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Bloopers: 'She thought me English'
Ram Ramesh, Rupal Srivastava, Shwetha Putcha
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July 02, 2007

You might not know it, but proper English immediately makes a positive impression on those around you.

On the other hand, errors leave you looking silly, though you may be very intelligent.

The only solution is to never stop learning, even if you're already an English expert. Today, we look at bloopers from both top executives and beginner English students, which shows us everyone makes the occasional slip-up. Let's get started.

Ram Ramesh, from Gurgaon, heard this from an office colleague:

'One of my husband's friend has gone to Malaysia.'
'One of my husband's friend has come visiting us from Bangalore.'

By saying 'One of', it implies the husband has a group of friends. Therefore, the correct form should be:

~ 'One of my husband's friends has gone to Malaysia.' OR
~ 'A friend of my husband has gone to Malaysia.'
~ 'One of my husband's friends is visiting us from Bangalore.' OR
~ 'A friend of my husband is visiting us from Bangalore.'

Rupal Srivastava, a 30 year old English teacher in Lucknow, sent these errors she frequently encounters at office:

~"I asked to my sister."

After 'ask' there should never be a preposition. The correct sentence is:

~ "I asked my sister."

~ 'If I will go to my native place, I will call you.'

'If' and 'will' can never be placed together in a statement; they must be separated into two different phrases. They are conditional.  So the sentence, although in the future tense, should be made into present indefinite tense. It should be like this:

~ 'If I go to my native place, I will call you.'


Shwetha Putcha, 25 and from Hyderabad, has seen and heard the following mistakes:

~ She thought me English

The error comes because of the similarity between the two verbs. The past tense of the verb 'to teach' is 'taught'. Therefore, it should be:

~ She taught me English

~ Would you mind posting this letter for me? Yes, certainly.

The question asks if you mind doing a favour. By replying, 'yes', you indicate that it is a problem or a hassle. Instead, since it's not a problem, reply in the negative.

~ Would you mind mailing this letter for me? No, not at all.

~ My house is besides her house.
~ Beside me, will anyone else be there?

Beside means 'close to' or 'by the side of.' Besides means 'in addition to.' These two are frequently misused, as in this case. Instead, it should be:

~ My house is beside her house.
~ Besides me, will anyone else be there?


MORE English bloopers

We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing them. Three times a week, we'll provide articles featuring your responses.

If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list of common bloopers, along with their correct alternatives to -- we'll highlight them right here as a helpful guide to those trying to improve their English. Also make sure you include your FULL NAME, AGE, OCCUPATION and the CITY you are based in.

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