Common Grammar Mistakes


by Neha Smyth

Committing grammatical errors is quite common even among people who are native English speakers. Again, there are many who have excellent vocabulary but fail to reproduce the same in a flawless, rather error-free sentence. Let us take a look at the most common grammar mistakes that are committed many a times. The word “GRAMMAR” is often mis-spelt as “GRAMMER”. While we speak, these mistakes do not count, but when we write the words, such basic mistakes are unpardonable.

“I believe that postwar education, which has focused on entrance examinations, has ruined society.”

-Professor Takamitsu Sawa The Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University Daily Yomiuri, Japan, p. 12. Dec. 14, 1999

Consequent to the email and mobile texting language, numerous silly yet common grammar errors have infiltrated the language and its flow. For example, we tend to write “u” instead of “you”, again, “ur” instead of “your”. There are various instances wherein such language slips are noticeable. These are definitely not grammatical errors but they contribute to the construction of a faulty sentence.

Here are some of the grammar mistakes students most often commit:
• Two past tenses used simultaneously. For example “didn’t knew”. The correct structure of this phrase should be “didn’t know”.
• The error of using incorrect apostrophe. For examples: “Francis’ bike” is wrongly written as “Francis’s bike”. In the same way people also confuse whose or who’s, its or it’s, among others.
• Mistakes while using “i.e.” and “e.g.” .i.e. stands for “that is” which is used to provide an explanation and e.g. is used to cite examples.
• Another common grammar mistake is the use of “who” and “whom”. Who is the subject of a clause that it introduces whereas whom is the object of a preposition.
• Many a times we misuse the words “than” and “then”. “Than” is used to compare and are usually associated with words like more, less, taller, so on and so forth. “Then” refers to time. E.g. “Let me complete my homework, only then I will visit the supermarket.”

These are some of the common grammar mistakes made by people in their day to day writing of letters, documents and the like. A little effort to read and understand the sentence construction can help us avoid such mistakes further.

There are other words like affect and effect, ensure and insure, chose and choose, loose and lose and so on. Out of the innumerable grammar errors that we commit throughout our lives, these are some of the best instances to refer to. It is imperative to understand that regardless of the fact that you are not a native, mistakes are common among all.

Some Common mistakes by Japanese
My mother is just a housewife. My mother is a housewife. (is better)
I go to shopping. I went shopping. (is correct)
Where from? Where are you from? (is correct)
I study on Tokai University. I study at Tokai University (is correct)
Do you know Hadano? Have you heard of Hadano? (is correct)
Do you have arubaito? Do you have a part-time job? (is correct)
“I like Hakone. Because it is beautiful. And it has hotsprings.”
I think this is better:
I like Hakone because it is beautiful and it has hot springs.
I like Hakone because it is beautiful. Also it has hot springs.

“I like sports especially ice hockey. Because I moved to Hokkaido.”

I think this is better:
I like sports, especially ice hockey. So I moved to Hokkaido.

Book : An A-Z of Common English Errors for Japanese Learners
by Kevin Burns
Some Common Mistakes Japanese students make:

“I like dog.”

“My like food is…”

“I very like….”

“I play ski.”
The book has a Japanese edition and an English edition. I have both. The Japanese edition is good for instantly explaining a mistake to elementary and lower level English students in Japan. The English edition you can use for yourself and for higher level English students.

“Many of the mistakes made by Japanese learners of English are predictable, and most can be avoided with explanations of common pitfalls. An A-Z of Common English Errors allows teachers to provide these explanations either in English with this book, or in the students` language with the Japanese edition. Teachers who provide objective, non-judgemental feedback can use errors to create personalized learning opportunities by giving students access to the explanations they need as and when they need them, something that is not normally possible with large classes. Having the explanations written down also means that students can review the points they have learned whenever they need to.”
–David Barker,the author
I recommend both editions of this book!



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Sundays: X

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あなたの会社に派遣してほしいですか? ぜひ0465-74-4458に電話してください。
ケビンバーンズは日本人に20年以上英語を教えています。ビジネスイングリッシュを 教えることも可能です。
金額: 午前クラス(会社派遣)1時間 8500円     午後、夜クラス(会社派遣) 1時間 10000円

Pictured: Our Iizawa School
南足柄市塚原と関本に教室があります。 TOEICやビジネスイングリッシュ、会社派遣クラスを1991年から行っています。
Tel 080-1005-581 問合せ先 ホームページ:Kevin`s English Schools 本校(塚原校) 2500117 神奈川県南足柄市塚原2659-4 会社派遣クラス 小田原市、南足柄市、秦野市、開成町、大井町、松田町、山北町で可能です。

私たちは皆さんに英語を教えることを誇りにしています。 私たちが教えている会社クラスの生徒さんは、海外へ旅行に行ったり、外国の取引先の 方たちと英語で話す必要がある方たちばかりです。機械装置の使い方や工場のセットアップ方法を 説明しなくてはいけない生徒さんもいます。いろいろな場面で英語を使う必要がある生徒さんばかり なのです。あなたたちとお会いしたら、英語の最終目標を見つけましょう。そして、実行するために 英語のプログラムを立てましょう。もしTOEICを目標とするのなら、それに適したプログラムを立てましょう。 皆さんに満足してもらえるよう努力します!私たちは20年以上も英語を必要とする生徒さんにビジネスイングリッシュを 教えているのです。 当校のホームページ、Q&A;にあるhow to study Englishに書いてあるアドバイスや記事を参考にしてください。
以下のような会社で英語を教えてきました。(継続中の会社もあります) 富士フイルム、GSユアサ、化成オプトニクス(現三菱化学)、諸星産業、富士機器、 ケビンは開成市役所、南足柄市役所、小田原のコミュニティクラスでも教えた経験があります。
ケビンバーンズについて ケビンズイングリッシュスクールのオーナーであり、ヘッドティーチャーでもあります。 1991年、南足柄市にケビンズイングリッシュスクールを設立。20年以上日本人に英語を教えています。 カナダ、バンクーバーの出身で、子供のときはカリフォルニアに住んでいたこともあります。 現在は日本人の妻と、3人の子供と一緒に南足柄市で暮らしています。 スクールだけではなく、東海大学でも講師をしています。以前は慶応中学や Kwantlen Polytechnic大学、 コロンビア大学、聖マリー大学(名古屋)、ECC、YMCAでも講師をしていました。

Cleaning Staff Required 

Cleaning Staff required 掃除スタッフKevin Guest House/English School – 神奈川県 小田原市時給 1,000円/hour


Guest House/English School in Minamiashigarashi requires cleaning staff for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Shifts: 10am-12noon or 11am-13:00. Iizawa and Tsukahara. Pay ¥1000/hour plus one free English lesson/week. No experience necessary we can train you. Good work for housewife or retired person.

Contact Kevin Burns, Kevin’s English Schools

南足柄にあるゲストハウス(民泊)、英会話スクールのお掃除スタッフ募集週に1,2回、南足柄にある民泊でゲストルーム、シャワー、キッチンなどのお掃除スタッフ特に木、金、土、働ける方歓迎10:00~13:00 までの間で2時間くらい(要相談) 主婦歓迎自給 ¥1000 (交通費はなし)とくにスキルは必要ありません。普段家で家事を行っている方。簡単な英語の読み書きができると助かります。


Kevin Burns
雇用形態: アルバイト…パート
給与: 1,000円 /時給
神奈川県 小田原市

とくになし: 1 年


簡単な英語の読み書きCleaning Staff Required

Foreigner という英語表現は好ましくない

Foreigner という英語表現は好ましくない








もし日本人以外の人を区別する必要がある時には、tourist(旅行者)、immigrant (移民)、guest worker (出稼ぎ労働者)、expatriate(移住者)、non-national(外国籍の人)、not Japanese (日本人ではない人)、associate (仲間)、colleague (同僚)、co-worker(協力者)などの言葉を使いましょう。



Westerner(西洋人)、Caucasian、white man  (白人)、Arab persons(アラブ人)、African American(アフリカ系アメリカ人)、European(ヨーロッパ人)、Asian woman (アジア人女性)、mixed person (混血児)、North American (北米人)、Latino(ラテン系)、biracial(二人種から成る)、 bicultural (二分化共存の)。







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Foreigner is not a good word in English

school-girlPictured: A Japanese school girl

The word foreigner is often used in Japan, as the direct translation from the words gaikokujin or more casually or perhaps rudely (depending on your opinion) gaijin.

You cannot say the word “gaijin” on NHK, Japan`s national broadcaster.  Why not? It is because the word gaijin is regarded as being rude, or at least cold.

Yet if you live in Japan, you will hear the word gaijin everywhere.  Unless the Japanese is talking with a non-Japanese, then they will switch to gaikokujin or gaijinsan.  But if Japanese are talking with friends on the train for example, and they dont know you (an immigrant) at all, you will hear gaijin on the train, as they talk about non-Japanese.  They don’t care that you hear. And perhaps think that you won`t understand anyway. Or they simply feel it is OK to talk about non-Japanese as gaijin while a “gaijin,” is within hearing range.

In English, I feel you should avoid the word foreigner if you can.  We don`t use the word much, as it has a cold feeling to it.  It means, outside person, or not one of us.

In Canada, where I am from, you very rarely hear the word foreigner.

In fact it is best to not label people at all if you can.  There was a woman in a blue jacket. There was a man in a suit etc.

We usually just say things like: “There was a man waiting in line, and he ……”  We don`t label him in a story like this.  But a Japanese might say in Japanese in Japanese the equivalent of: “there was a gaijin waiting in line and he……”

If you have to label a non-Japanese person you can use words like these:

tourist, immigrant, guest worker, expatriate, non-national, not Japanese, non-Japanese, associate, colleague,  co-worker,  

It is Dangerous to label people as we are often wrong: 

Some of these words may be OK, depending upon the context.

Westerner, caucasian, white man, Arab person, African American, European, Asian woman, mixed person, North American, Latino, biracial, bicultural.  


But some people perhaps would take offense. They may well take offence if you mislabel them.  i.e.) call a person an Arab, when in fact they are Persian (non-Arab).  Do you see my point?

If you know the person`s nationality, you can say things like: he’s Nigerian.

I`ve Lived in Japan for almost 30 Years

For example, I have lived in Japan for 27 years at this point. So to be called a foreigner, is offensive to me.  I am an immigrant to Japan.  My wife and children are Japanese.  I speak Japanese. (not perfectly) – but I am pretty fluent.  I have lived in Japan longer than many Japanese.  So you really shouldn`t call me a foreigner.

There are thousands of immigrants to Japan.  Yet there is no word for immigrant in Japanese.  So Japanese mistakenly think that foreigner is OK to use.  In my opinion, at least, it is not.

This has been a very difficult topic to write about.  One reason is, the rules are fluid (or always changing).  I feel if you can avoid it, do not label people by colour, nationality etc. We are all humans after all.  But if you feel you must, be careful!  What may be fine with one person, may not be fine with another.

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Would you like to Rent this Canadian House?

Kevin`s Guest Houses near Hakone

For your next vacation, why not stay in a Canadian house imported and built in Japan. It is located near Hakone, Odawara, Izu, Mount Fuji, Gotemba Outlet Mall and more!   Plus you can get great views of Mount Fuji from nearby!  Plus you will have money left in your pocket!

Romantic Fuji Views Whole House

Minamiashigara-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan

My place is close to family-friendly activities and public transport. You’ll love my place because of the coziness, the high ceilings,all the beautiful wood. My place is good for couples and big gr…