Writing mistakes non-native English speakers make


Whose sweater is this?

Recommended translation: Whose sweater is this, again?
Mistranslation: Whose - whose is that sweater?

We have said many times that our users should beware of literal translation. This sentence is a prime example of what not to do. Firstly, expressions like “whose-whose”, “someone”, “where-where” are typical only for the Russian language. There is no such thing in English. And when we use these turns in Russian, we ask again, we want to be repeated to us. How to ask in English to be repeated?

You can use different options: repeat please , could you repeat please , come again and a bunch of other things. You can submit your own here.

In addition, “whose” and “sweater” always stand side by side in English, they cannot be separated. After all, you will never separate two words: Mike's sweater, my sweater? So whose sweater should not be separated from each other. As a result, we get:

  • Repeat please whose sweater is this?
  • Could you repeat please whose sweater it is?
  • Come again, whose sweater is this?

Yes I like her

Recommended translation: Yes, I like her.
Mistranslated: Okay, she likes me.

I would never have thought that such a simple sentence would cause difficulties for 99% of users! Before explaining what is wrong, let's talk about something else.

How to translate "I like your bag"? I bet you make no mistake: I like your bag. That is, "I like" - is I like ? That's right!

So why, after replacing your bag with "she", do most people completely rewrite the sentence and start it with she ? Probably because separately like you translate as "like". But this, unfortunately, is not the case. Like is easier and more correct to translate as "enjoy, love, get carried away." So it turns out that if we paraphrase, we get "I'm fond of her." And here, when translating, you definitely will not make mistakes. Correct translation: Yes, I like her .

I guess I won't say anything more

Recommended translation: I would rather not say anything else.
Mistranslated: Perhaps I will not tell anything else.

We educators are always struggling with a mistake in this sentence. It consists in the fact that users do not understand the difference between "say" and "tell", between say and tell . This is because in Russian these words have a similar sound. So, “say” is say, “tell” is tell. In our example, it is clearly said “I will say”, sorry for the tautology, so we definitely choose say . Here we get:

Perhaps I will not say anything else.

And one more nuance: “perhaps” - although this is one word in Russian, it is translated into English as a whole sentence - would rather do . Instead of do , say will do here . And then we get:

I would rather not say anything else.