Welcome to quiz 6 in our series about common English mistakes that ESL learners make.
In this video we’ll ask you to identify 7 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 explain purpose (to do vs. for to do)
– different uses of should have and shouldn’t have
We compare the different meanings of:
– shade and shadow
– protect, prevent and avoid
– believe and believe in
To see our other other English grammar and vocabulary quizzes in this series, click here.
Hi everyone! We’re back with another quiz!
We’re going to see how good your English is.
We have some common English mistakes and we’ll see if you can spot them.
Before the clock stops ticking.
How good is your English really?
Let’s find out.
Explaining purpose (to do vs. for to do)
Let’s start with a very common mistake.
Your friend asks where you’re going. What do you say?
I’m going to Starbucks for to get coffee.
I’m going to Starbucks to get coffee.
I’m going to Starbucks for getting coffee.
In lots of languages you’d use the word ‘for’ with the infinitive to express this idea.
But not in English.
We’ve made a video about the prepositions to and for haven’t we?
Yes, I’ll put the link here. OK, next question.
Different uses of should have and shouldn’t have
Your work colleagues went out for a meal together last night but you were tired, so you didn’t join them.
The next day one of your colleagues says, ‘You should have been with US last night.’ What’s the correct reply?
I was very tired.
Yes, I should have. I’m sorry.
Why, what happened?
That was a listening question because there are two different ways to say this sentence.
You SHOULD have been with us last night.
That means she’s angry that you weren’t there.
You should have been with US last night.
That means something exciting happened and she has some interesting gossip to share.
It’s an invitation for you to ask questions.
Did you hear the difference?
Listen again if you need to and pay attention to the intonation and stress.
Sometimes when we use ‘shouldn’t have’ it’s because we’re annoyed or angry.
Yes, like, ‘You shouldn’t have parked there. That’s my spot!’
Well you shouldn’t have eaten the cookies. They were mine.
But as we’ve seen, we don’t just use it when we’re cross.
In fact you’ll often hear us use it when we’re thanking people.
Oh wow! You’ve made some soup.
You shouldn’t have gone to all this trouble for me. Oh and some wine too. Are you having anything?
OK, another question.
Shade and shadow
All right, here’s the situation. We have a roof deck on our house and it gets very hot and sunny up there, so this year we bought something.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s a sun umbrella. Now why did we buy it?
We bought it because we wanted some shadow.
We bought it because we wanted some shade.
Shadow and shade both refer to the dark shape you get when an object blocks the light. When we’re thinking in terms of the shape it makes, we use shadow.
And when we’re thinking in terms of shelter from the sun, we use shade.
We wanted shelter on our deck so we wanted shade.
This is a lamp and this is its shade. It protects our eyes from the light.
And we can call these shades – notice that it’s plural. Shades is an informal word for sun glasses.
Cool shades, eh?
So the word shade is about protection.
And shadows are about shape. For example, our shadows lengthen as the sun goes down.
So here’s another quick question. Are these shadow puppets or shade puppets?
OK. Next question.
Protect, prevent and avoid
Well, there’s a lot of COVID-19 around, so you’re wearing a mask. Now why is that?
It’s to prevent me and everyone else.
It’s to protect me and everyone else.
When we protect something or someone, we keep it safe.
Masks protect us all from COVID-19.
That’s protect. But what about prevent?
When we prevent something, we stop it from happening.
It’s usually something bad.
Masks can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
So a lot of things that protect us also prevent bad things from happening.
We need another question then.
OK. Why should you wear a helmet when you’re cycling?
Because helmets can protect head injuries.
Because helmets can prevent head injuries.
I always wear a helmet when I’m cycling. Helmets prevent head injuries. And I always use a security lock to prevent theft.
So protecting is keeping safe, and preventing is stopping something bad.
And there’s another verb that sometimes confuses my students here.
Let’s have another question then.
You’re leaving work early and your friend asks why. What do you say?
I want to avoid rush hour.
I want to prevent rush hour.
Let’s go home.
But it’s only 4.30.
But if we leave now we’ll avoid rush hour.
Oh, good idea.
We can’t prevent the rush hour because we can’t stop itfrom happening.
But we can try to stay away from it to avoid the heavy traffic
So there’s a little difference in meaning here.
Oh Jay! It’s like he’s avoiding me.
When we avoid something, we try not to go near it.
But when we prevent it we stop it from happening.
What are you wearing?
It’s none of your business.
Don’t tell me. It’s a helmet to prevent me from reading your mind.
How did you know?
I read your mind.
If you’d like more practice with these tricky verbs, we’ve made another video about them.
Click here to see it.
Let’s have one more.
Believe and believe in
OK, this one’s about a phrasal verb. Imagine someone tells you that they saw a ghost. But you think they’re lying. What would you say?
I don’t believe you.
I don’t believe in you.
And you don’t think ghosts exist. What would you say?
I don’t believe ghosts.
I don’t believe in ghosts.
If you believe someone you think that what they’re saying is true.
But believe IN is different. It’s a phrasal verb and it has a couple of different meanings.
One is to feel certain that something exists – so you can believe in ghosts or believe in god.
And the other meaning is when you trust a person.
Here’s an example of that. A little while ago Jay asked me to cut his hair.
It was getting long because of the COVID lockdown.
Oh Jay, I hope this is going to look OK.
It doesn’t matter. Hair grows back. You’ll do great.
He believes in me.
If you believe in someone, you trust them and feel they’ll be successful.
You can see if I did a good job or not in this video.
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