsuccessfully. The phrase "put your eye on", sorry for some sarcasm, as soon as it was not translated: and put his eye on , and have his eye on ... All this notorious literal translation! In principle, our user's version is correct, but there are two "buts". Firstly, “to love” and “to lay eyes on”, you see, are slightly different things. And secondly, love twice is an obvious tautology. But we will accept this option.

But here is a quite nice expression that does not even contain the word eye - eye . It sounds like this - be into something . So, ideally, the translation can be voiced like this: He does not love her, he is into her money.

Spring hello everyone! We hope that with the advent of spring and warm days, your desire to comprehend the depths of the English language has not dried up a single gram. That's why we present you a selection of fresh phrases from the warm-up, in which our users often make mistakes.

Phrase number 1: So refuse!

User translation: Just go back!

What kind of translation options have not “suffered” the word “refuse” for the entire time the existence of this phrase in the warm-up. From the recent we can offer: disagree, reject, deny, give in and our today's option is go back. Go back, as you know, is "to return." This option doesn't work at all. It is clear that our users often, if they do not know the translation, try to convey descriptively. This is not a good habit, as it gives options like reject or deny. Recall that reject is “to reject, reject something”, and not to refuse yourself. Deny is "to deny". Suitable verbs can be 'call off' or 'give up'. Let's not forget that after them you need to put an addition (something to refuse). Universal addition is it.

So the correct options would be 'Call it off' or 'Give it up'.

Phrase #2: Just falling apart.

User translation: Simply apart on the piece.

This phrase is also from the series "long-suffering". Firstly, in the Russian version there is no “I”, but it is clear that we are talking about me. But in English, this “I” should be, since according to the rule of word order, there must be a subject (who does).

Secondly, our user used the word apart as "disintegrate". But “disintegrate” is a verb, and apart is an adverb “to pieces”. "Disintegrate" is 'break', 'fall apart', 'crush', etc.

Thirdly, although we speak Russian ON the part, in English you cannot use the preposition on, because it means “on the surface of something” (on the table, on the floor, on the roof). There is a good stable expression - into pieces. You can also take the option of our user - apart.

So, taking into account all the errors in the output, we should get the following possible options:

I just fell apart.
I just break into pieces.
I just crush into pieces.

Phrase #3: The rose is my favorite flower.

User variant: My love flowers is rose.

As teachers, we often encounter the fact that the word “beloved” is translated by analogy with the Russian language using the same root words like love and like. Love is the verb "to love", this word does not translate as "beloved". In addition, there is the word favorite, which just needs to be memorized. It has nothing to do with love or like, but is always translated as "beloved".

Also, you most likely noticed that we have one flower, and our user translated it in the plural - flowers. It is clear that the ending -s is superfluous.

And last but not least. Before the names of plants, animals, etc. in the singular you need to put the article: or the, or a . In general, any countable noun in the singular must be preceded by an article.

So, at the output we should get: My favorite flower is the/ a rose.