The biggest mistake

So, you want to know what the biggest mistake is? As I’m writing this blog post Switzerland is nearing the end of the third week of partial lock down because of COVID-19. People are getting from frazzled to nuclear burn out. We’re not used to a world with so many restrictions and so much globalContinue reading “The biggest mistake”

Death and Americans: present perfect simple, part II

Soooo I promised you a part two to my present perfect simple blog post. Here it is, but you’re going to have to work for it. Look at these sentences: Queen Elizabeth the second is a wonderful leader. She has been an inspiration to the people of Britain for many years. She lived in BuckinghamContinue reading “Death and Americans: present perfect simple, part II”

“I’m lovin’ it!”, or: Why English teachers hate McDonalds.

I remember exactly when McDonalds adopted “I’m loving it!” as their slogan. I was working in Cologne. It must have been in 2001 or 2002. I was just coming home after a long day of teaching stative verbs, you know, the ones you can’t put in the continuous (to be/-ing) form. The verbs that describe:Continue reading ““I’m lovin’ it!”, or: Why English teachers hate McDonalds.”

Those pesky exceptions: “all” and “every”.

“Every breath you take…Every move you make…” oops! Back to those songs again. This week my son requested that I write about the difference between “all” and “every”. Mistakes with these expressions are very common. Quiz time. What words go here, “all” or “every”? Do you know the songs? -Watch out! It’s not as easyContinue reading “Those pesky exceptions: “all” and “every”.”

Mistakes with “get” and “become”, or : “I want to become a sausage.”

There is a legend in English teaching circles of a young man from Germany called Hans. Hans was a lively young man and decided one fine day to go for a walk in the forest. The forest was magical, as they often are in such stories, and soon poor Hans got lost and met aContinue reading “Mistakes with “get” and “become”, or : “I want to become a sausage.””

Present continuous mistakes, or: English for Tinder users

There’s no better place to find English bloopers than on Tinder. For some reason many users of this app decide to introduce themselves to potential lovers using a language which they, at best, find it difficult to communicate in. Perhaps the most misleading of these errors is the misuse of the present continuous. Let’s cutContinue reading “Present continuous mistakes, or: English for Tinder users”

Mistakes using “by” and “until”

Hi English enthusiasts! I’ve decided to start a blog correcting errors that I hear from students and other speakers of English as a foreign language day after day here in Switzerland. I hope you will join me on this journey into the foul swamps of split infinitives and false friends. Let’s start with that oldContinue reading “Mistakes using “by” and “until””