Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Common English mistakes made here

My Paper, Tuesday, 3 April, 2012, Page A17, Viewpoints
From http://epaper.mypaper.sg/cnd/fvxen/fvxp/fvxpress.php?param=2012-04-03
By Ms Pamela Chong Kwang Ngo

PHOTO: Because English is such a complex language, it is fraught with traps that we all frequently fall into.

I Would like to bring to the attention of all English-Speaking Singaporeans the most glaring (obvious) and widely made mistakes in our society.

1. The difference between 'send', 'take', 'bring' and 'fetch'
"Take" is used when you go from one place to another, and the thing (or person) goes with you.
"Bring" is used when you come towards a place from another place, and the thing (or person) oomes with you.
"Fetch" is used when you leave Some place to get something (or someone), and then return, bringing the thing (or person) with you.
"Send" is used when something (or someone) goes away from you, but you don't go along.

Singaporeans are way to fond of saying "I'll send you home".
They should say "I'll take you home" instead.

You send someone off at the airport, that is, you see them go, but you don't go with them.
You send a letter to someone - you drop it off at the mailbox, but you don't go with the letter.

2. Requests should be in the form of 'Would you' or 'May I', not 'Can you' or 'Can l'
"Can" refers to the ability to do something.

3. When one resides in a place permanently, one 'lives' there, not 'stays'
This is a mistake often seen in the newspapers, much to my dismay.

You go on vacation and stay at a hotel, but you live in a Housing Board apartment in Toa Payoh.

The next time you want to know where someone resides, ask "where do you live", not "where do you stay".

PHOTO: Mistakes aren’t bad either. They are the human way to improve and learn. But it helps if we can help each other!
by Joanna Penn on March 4, 2012

4. 'Last time' is often erroneously used in place of 'Iong ago', 'once', 'before' or 'previously', depending on context
"Last time" refers to a single Occurrence directly prior to the present time, not something that happened long ago, nor something that happened continually in the past.

That means you shouldn't say: "Last time I broke my tooth before." You should say: "When I was young, I broke my tooth."

You shouldn't say: "Last time our grandmothers cooked over a charcoal stove". Instead, you should say: "Long ago, our grandmothers cooked over a charcoal stove."

But you can say "The last time my brother tried to fry an egg, he almost burned the kitchen down."

5. It is more appropriate to say 'good food' than 'nice food'
Food is good, people are nice - that is what I always say.

There are specific circumstances when "nice" can be applied to food, such as when describing its appearance: "That's a very nice omelette."

But most of the time, when we refer to the taste of food, it is better to use "good", as in "Mmm... This is good!"

6. It is more appropriate to say 'damaged' or 'broken' than 'spoiled/spoilt' when refering to things
Toys break; equipment gets damaged; but food spoils and children are spoilt.

"Spoil" can be applied to extensive damage or serious devaluing of something, such as "littering spoils the landscape of our beaches".

Otherwise, for more minor things, use "damaged" or "broken". For example, "this phone is damaged; I can't call out", and "You mustn't give away broken toys to the children's home".
By Ms Pamela Chong Kwang Ngo

PHOTO: Mind your English language
It doesn’t hurt at all to be careful with spellings.

PHOTO: Don't Prevent Students' Mistakes, Prepare for Them.
It's common knowledge that people can learn as much from their mistakes as anything. And yet traditional teaching methods often deny students the chance to learn from their mistakes by preventing them from making mistakes.

Lesson planning should be more about anticipating students' errors and preparing to help them learn from those errors than trying to develop presentations that prevent all errors.

In other words, a place where they can learn from one of life's greatest teachers: mistakes.


我的字典: Wǒ de zì diǎn

Glaring: 明显的 - míng xiǎn de
Mailbox: 邮箱 - yóu xiāng
Charcoal: 木炭 - mù tàn
Omelette: 煎蛋饼 - jiān dàn bǐng