Common errors in English: data

 data - There are several words with Latin or Greek roots whose plural forms ending in A are constantly mistaken for singular ones. See, for instance, criteria and media. “Datum” is so rare now in English that people may assume “data” has no singular form. Many American usage communities, however, use “data” as a singular and some have even gone so far as to invent “datums” as a new plural. This is a case where you need to know the patterns of your context. An engineer or scientist used to writing “the data is” may well find that the editors of a journal or publishing house insist on changing this phrase to “the data are.” Usage is so evenly split in this case that there is no automatic way of determining which is right, but writers addressing an international audience of nonspecialists would probably be safer treating “data” as plural.


Common errors in English:daring-do - DERRING-DO

daring-do - DERRING-DO

The expression logically should be “feats of daring-do” because that’s just what it means: deeds of extreme daring. But through a chain of misunderstandings explained in the Oxford English Dictionary, the standard form evolved with the unusual spelling “derring-do,” and “daring-do” is an error.

Common errors in English : damped / dampened

 damped / dampened - When the vibration of a wheel is reduced it is damped, but when you drive through a puddle your tire is dampened. “Dampened” always has to do with wetting, if only metaphorically: “The announcement that Bob’s parents were staying home after all dampened the spirits of the party-goers.” The parents are being a wet blanket.


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Common errors in English :damp squid - DAMP SQUIB

 damp squid - DAMP SQUIB


Squid are indeed usually damp in their natural environment, but the popular British expression describing a less than spectacular explosion is a “damp squib” (soggy firecracker).


Common errors in English : dairy / diary

 dairy / diary - A common typo that won’t be caught by your spelling checker is swapping “dairy” and “diary.” Butter and cream are dairy products; your journal is your diary.


Meaning of Rough Around The Edges

 Rough Around The Edges


Meaning-unpolished, imperfect, or unkempt; somewhat lacking in refinement, sophistication, manners. 


Example-This old truck's a little rough around the edges, but it's still the most reliable vehicle I've owned.


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Meaning of On A Lark

 On A Lark


Meaning-On a whim or fancy; for fun or as a joke


Example-On a lark, we all decided to ditch our Friday classes and drive to New York City for the weekend.


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Meaning of Keep A Cool Head

 Keep A Cool Head


Meaning-To stay calm in a difficult situation. 


Example-I don't know how you manage to keep such a cool head in such a hectic, stressful office!


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Meaning of It Takes All Kinds

 It Takes All Kinds


Meaning-the world is made up of many varieties or types of people, so you should not judge people who are different from you. 


Example-I don't understand a lot of the decisions Michael makes, but it takes all kinds to make a world, right?


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Meaning of Meet One's Eye

 Meet One's Eye


Meaning-To make eye contact with one, typically in a way that is confident or without shame


Example-She couldn't meet my eye because she knew how angry I was with her.


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Common errors in English : call the question

 call the question - This is more a matter of parliamentary procedure than of correct English, but people are generally confused about what “calling the question” means. They often suppose that it means simply “let’s vote!” and some even imagine that it is necessary to call for the question before a vote may be taken. You even see deferential meeting chairs pleading, “Would someone like to call for the question?”


But “calling the question” when done properly should be a rare occurrence. If debate has dragged on longer than you feel is really warranted, you can “call the question,” at which time the chair has to immediately ask those assembled to vote to determine whether or not debate should be cut off or continue. The motion to call the question is itself not debatable. If two-thirds of those voting agree that the discussion should have died some time ago, they will support the call. Then, and only then, will the vote be taken on the question itself.

Potentially this parliamentary maneuver would be a great way to shut down windy speakers who insist on prolonging a discussion when a clear consensus has already been arrived at, but since so few people understand what it means, it rarely works as intended.

Chairs: when someone “calls the question,” explain what the phrase means and ask if that is what’s intended. Other folks: you’ll get further most of the time just saying “Let’s vote!”

Common errors in english : caddy-corner

 caddy-corner - CATTY-CORNER, CATER-CORNER, KITTY-CORNER


This expression, meaning “diagonally opposite,” was formed from a misspelling in English of the French word quatre (“four”) prefixed to “corner.” Although the word has nothing to do with cats or kittens, in various dialects all three spellings are acceptable: “catty,” “cater” or “kitty.”

But unless you have somebody holding your golf clubs permanently stationed in the corner of your room, you shouldn’t use the spelling “caddy corner.”

Common errors in english:cache / cachet

 cache / cachet - “Cache” comes from the French verb cacher, meaning “to hide,” and in English is pronounced exactly like the word “cash.” But reporters speaking of a cache (hidden hoard) of weapons or drugs often mispronounce it to sound like cachet—“ca-SHAY” —a word with a very different meaning: originally a seal affixed to a document, now a quality attributed to anything with authority or prestige. Rolex watches have cachet.


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Common errors in english:cacao / cocoa

 cacao / cocoa - Technically speaking, the plant is called a “cacao tree” and the seeds and the chocolate powder made from them are called “cocoa.” These spellings are often swapped, but in contexts where botanical names matter, it’s better to stick with “cacao tree.”


Neither of these should be confused with “coca,” the source of cocaine.

How To Use Shall In English Grammar | Usage of Shall

 How To Use Shall In English Grammar | Usage of Shall 


We don't use 'Shall' very frequently in modern English, particularly in American English.

It is used to make offers and suggestions and to ask for advice.

  • What time shall we meet?
  • Shall we vote on it now?
  • What dress shall I wear?
  • Shall I open the window?

You only really need to know that about 'shall' in modern English. Read the rest of this only if you want to know more about how some older speakers still use 'shall'.

Formerly, in older grammar, 'shall' was used as an alternative to 'will' with 'I' and 'we'. Today, 'will' is normally used. When we do use 'shall', it has an idea of a more personal, subjective future.

  • shall go to see the boss and I shall ask him to explain this decision.

Notice that the negative of ' shall ' can be ' shall not ' or ' shan't ' - though the second one is now very rare in American English.

  • I don't like these people and I shall not go to their party.
  • I shan't object if you go without

Independent Clauses and Dependent Clauses In English Grammar

 Independent Clauses and Dependent Clauses In English Grammar

A clause is a grouping of words in English that contains a subject and a verb. Clauses are the building blocks of sentences. They can be of two types: independent and dependent. It is important for the purpose of sentence formation to be able to recognise independent and dependent clauses.

Independent clauses are clauses that express a complete thought. They can function as sentences. For e.g. 'Ram left to buy supplies' is an independent clause, and if you end it with a full stop, it becomes a sentence.

Dependent clauses, on the other hand, do not express a complete thought and thus cannot function as sentences. For e.g. 'When Ram left to buy supplies' cannot be a sentence because it is an incomplete thought. What happened when Ram went to the shop? Here, 'when' functions as a 'dependent marker word'; this term refers to words which, when added to the beginnings of independent clauses or sentences, transform them into dependent clauses. Other examples of dependent marker words are after , although, as, as if, because, before, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while.

Dependent clauses, thus, need to be combined with independent clauses to form full sentences. For e.g., 'When Ram left to buy supplies, Rohan snuck in and stole the money' is a complete sentence.


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Common mistakes In English Grammar

 

Common mistakes In English 


Have' and 'has' are both used to denote possession, form the perfect tense, and the past tense of both is 'had', but they are used differently.

1)'Have' is used with

- the following pronouns: I, you, we, they. Examples :  'I have a pencil.' 'We have a big house.'

- pluralised nouns: Example :  ' Doctors have a rough time, dealing with illnesses all the time.'

'Has' is used with the third person singular ( he, she, it) . Examples : ' She has your money.' 'Amit has the book.'


2) Many speakers tend to get confused between 'There', 'Their' and 'They're' and knowing how to use these three words correctly is an important step in learning English.


The words 'There' and' Their' are homophones. Homophones are words that are spelt differently but pronounced the same. It is a common mistake to replace one for the other.


'There' always refers to a place, whether concrete or abstract, whereas 'Their' shows belonging or possession. 'They're, on the other hand, is the short form of they are


Let's look at these examples for each of them


THERE:


How can anyone live there?


Let's go there.


There will be a party tomorrow,


THEIR:


Let us buy their car.


Let us not go to their house.


Return their books tomorrow.


THEY'RE:


They're sitting there in their car.


In this sentence, notice how 'there' is used to signify a place whereas 'their' is used to show possession. The word 'they're' is a contraction of the word 'they' and 'are' and should not be confused with 'their' and 'there'.


3) Two words commonly confused by English speakers are 'effect' and 'affect'. 'Affect' is used as a verb and means 'to have an influence on' and 'Effect' is used as a noun and means 'the result'.


AFFECT


The dropped catch did not affect the result of the game.

The heavy rainfall affected the grains kept in the old warehouse.


EFFECT


The effect of the tsunami was devastating.

The side effect of the cough syrup was drowsiness.


4) Many English speakers are confused about the usage of the words 'can' and 'may'. For e.g., 'Can I drink water?' is incorrect. 'May I drink water?' is the correct phrase to use in this case.


The key difference between 'can' and 'may' is that 'can' talks about ability and 'may' talks about permission.


MAY


Can is used in two cases:


To talk about ability.


I can finish my homework by 5 pm.

Can you finish your homework tonight?

To ask or give permission informally.


Can I use your pen? (To a friend)

You can use my pen. (To a friend)

MAY


May is generally used to ask or give permission formally.

Let us take a situation between a student and a teacher.


  May I drink water?

  Teacher: Yes, you may.

      Let us take a situation between two strangers.


May I borrow your pen?

Yes, you may.


5) The words, 'accept' and 'except' are homophones which are often confused by English speakers. 'Accept' is a verb which means 'to receive' or 'to agree'. Most of the time 'except' is used as a preposition which means 'excluding'.


The following examples will make the usage clear.


ACCEPT (VERB)


EXCEPT (PREPOSITION)


Amit accepted the job offer.


I can come with you on all days except Sunday.


Sanjiv accepted the allegation that he had cheated.


All the athletes except Anjali finished the race.


He accepted the invitation to the party.


Everyone except Shantanu was invited to the party.


6) The difference between these two words is a very simple one. They are the past tenses of two different verbs.


'Bought' is the past tense of 'buy': I bought a new car last week.


'Brought' is the past tense of 'bring': I brought him a glass of water.


The difference can be remembered easily too, as 'bring' shares its first two letters with 'brought' ('br').


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Meaning of Put A Plug In

 Put A Plug In


Meaning-To speak very highly of or enthusiastically endorse someone or something, as a means of marketing, advertising, or professionally recommending them or it. 


Example-We're willing to pay you a generous fee if you put a plug in for our new product on your radio show tonight.


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Meaning of Left, Right, And Centre

 Left, Right, And Centre-


Meaning-In many different places or to many different people all at once. 


Example-Ever since the company started, we've had financial issues left, right, and centre.


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Common errors in English:BAR-B-Q, barbeque - BARBECUE

 BAR-B-Q, barbeque - BARBECUE


Casual restaurants like to advertise “BAR-B-Q” and you often see the spelling “barbeque” and variations like “barbaque,” but the standard form is “barbecue.”


Common errors in English:ball / bawl

 ball / bawl - To “bawl” is to cry out loudly, so when you break down in tears you bawl like a baby and when you reprimand people severely you bawl them out. Don’t use “ball” in these sorts of expressions. It has a number of meanings, but none of them have to do with shouting and wailing unless you’re shouting “play ball!”


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Reference

Easy softwares by Anil Singhania The Website of Professor Paul Brians https://brians.wsu.edu/; Common spoken English mistakes by Alif innovative solutions; 25000+ Amazing Facts - Did You Know?; IP idioms and phrases

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