Welcome to quiz 5 in our series about mistakes English learners often make.
To see our other videos in this series, click here.
We’ll ask you to identify 6 common English mistakes and choose your answer before the clock stops ticking.
Then we’ll explain what’s wrong and show you examples of the correct English in action. We’ll also direct you to videos if you want more help with grammar and vocabulary.
In this video we look at how we use:
– the verb concentrate
– the word eventually
We compare the meanings of:
– in the end and at the end
– miss and lose
– trustworthy, trustable and trusting
– hard working and hardly works
Common English mistakes
This lessons about mistakes English students often make without realizing.
We’re going to ask you questions about some tricky words and phrases.
And you have to answer before the clock stops ticking.
Let’s jump straight in with our first question. Ready?
The word concentrate
You’re studying at the library, when some people start having a very loud conversation.
So you ask them to speak more quietly. What do you say?
Could you speak quietly because…
I need to concentrate.
I need to concentrate myself.
I need to be concentrated.
To concentrate means to focus and to give all your attention to something.
It isn’t a reflexive verb in English. So we never concentrate ourselves. We just concentrate.
Sometimes we say ‘I can’t concentrate’.
And we can also say ‘I’m concentrating’.
But if you say ‘I’m concentrated’ it sounds funny.
Yeah, we use concentrated to describe fruit drinks where water is removed to make them stronger.
But you’re a person not a fruit drink so you don’t want to say that!
Now I want you to look carefully at this. July’s figures were up on….Excuse me. Could you please concentrate on these figures?
If you’d like to see more examples, click here.
Great, next question.
OK, you want to suggest that you and your friend go to the movies together one night, if they’re free and they want to. So what do you say?
Eventually we could go and see a movie together. What do you think?
Maybe we could go and see a movie together. What do you think?
So we don’t say eventually in that situation.
The word eventually
Eventually is a false friend in several languages. It doesn’t express possibility or uncertainty in English.
We use words like ‘maybe’, and ‘possibly’ to do that.
In English eventually means after a long of time and a series of events. We use it after a lot of different things have happened.
I didn’t know what to get Vicki for her birthday. I thought about getting her something to wear. Then I wondered about something for her car, or something for the deck, or something for the house.
I thought for a long time and eventually I decided to get her flowers.
Ah, thank you. They’re beautiful.
It’s a good job you didn’t get me that vacuum cleaner.
Yes, eventually I realized it was a bad idea.
So after you’d thought about it for a long time.
That’s right. Keep watching our videos and eventually your English will be perfect.
Ok, the next question is similar.
In the end and at the end
Someone stops you in the street and asks you where a restaurant is. What do you say?
It’s in the end of the block.
It’s at the end of the block.
Excuse me. Is there a Mediterranean restaurant near here?
Yes, right at the end of the block.
Oh, thank you.
We use ‘at the end’ to talk about the last part of something.
The final part, for example, at the end year
At the end of the tunnel.
At the end of the book. It means the final part.
Oh, what movie are you watching?
Oh, it’s The Murder Island Mystery.
Oh it’s got a surprise twist at the end. It wasn’t the butler that did it…
Stop, don’t tell me!
So that’s ‘at the end’, but what does ‘in the end’ mean?
It has a similar meaning to eventually. It means finally, after a series of events.
We often use it when there’s been a long delay.
We had a problem with the shower. We needed a plumber.
We looked online. We looked in the newspapers. We called our friends. No plumber.
In the end, Jay fixed it himself.
Here’s a link to a video where you can see more examples.
Miss and lose
OK. Here’s a quick one that’s tricky for some Latin language speakers. Imagine you’re going to visit a friend but you’re running late and when you arrive at the station, your train has already left.
You call your friend and what do you say?
I missed the train.
I lost the train.
Hello? Hey Jay, are you coming?
Yes, but I’m gonna be late. I missed the 9 o’clock train so I’ll catch the 10 o’clock.
Oh all right. Well, I’ll see you soon then. Yep. Bye.
When you miss a train, bus or flight you fail to catch it.
But if you lose something it means you can’t find it.
This is the only key we have, so don’t lose it.
It would be very hard to lose a train because they’re very big.
Yeah, you’d have to be a very careless train driver.
If you want more examples, follow this link.
Trustworthy, trustable and trusting
OK, here’s your next question. You have a friend who is very reliable. She always does what she says and you can trust her. So how would you describe her?
She is very reliable and trusting.
She is very reliable and trustworthy.
She is very reliable and trustable.
If someone is trustworthy, you can rely on them to be good and honest.
And if they’re trusting it means they tend to believe that other people are good and honest.
But they might not be trustworthy themselves.
Exactly. And what about trustable?
Well technically speaking, trustable is also word but we hardly ever use it.
We normally say trustworthy instead.
And the opposite of trustworthy is… untrustworthy.
I need to learn to trust you more Vicki. How can I do that?
Oh, we could play the trust game.
The trust game. Turn around.
That’s right. And then you fall back.
And you’ll catch me.
OK. Argh! You didn’t catch me.
I’m just not very trustworthy.
OK, next question.
Hard working and hardly works
All right. Your friend has a difficult job that requires a lot of effort. What could you say about her?
She works hardly.
She works hard.
She hard works.
She hardly works.
We need an adverb here to describe how she works.
To form a lot of adverbs we add -ly to the adjective. For example. He’s a safe driver. He drives safely. Safe is the adjective and safely is the adverb.
He’s a dangerous driver. He drives dangerously. You just add -ly.
But ‘hard’ is tricky. It’s irregular because the adjective and adverb are the same.
So if someone puts a lot of effort into their work, they’re a hard worker and they work hard.
But this is where it gets really tricky, we also have the word ‘hardly’ and that’s an adverb too.
But hardly means something different. It means almost not or almost none.
So if someone is hardly working, they’re almost not working.
They’re the opposite of a hard worker!
So this is our office.
Very nice! Who’s this?
Oh that’s Jeannie. She’s one of our best employees. She works really hard.
And who’s that?
Ah, that’s Jay. Some days he hardly works at all.
Click here if you’d like to see more examples.
So are we done?
Yes, but if you’ve enjoyed this quiz, we have some more for you. I’ll put a link to the series below and at the end of this video, so you can test yourself on some more tricky English.
And we plan to make more quizzes in the future, so make sure you’ve subscribed to our channel.
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