We often say that learning English, like any other language, goes beyond textbooks — we’re instead encouraged to read, speak, and consume more English media. However, there are still instances where we’ll have to go back to basics and hit the books. After all, English has its technical aspects too; admittedly, one of the more tedious parts of learning any language is to be familiar with nuances like tenses, nouns, prepositions, and more. Over the course of your learning, you’ll probably come across these common mistakes and even make them yourself from time to time. Here are some examples and how you can avoid making those mistakes with the help of English tuition in Singapore.
Your/You’re, There/Their, Its/It’s
Confusing two similar words isn’t exactly a new problem, but it has certainly been exacerbated in the IM and smartphone era, where many users tend to shorten their words as much as possible which only serves to increase the confusion over words like “your” and “you’re”, “there” and “their”, “its” and “it’s”, and so on. In this instance, “your”, “their”, and “its” all indicate possession, defining that something belongs to someone. On the other hand, “you’re” is short for “you are”, “it’s” for “it is”, and “there” denotes a place or the presence of something or someone — “It’s hot over there” or “There are 10 students”. As much as there is so much potential on the Internet, it’s also important to ensure that your child doesn’t compromise their ability to differentiate these words. To that end, consider placing them in a holistic and disciplined English speaking environment with English tuition in Singapore, where they’ll be encouraged to adopt good English practices.
Another common mistake is the usage, or mis-usage of “everyday” and “every day”. Many people who confuse the two tend to use them interchangeably, assuming there’s practically no difference between them. On the contrary, their meanings are actually vastly different. For instance, “everyday” is an adjective describing something common, like an everyday occurrence. “Every day”, on the other hand, is an adverbial phrase that means each day, as in he has a glass of milk every day. In PSLE English tuition, students are taught that these small errors will add up and prove to be costly during exams, so extra care is always taken to help them avoid making these mistakes. In this instance, an easy way to differentiate between the two is to remember that most standalone adjectives comprise a single word, i.e. “everyday”.
Prepositions are tricky to master as they vary greatly and have a wide range of uses, making it difficult to identify the right preposition to use for each scenario. With English tuition in Singapore, your child will have an experienced educator who will be able to simplify prepositions to help them better understand how to use those prepositions. As prepositions are nearly impossible to fully explain, here are some common preposition errors to take note of —
In/At (From Morning to Night)
In the context of a day, using “in” or “at” could be predicated around the time of the day itself. Typically, “in the” is used with “morning”, “afternoon”, and “evening”. However, we use “at” instead for “night”. While in the night isn’t grammatically wrong, it’s not commonly used and could sound a little gothic and macabre.
In & at/To
The preposition “to” is used to discuss journeys — I’m going to the mall. However, when discussing arrivals, we use “in” or “at” depending on where or what the destination is. “In” is used when the destination is a large, general area; for instance, He arrived in Singapore last week. On the other hand, “at” is used for specific places; for instance, He arrived at Changi Airport this morning.
While these English mistakes are commonly made, it shouldn’t mean that the cycle should be perpetuated. Get dedicated and professional English help for your child with Augustine English Classes. For more information about our classes and curriculum, please visit our website.