Five English Mistakes that Make People Laugh

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Five English Mistakes that Make People Laugh

مُساهمة من طرف Salwa Alfadaly في الثلاثاء 26 مارس 2013, 7:35 pm



No one learns a new language without making mistakes. And while we'd all prefer to dodge embarrassing errors, they're hard to avoid entirely. So be prepared to giggle along every once in a while! Here are some slip-ups that will surely get a smile from listeners.


I cooked my grandma.

You're talking about your weekend and say, "My grandma visited and I cooked her." Of course you didn't cook your grandmother! You cooked FOR her. Verbs can change their meaning completely when they are followed by a preposition (e.g. find, find out; grow, grow up, so be careful! Always use 'for' when you're talking about preparing a meal for someone. Leave it out in reference to food, e.g. "I cooked spaghetti." Whatever you do, don't serve Grandma Betty for dinner!

I went to hold up my sister at school.

Say this and your listeners will picture one of two things : either you prevented your sister from falling down or you robbed her at gunpoint. Not likely! What you probably meant was 'pick up', not 'hold up'. 'To pick up' means 'to take hold of'. But it also means 'to fetch someone, usually by car. So if you don't want to make your sister mad, remember to pick her up – not prop her up or rob her!

The chicken was crowded with people.

A chicken is an unusual place to hang out. Or did you mean 'kitchen'? Chicken and kitchen are examples of English words that contain similar sounds – in this case, 'ch' and 'k'. While those sounds are placed differently in each word, your tongue can easily trip over them. So make sure you ask your friends to join you in the kitchen for some chicken and not the other way around!

We asked our neighbors to eat the cat while we were on vacation.

Your neighbors might think you're very weird if you knock on their door and ask them to snack on your pet cat. Your cat won't be too happy, either! But that's what would happen if you mix up the verbs 'to eat' and 'to feed'. The first verb means 'to consume food', while the second means 'to give food'. Big difference when it involves your pets!

I'm so boring!

Say this to your friend during a film and they'll probably give you a very strange look. Do you mean that your personality is rather dull, or that you don't find the movie very interesting? Many English learners make this mistake because they confuse present and past participles (verb forms used as an adjective). You can say "The film is boring because it is making me bored."

Practice making sentences using other participles, like 'confused / confusing' and 'interested / interesting', until you understand the difference!

Salwa Alfadaly
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عدد الرسائل : 1797
البــلـد : القاهرة - مصر
تاريخ التسجيل : 03/10/2008

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