Tag Archives: mistakes

#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters (2)

In #EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters, we’ve talked about a couple of things you shouldn’t do in writing business letters. This time, we’ll continue the topic with a couple more tips.

Let’s get started!


4. Needless inversion

In good writing, inversion is used in order to give freshness and force. However, when overdone, it not only becomes very wearisome, but also positively nauseating to anyone who loves the beauty of English language. In business letters, try to avoid using this kind of sentence:

“Greater value than this, never have we offered.”

You should just write:

“We have never offered greater value than this.”


5. Words misused

People with limited vocabularies are forced to use the relatively few words they know without any regard for their precise meaning. This is an example of misused word in business letter:

“This most unique Delivery Service…”

“Most unique” is absurd. Either a thing is unique or it is not. The word “unique” means the only one of its kind, and is capable of no qualification.


6. Colloquial expressions

Vigorous and vivid language is to be preferred to pompous phraseology, but colloquial expressions should not degenerate into slang. You should simply state what you mean. Try not to use this kind of expression:

“You keep asking us for suggestions and every time we submit an idea, you give it the bird.”

The idiom “give (something) the bird” is an informal way of stating that you disapprove something. In business letters, you should just say “you keep turning it down.”


Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 3 April, 2016





#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters

In this post, we’ll talk about some faults to avoid in writing business letters.

The fault to avoid at all costs in letter-writing is ambiguity. What you write should carry one interpretation only, and that it should be the interpretation you intended it to have.

Let’s get started!


1. Faulty Syntax

Faulty syntax is dangerous because it can distort the writer’s meaning. Have a look at the following sentence:

“We are sending you an antique clock by our Mr. Stark, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

The placement of the comma in that sentence is very important. The phrase “with ornamental hands and engraved face” in that sentence refers to Mr. Stark because it’s placed after the name, separated by comma. That sentence is wrong because the phrase actually refers to the antique clock. This is the correct sentence:

“We are sending you, by our Mr. Stark, an antique clock, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

That sentence is correct because the phrase is placed after “an antique clock”, separated by comma.


2. The double negative

The rule is of course that a double negative makes a positive, but in some instances a double negative is used where no positive is intended. For example, instead of writing:

“Neither of the three samples you send is the correct shade, and are of no interest to us.”

You should write:

“No one of the three samples you send is of the correct shade, or is of any interest to us.”

Nevertheless, avoid using a double negative.


3. Overdone superlatives

Giving compliments is good but don’t overdo it. Use only ONE of these: super, breath-taking, supreme, gigantic, exquisite, masterpiece, miraculous, stupendous, etc.


Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 20 March, 2016





#EngTrivia: Common grammar mistakes

Hi, fellas! Making a sentence in English sounds simple, but sometimes we misuse words because we hear others use them.

You may hear this often, but in this article, I’ll show you some of the most common grammar mistakes that you actually can avoid.

Let’s start!

  1. Homophones. Meaning: a homophone is a word that has the same sound as another word, but with a different spelling & meaning.
    • Example:
      • I can’t sea the error in this sentence.
  2. Dangling modifier.  Meaning: when the participle is not properly connected to the noun that it is modifying.
    • Example:
      • We ate the lunch that we had brought slowly.
      • It suggests that we brought a lunch slowly. To correct the meaning, move the adverb ‘slowly’ near ‘ate.’
  3. Historic/historical. Meaning: ‘historic’ means an important event; ‘historical’ means something that happened in the past.
  4. Affect/effect. Meaning: ‘affect’ is a verb; ‘effect’ is most often a noun.
    • Example:
      • Your ability to communicate will affect your social life.
      • They realize the effect of swimming.
  5. Commas. Meaning: a comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Use it wisely!
    • Example:
      • Let’s eat mother!
      • (You don’t really want to eat your own mother, right?)
  6. Misusing ‘literally.’ When you said, “I literally felt like falling to the bottom of the sea,” you didn’t really mean that, right?  You meant ‘metaphorically.’
  7. Using ‘irregardless.’ This word is always listed as ‘non-standard,’ because it’s meaningless.
  8. Using ‘that’ instead of ‘who.’ If you’re writing about people, always use ‘who.’
  9. Using ‘toward’ & ‘towards’ interchangeably. Both are correct, but the latter is British & the former is American. Which you choose depends on your audience.
  10. Fewer vs less. Use ‘fewer’ with things you can count and ‘less’ with quantities you can’t count.

Now… Do you have other common mistakes that people usually make?



Compiled and written by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on Friday, July 19, 2013

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#EngTrivia: Common mistakes and confusing words in English (3)

In this post, I’ll share a few pairs of words which might confuse you sometimes. We’ll see how one different or extra letter could make a huge change.

‘Aisle’ vs. ‘isle’

Aisle (n). Meaning: a passage between rows of seats, lorong, gang.

  • Example:
    • “Where can I find ketchup? They’re at the next aisle.”

Isle (n). Meaning: a small island, pulau kecil.

  • Example:
    • “He invited me to a new isle he just bought, but I dare not go.”


‘Along’ vs. ‘a long’

Along (prep). Meaning: Over the length of, di sepanjang.

  • Example:
    • “He held my hand as we walk along the beach.”

A long (Adj). Meaning: something of great length, panjang.

  • Example:
    • A long hair is hard to maintain.”

‘Bazaar’ vs. ‘bizzare’

Bazaar (n). Meaning: a market, pasar, pasar dadakan.

  • Example:
    • “The faculty held a bazaar last week and all the proceed will go to the poor.”

Bizarre (adj). Meaning: strange, odd, aneh.

  • Example:
    • “I found this bizarre tomato on the net last night.”



‘Breach’ vs. ‘breech’

Breach (v/n). Meaning: to break through, to break a rule, melanggar, menerobos, pelanggaran.

  • Example:
    • “Someone breached through the farm last night and stole a cow.”

Breech (n). Meaning: buttocks, rear part of a gun, bokong, lubang untuk mengisi peluru di senapan.


breach of contract

‘Cue’ vs. ‘queue’

Cue (n). Meaning: Signal, wooden rod, billiard stick, signal, tanda, tongkat billiard.

  • Example:
    • “Stay here and wait for my cue!”

Queue (n/v). Meaning: a line, to wait in line, antrian, mengantri.

  • Example:
    • “There’s a long queue outside the store, people are lining up for free phones.”




‘Envelop’ vs. ‘envelope’

Envelop (v). Meaning: to cover, to surround, menyelimuti, menyelubungi.

  • Example:
    • “The baby is enveloped in the green blanket to keep him warm.”

Envelope (n). Meaning: paper container for a letter, amplop.

  • Example:
    • “Someone left an plain envelope with some money inside. Whose could it be?”


‘Forbear’ vs. ‘forebear’

Forbear (v). Meaning: to refrain, to hold back, bersabar, menahan diri.

  • Example:
    • “You need to forbear crying until he leaves.”

Forebear (n). Meaning: ancestor, forefather, leluhur, nenek moyang.

  • Example:
    • “Our forebears are said to be sailors.”

‘Pole’ vs. ‘poll’

Pole (n). Meaning: a long piece of wood or iron, axis of a sphere, tongkat, kutub.

  • Example:
    • “The ice is melting at the North Pole due to global warming.”

Poll (n). Meaning: number of votes cast or recorded, jajak pendapat, pemilihan suara.

  • Example:
    • “A recent poll shows people are growing tired of the traffic jam in Jakarta.”

‘Sight’ vs. ‘site’

Sight (n). Meaning: the ability to see, a view, pengelihatan, pemandangan.

  • Example:
    • “The sight of his wife brought him back to reality.”

Site (n). Meaning: a location, tempat.

  • Example:
    • “Her job is to visit construction sites everyday.”

‘Storey’ vs. ‘story’

Storey (n). Meaning: Level or floor of building, tingkat, lantai.

  • Example:
    • “They’re building a new eight storey building right next to the mall.”

Story (n). http://twitpic.com/d6h92r Meaning: a tale, cerita, kisah.

  • Example:
    • “He changed his story when his wife questioned him.”

And that’s a wrap, fellas! I hope this #EngTrivia article could help sort out your confusion on those words.


Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on August 13, 2013


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#EngQuiz: common mistakes in English

Rules: for each number, choose the right sentence/the one you think more natural; don’t forget to mention the question’s number.

  1. a) The Indonesian hymn is called “Indonesia Raya.” b) The Indonesian national anthem is called “Indonesia Raya.”
  2. a) The class is so exciting! b) The class is so excited! c) The class is so excitable!
  3. a) I’m 20 years. b) I’m 20 years old.
  4. a) I’d rather dying than living alone. b) I’d rather die than living along. c) I’d rather be dying than living alone.
  5. a) I didn’t see anyone last night. b) I didn’t see any one last night.
  6. a) We talked about a lot of things. b) We discussed about a lot of things.
  7. a) My house is near with the park. b) My house is near the park.
  8. a) Ayu is married with Angga. b) Ayu is married to Angga.
  9. a) Can you borrow me your English books? b) Can you lend me your English books?
  10. a) Almost Indonesian people eat rice. b) Most Indonesian people eat rice.
  11. a) He has returned to his homeland. b) He has returned back to his homeland. c) He has returned again to his homeland.
  12. a) What’s your favorite pastime activity? b) What’s your favorite pastime?
  13. a) The screw is a little bit lose. b) The screw is a little bit loose. c) The screw is a little bit loss.
  14. a) She may be the nicest girl I’ve ever met. b) She maybe the nicest girl I’ve ever met.
  15. a) I always get ashamed when I speak in front of the class. b) I always get embarrassed when I speak in front of the class.

ANSWER KEY and explanation:

  1. Jawaban: “national anthem” yang artinya “lagu kebangsaan”, bukan “hymn” yang artinya “hymne” (nyanyian pujian).
  2. Jawaban: “exciting” yang artinya “menarik”, bukan “excited” yang artinya “tertarik”/”excitable” yang artinya “mudah tertarik”.
  3. Ketika mengatakan umur, selalu gunakan frase “… (jumlah tahun) years old”. “years” saja menyatakan durasi/lama sesuatu berlangsung.
  4. a) Salah karena tidak ada “verb” (be). b) Salah karena “die” dan “living” (bentuk Verb-nya) tidak pararel. c) Benar karena ada “be” + pararel.
  5. Jawaban: “anyone” yang artinya “siapa pun”, bukan “any one” yang artinya “siapa saja di antara” (misal: any one of you).
  6. Jawaban: “talk about” (membicarakan) karena “discuss” memiliki arti yang sama dengan “talk about”, jadi “about” tidak lagi dibutuhkan.
  7. Jawaban: “near” (dekat). Dalam menggunakan preposition ini, “with” tidak dibutuhkan karena near” sudah berarti “dekat dengan”.
  8. Jawaban: “married to” (menikah dengan). Salah contoh prepositional verb (verb + preposition) di mana pasangannya tidak dapat diganggugugat.
  9. Jawaban: “lend” yang artinya “meminjamkan”, bukan “borrow” yang artinya “meminjam”. “Bisakah kamu meminjamkan buku Bahasa Inggrismu?”
  10. Jawaban: “most”, bukan “almost” karena “almost” harus diikuti dulu oleh angka/quantifier (misal: almost 90% of Indonesian people).
  11. Jawaban: “return”, karena “return” sendiri artinya sudah “kembali lagi”, jadi “back”/”again” tidak dibutuhkan.
  12. Jawaban: “pastime”, karena “pastime” sendiri artinya adalah “kegiatan/aktivitas di waktu luang”, jadi kata “activity” tidak dibutuhkan.
  13. Jawaban: “loose” yang artinya “longgar” – adjective (sekrupnya longgar), bukan “lose” (kehilangan – verb)/”loss” (kehilangan – noun).
  14. Jawaban: “may be” yang artinya “mungkin adalah”, bukan “maybe” karena jika memilih “maybe” maka clause “She..” tidak memiliki verb.
  15. Jawaban: “get embarrassed” (merasa malu), karena jika menggunakan “ashamed” harusnya dengan “be”/linking verb (misal: feel ashamed).

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on June 18, 2012

#EngClass: Common mistakes in English (2)

Sebelumnya, kita sempat membahas tentang common mistakes in English, yang bisa dibaca di sini Common Mistakes in English.

Common mistakes adalah kesalahan penulisan/pengejaan/spelling atau pun kesalahan penggunaan kata/jenis kata. Disadari atau tidak, kita tentu pernah mengalami hal ini. Dalam proses belajar, melakukan kesalahan adalah hal wajar. Tapi apa gunanya belajar kalau selalu mengulangi kesalahan yang sama?

‘Advice’ vs. ‘advise’

Yang mana yang benar? Keduanya benar, tapi artinya berbeda. Advice’ adalah noun yang berarti anjuran, sedangkan ‘advise’ adalah verb yang berarti menganjurkan.


  • “I need your advice.” (Saya memerlukan anjuran/nasehatmu.)
  • “She advised me that.” (Dia menganjurkan saya hal itu.)

‘Dead’ vs. ‘death’ vs. ‘die’

‘Dead’ (adjective) memiliki arti mati/meninggal. ‘Death’ (noun) berarti kematian, sedangkan die’ (verb) berarti mati/meninggal.


  • “The dog is dead.” (Anjing itu mati.)
  • “It was a sudden death.” (Kematiannya mendadak.)
  • “The King has died.” (Raja telah meninggal.)

‘Complaint’ vs. ‘complain’

‘Complaint’ adalah noun yang berarti keluhan/pengaduan, sedangkan ‘complain’ adalah verb yang memiliki arti mengeluh/mengadu (suatu masalah pada yang berwenang).


  • “I filed a complaint with him.” (Saya mengajukan keluhan padanya.)
  • “He complained about the food.” (Dia mengeluh tentang makanan.)

‘Remember’ vs. ‘remind’

Serupa tapi tak sama ya? Keduanya kata tersebut adalah verb. ‘Remember’ memiliki arti mengingat, sedangkan ‘remind’ adalah mengingatkan.


  • “I remember this song.” (Aku ingat lagu ini.)
  • “Please remind me to pick you up.” (Tolong ingatkan aku untuk menjemputmu.)

‘Borrow’ vs. ‘lend’

Keduanya adalah verb. Borrow’ berarti pinjam/meminjam, sedangkan ‘lend’ adalah meminjamkan.


  • “Can I borrow your pen?” (Bisa saya pinjam pulpenmu?)
  • “He lent me his pen.” (Dia meminjamkanku pulpennya. ‘Lent’ adalah bentuk v2 dari ‘lend’)

‘Reply’ vs. ‘replay’

Feeling familiar? Keduanya merupakan verb. ‘Reply’ berarti membalas dan ‘replay’ artinya adalah memainkan kembali/ulang.


  • “Did she reply your text?” (Apa dia membalas SMSmu?)
  • “They replayed the match.” (Mereka memainkan kembali pertandingannya.)

‘Loose’ vs. ‘lose’

Beda penulisan menyebabkan perbedaab arti. ‘Loose’ (adjective) berarti longgar, sedangkan lose’ (verb) adalah kehilangan.


  • “She loves loose clothes.” (Dia suka pakaian yg longgar.)
  • “I lost my mobile!” (Ponselku hilang! Lost adalah bentuk v2 dari ‘lose’)

‘Quite’ vs. ‘quiet’

‘Quite’ (adverb) berarti agak/cukup, sedangkan quiet’ (adjective) berarti sepi/tenang. Contoh:

  • “The test is quite difficult.” (Ujiannya cukup sulit.)
  • “It’s very quiet in here.” (Sepi/tenang sekali di sini.)

‘Your’ vs. ‘you’re’

‘Your’ (possessive adjective) memiliki arti milikmu/kepunyaanmu, sedangkan ‘you’re’ adalah singkatan dari ‘you + are.’


  • “Is this your bag?” (Apa ini tasmu?)
  • A: Thanks. (Terima kasih) | B: You’re welcome. (Kembali.)

‘Thanks God’ vs. ‘Thank God’ — ‘Thank you, God’ vs. ‘Thanks, God’

Semua frasa di atas benar, kecuali “Thanks God.”


  • Thank God it’s Friday!” (Syukurlah hari ini hari Jumat!) bukan “Thanks God it’s Friday!

Setelah diperhatikan, ternyata supaya terhindar dari common mistakes, kita harus juga memperbanyak perbendaharaan kata (vocabulary) kita. Caranya? Banyak membaca, mendengar, membiasakan diri kita dengan Bahasa Inggris. Slow but sure yang penting continue ya. Semangat!


Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on Monday, February 6, 2012

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