You are here: Rediff Home » India » Get Ahead » Careers » Education
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

English errors: 'Do not rotate in the corridor.'
Meghna Tripathi, Anayusa Kalavar
Get news updates:What's this?
June 29, 2007

English is a difficult language to learn. And for most of us, it's not our 'first' language. Therefore, mastering it becomes an even greater challenge.

Like anything in life, however, practice makes perfect. Let's review a few common mistakes.

Meghna Tripathi, a PhD scholar in New Delhi, sent these errors:

~ What is the time in your watch?
The reference to the watch is unnecessary. Just say:
~ What is the time?

~ The law comprised of several sections.
Comprises actually means, 'consisting of', so the 'of' is not needed. Make it this:
~ The law comprised several sections.

~ I is late.
In the first person singular, 'is' changes to 'am'. It should be:
~ I am late.

~ He said that you want it.
There is a disagreement between 'said' and 'want' in this statement. 'Said' is in the past tense while 'want' is in the present. The proper form would be:
~ He said that you wanted it.

Anasuya Kalavar, 48 years old, is a professor at an Engineering college in Pune. She often hears lecturers translate Marathi sentences word by word, 'speaking' English.

~ Do not open doors of the window.
This is a direct translation of 'Khdkichi daare ughadu naka'. Instead, it should be:
~ Do not open the windows.

~ Do not rotate in the corridor.
Another direct translation, this time of 'phiru naka'. In normal English, it's said:
~ Do not loiter in the corridor.

~ I can not teach if student's mob is not there.
Mob has a negative meaning in English. Try this:
~I can not teach if the number of students is insufficient.

~He hit him soft.
Adverbs end in 'y'. This is an adverb because it qualifies the verb.
~He hit him softly.


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.

 Email this Article      Print this Article
© 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback