I’d like to compile a list of the most common usage errors you run into with your adult writing students. I’ll start with ten of the most frequent errors I run into:
- needs vs. requires
- “I consider” vs. “I think/feel/believe”
- Discuss about
- Emphasize on
- Contact with
- Relax myself
- Colorful life
- Effect my life
- Accompany with
- I already didn’t know what to do.
The last time I attempted this, I tacked the question onto a list of questions about teaching writing to adults. The thread quickly deteriorated into debates about Chinese culture and off-topic discussions. It actually got pretty surreal by the end.
Only Chris responded with examples common usage mistakes (Thank you, Chris):
[quote]Use of “Although…but”
Overuse of “Because…A, B” and underuse of “B, because A”
Poor understanding of the use of the word “especially” [/quote]
I’d sure like to keep this one on topic.
When we’re finished, I’ll publish the full list here. I’ve got hundreds of them on file, but don’t have them arranged by frequency. I’d like to see which ones you run into most often when grading students’ essays.