Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations:
Our boarding is full. (wrong)
Our boarding-house is full. (correct)
Our hostel is full. (correct)
Explanation : Boarding refers to an arrangement according to which pupils live in school during the term whereas a boarding house refers to a private house providing food and lodging to its paying guests.
Give my B.C.s to all. (wrong)
Give my kind(est) regards to all. (correct)
Explanation : Avoid using short terms not in use.
He hit an over boundary. (wrong)
He hit a six (or, a sixer). (correct)
Explanation : If a batsman hits for six runs, it is called a sixer, and not over boundary.
There are two waiting members in our party. (wrong)
There are two reserves on our side. (correct)
There are two reserves in our team. (correct)
Explanation : Since we have a specific term ‘reserve’ to refer to the waiting members of a team we call them by it.
We like taking part in drama. (wrong)
We like acting (plays). (correct)
Explanation : ‘Drama’ is rarely used nowadays in the sense in which an Indian schoolboy is likely to use it, that is to say to mean a play, whether acted by professionals or amateurs.
We are all fellow brothers. (wrong)
We are all brothers. (correct)
Explanation : As an adject, the term fellow is redundant here because it refers to the sharing of a quality or relationship, which brothers indicates.
I passed the noon in study. (wrong)
I spent the middle of the day working. (correct)
Explanation : ‘Noon’ means exactly twelve o’clock in the middle of the day and not a period of time round about that hour.
He got a bad companionship. (wrong)
He got into bad company. (correct)
Explanation : Note the difference between companionship and company.
One of my servant tells me. (wrong)
One of my servants tells me. (correct)
Explanation : The noun following ‘one of’, ‘none of’, ‘some of’ and similar expressions must be plural in number, but the verb should agree in number with the subject of the sentence, which is singular.
I took a bath in the sea. (wrong)
I had a bathe in the sea. (correct)
Explanation : Use ‘bath’ when the object of entering the water is to clean yourself; use ‘bathe’ when the object is to swim or to enjoy yourself.
Both did not go. (wrong)
Neither went. (correct)
Explanation : If both are excluded from an action, we use neither.